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How Being Second Fiddle is Better Than Being the Boss

Sure, many people strive to excel in their careers so that they can become the boss. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to become a boss to be successful in your career. Playing second fiddle has its benefits, as you can actually have a social life and you probably won’t die of a heart attack. No one will be running to you to solve all their problems. Life can be so much sweeter because you can act as dumb as you want to.

See Also: How to Tactfully Handle a Racist Boss

Ok, you may not want to play second fiddle for the rest of your life, and maybe you want to become the boss man someday. That’s fine. No one is stopping you. Just take a moment to breathe and enjoy your time as second fiddle. Life can be sweet and you can enjoy many benefits by being second fiddle and not the boss.


1. You Actually Have a Social Life

Being second fiddle won’t absolutely guarantee that you’ll channel the spirit of Don Juan and romance all the ladies at every chance you get. It just means that you actually have the chance to do so. The rest is up to you. Think about your boss. He probably gets to the office earlier than everyone else and stays much later. Ok, so maybe you have to work overtime some times. At least you’re not clocking as much time as your boss. True he makes the big bucks, but he’s too busy working to have any fun. Being second fiddle means you can leave your work in the office.

You don’t have to work late hours and then work again at home. Don’t think your girlfriend would appreciate you having to work all hours of the night. She wants you to bring on the romance and take her out—or keep her in—not slave away on your laptop at home, trying to make upper management happy. No way! That’s for the boss man. You, as second fiddle, can do whatever you’d like once you’re let out of the prison called work. You can hang out with friends. Find a new hotspot to take your lady to, or simply stay home watching TV all night, not working!

2. You Won't Die of a Heart Attack

So maybe your boss won’t actually die of a heart attack or other stress-related disease, but being the boss man definitely increases his risk factor. Yet, you as the second fiddle can fly under the radar and not deal with all that stress. Of course, you still have the regular stresses of living and trying to get yourself together to make it to work on time. Yes, your daily work can sometimes get you stressed. Just remember, that you do not have as high a stress factor as your boss. Why would you? You don’t have to handle all of the responsibility that she has to deal with each day. Behind that refined appearance and professional demeanor, your boss may be clinging on to the cliff for dear life. You have no idea what type of stress is keeping her awake at night. She may even be having recurrent nightmares about all the yahoos on her team.

One too many missteps and her reputation as a manager can be ruined. It’s not easy being the boss. So thank your lucky stars that you’re not! Being second fiddle gives you more time to actually enjoy that walk around the building during your lunch break. You don’t have to deal with power lunches where your boss is constantly networking and never has a chance to let loose and actually read a book during her lunch hour. That’s letting loose? You’d better believe it is because the boss has too much responsibility to let her guard down and relax in the office.

3. You Don't Have to Deal With People

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Yes, you have to deal with people as the second fiddle such as coworkers and your manager. Yet, with your boss it’s different. He actually has to deal with everyone. He has no choice in the matter. When your coworker is acting like an idiot, you can ignore him and carry on in your work. True, that may be extremely difficult with him acting like a child and continually making you want to kill him every day. Your boss does not have the luxury of ignoring such behavior. When you report this person to your boss and go on your merry way back to your workstation, your boss is the one left to deal with this ignoramus. Should this person get fired? Maybe disciplinary action is warranted. Will this person keep doing this behavior?

All these thoughts and questions rage through your boss’s mind and can quickly cause uncertainty to settle in. So, as the second fiddle, embrace your role. You don’t have the responsibility of running an entire company or management of one department. You can come to work each day simply knowing what you’re supposed to do and then work to get it done. When any issues or annoyances come to the surface, you don’t need to deal with them. What are you going to do? Simply try to handle them and if you can’t, you go to your boss. That walk to his office is not one of dread for you. It’s a relief. You can throw the unfixable problem at his feet, promising that you did everything in your power to make it right. You’re not a superhero after all, what can he expect from you!

4. You Can Act Dumb if You Want to

Your boss needs to be “on” every moment of the day when he’s in the workplace. Ok, so maybe he can sneak a moment of letting go while alone in his office. He can start throwing things around or screaming his frustrations. That probably won’t work too well, unless he was in a soundproof room, but you get the point. Your boss needs to be the leader at all times. People look up to him for answers. He can’t go screwing around playing games all day in his office. If he did, how is he going to manage the office and set a good example? Your boss can’t act dumb if he wants to. Yet, you can.

Sometimes you may need that moment to pass off an assignment to another coworker because you can’t handle any more stress on your already full plate. You’ll give that deer in the headlights look like you have no idea what is going on and need help. Somebody else needs to take over. Of course, this playing dumb scenario can’t go too far. Then you may end up having your smart boss kicking your rear out the door. Be thankful that as second fiddle you don’t have to be “on” all the time. You can have that occasional “off” day when you make mistakes or don’t know what you’re doing. As long as you don’t become the world’s biggest slacker, you won’t lose your job. Your boss, on the other hand, can’t afford to slack off at all and play dumb.

See Also: How to Cope with a First Time Boss See, playing second fiddle isn’t so bad after all. It’s actually kind of rewarding in a weird, yet counterintuitive way. You get to enjoy your life and have fun outside of work. You’re not chained to your desk morning, noon and night like a caged animal. The chances of stress devouring your life are lowered and you can rest easy that all those yoga classes you’re taking during lunch break can help you to remain at peace during the day. You have no responsibility to manage the misfits of the office. All you need to do is pay attention to what you’re doing and not get sucked in to the negative behaviors of others. That’s for your boss to deal with! Isn’t it nice that you can act dumb if you want to? You don’t have to be ready, willing and able to perform to your best ability at every single moment of the day. Are you a second fiddle at work? What do you like about playing that role? Let us know in the comments section below.