How to ‘Manage’ Four
Frustrating Types of Bosses
By Robert Half
No matter how much you love your job,
your happiness is inextricably tied to your relationship with your
manager. If you have a dream boss, you can stop reading right now. If
not, here are a few tips on how to get along with various types of
bosses that can prove to be more frustrating.
The Silent Type
Workers with chatty bosses might long for
a silent leader. But often, this type seems to think you’re a mind
reader. The Silent Type provides little to no direction on projects and
then becomes frustrated when you don’t deliver to his expectations.
Perhaps it’s no surprise then that a Robert Half survey found the most
common mistake companies make in managing their teams is inadequate
How to deal: Every boss has
his preferred method of communication, whether it’s email, in-person
check-ins, phone, IM or sticky notes. Figure out your boss’s
favorite way to interact, and then use it — but sparingly. Peppering
silent types with constant questions and messages will only increase
their distance. But initiating a regular checking-in routine with a
method you know is comfortable for your boss can encourage him to
provide you with the feedback you need.
These managers are extremely driven and
have high standards, both of which are admirable qualities. But among
all types of bosses, Perfectionists are the least likely to delegate,
constantly second-guessing your decisions and, frustratingly,
micromanaging every step of the way.
How to deal: There’s no quick
solution to this one. Until a Perfectionist trusts you, you won’t be
able to convince her to give you more control. The key is to
anticipate your boss’s concerns and questions, and have your answers
and solutions ready. Focus on doing the best work you can, and offer
updates without waiting for your manager to ask. In time, a
Perfectionist is likely to cut you more slack when she realizes
you’re capable of doing your job to high standards.
Mr. or Ms. Moody
Different types of bosses mean different
personalities. Unfortunately, this one is rarely in a good mood. Maybe
he is overworked and stressed, or just consistently gets up on the wrong
side of the bed. Either way, Mr. or Ms. Moody’s bad temper means that
you have to deal with passive-aggressive or outright rude behavior. This
leaves you walking on eggshells and going out of your way to avoid your
How to deal: Fight the urge to
treat Mr. or Ms. Moody in kind. Responding to a jab or snub with an
equally nasty or passive-aggressive move will only cause tempers to
flare. Besides, your reputation as a professional is on the line.
But the old adage “kill them with kindness” isn’t ideal in this
situation either; your sugary-sweet attitude will likely irritate
your boss even more. And suffering in silence isn’t good for your
work relationships or mental health. Instead, be calm but blunt, and
address any rudeness in a straightforward manner. Pointing out
uncivil or unprofessional behavior while maintaining your composure
may help defuse your boss’s ill temper and encourage more
appropriate interactions. If that fails, you may have to seek help
from the human resources department.
This is one of the most challenging types
of bosses to handle. Egotistical managers create a toxic workplace. They
take pleasure in keeping workers “in their place” and resent other
people’s successes and achievements.
How to deal: It may be
tempting to try and bring your boss’s ego down a notch, but that
often works better in movies than in real life. Instead, treat your
manager with respect and remember that how she treats you is not an
indication of your worth as an employee or a person. Short of trying
to grin and bear it, there may be little you can do to change an
Egoist’s behavior. If you’ve reached your breaking point, your best
bet may be to consider a different job. There are a million types of
bosses out there. But regardless of your manager’s quirks, keep in
mind that you are not alone. Find support and get advice from other
team members or members of your professional network. Just don’t
fall prey to badmouthing or other unprofessional behavior. Together,
you can help create a supportive, friendly atmosphere with your
fellow employees despite your silent, perfectionist, moody or
is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global
network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide.
For additional career advice, read our blog at
blog.roberthalf.com or follow us on social media at
7 Deadly Sins of Resume
By Steve P. Brady
Despite the fact that there are numerous
how-to articles out there, resumes are not easy to write. They require
time, talent and patience in order to craft them into targeted
advertisements for your most precious commodity: you.
You don’t want this document that you
have been poring over for days to fall victim to the seven deadly sins
of resume writing. Be vigilant and double check before you send your
resume to any potential employers.
Deadly sin No. 1:
This is a no-brainer, but it is still
one of the most common mistakes on a job seeker’s resume. Double and
triple check, and then have someone else proofread it for you. This
is the easiest of the seven to fix as long as you read carefully.
Deadly sin No. 2:
Today’s word-processing software
allows for just about anyone to become a publishing wizard. You can
add shadings, graphics, artistic fonts and stylistic flourishes.
Above all else, you want your resume
to be readable. Keep the fancy formatting to a minimum and place a
priority on scannablility. Email it to a friend to ensure that the
formatting you do keep is not lost.
Deadly sin No. 3:
Irrelevant job experience
Everyone is proud of their
professional life, and rightfully so. However, there comes a time
when you have to be ruthless with your past and cut out anything
that strays from the branded image you are trying to create with
A general rule of thumb is to stick
with the most recent 15 years of experience. For instance, if you
are going for an upper level management position, you certainly do
not need to include your time in the sales department 20 years ago
when you first got out of college.
Deadly sin No. 4: Weak
Banish words such as ‘helped,”
“provided” and “worked” from your resume vocabulary. Only use
strong, active verb phrases that point toward dynamic action. You
want employers to view you as a problem solver, not as a “doer.”
Deadly sin No. 5:
Many times when a candidate sends in
his resume, the work history reads as if it was taken from his job
description. In fact, that is what a lot of inexperienced resume
writers do. If you are one of them, don’t worry, it is a common
mistake, but it needs to be fixed.
Instead of just listing what your job
requires of you, focus on what you have been able to accomplish.
Sales numbers, quotas reached, budgets balanced and clients signed
are all items that will make you stand out rather than blend in.
Remember the key is to sell yourself.
Deadly sin No. 6: Not
including a branding statement
The resume objective is dead, but
long live the branding statement. This is the first section of your
resume after the heading where you can create a dynamic headline and
description of your own personal area of expertise. This will frame
the rest of the resume for the reader so that she sees your
experience in light of your specialty.
Deadly sin No. 7:
There is a lot of conflicting advice
as to how long a resume should be. Here is the standard. A resume
should contain one page for every 10 years of experience in a given
field. More often than not, this guideline works.
Brady is an executive resume writer with over 10 years of industry
experience who blogs on job-search strategies,
resume writing and career development.
Sex, Violence, &
Incompetence: How People Lose Jobs
By Elizabeth Bromstein
People get let go from jobs. Sometimes
it’s their own fault, sometimes it’s not.
There are some obvious reasons for
getting fired, though they would not qualify as the most common. Then
there are the most common reasons.
Combine these and you’ve got the top
reasons for getting fired. So, we suggest you avoid doing as many of
these as possible, if you want to keep your job.
The most obvious reasons include:
harassment: If you sexually harass a co-worker, there’s a
good chance you will get the sack for it. Don’t sexually harass people.
Getting into a physical altercation is a pretty good way to get yourself
let go. I know someone who was in mid conversation with a co-worker when
another coworker flew across the room and punched the first co-worker in
the face. You should not do this. It will get you fired.
If you steal things from work, like large amounts of money or industry
secrets, you will likely be fired. Ditto for taking things from
co-workers like wallets and jewelry. Obvious, right? You’d think so but
someone took my brick of cheese out of the office fridge the other week.
They should be fired (not really. I don’t think cheese stealing merits
dismissal). You might not get fired for stealing things like staplers,
but that’s not carte blanche to load up.
company or the boss online: This keeps coming up in the news,
like the woman who was famously fired after displaying a startling lack
of awareness when she posted a nasty rant about her boss on Facebook,
having forgotten that her was one of her Facebook friends. Still, I
believe it remains relatively uncommon, as most people are perhaps not
Being drunk or
stoned at work: This is featured, along with a couple more of
the reasons on this list, in this Business Insider article about the
most common reasons for getting fired. Again, it’s probably not that
“common” a reason, but rather just a “good” one. That being said, it
likely depends on your boss. I once had an employee show up still drunk
from the night before at 9:30 am. I sent her home to sleep it off, but
did not fire her. I did fire her a few weeks later for other reasons,
Here, on the other hand, are the most
common reasons people are let go.
An HR professional tells us that “fit” is the number one reason people
are let go at her company. Your manager and co-workers have to like
working with you, or at the very least be able to tolerate working with
you – especially your manager. So, if you complain, argue, and are
generally difficult, you up your chances of getting sacked. But this
doesn’t just mean getting along with people. It means having a symbiotic
working relationship with your superior and shared visions of what you
should be doing and the direction in which you’re headed. Often, a new
manager will come in and things will change, and you won’t fit anymore.
That’s when things start getting “restructured.”
Sometimes bosses make a mistake and hire someone incapable of doing the
job. That person has to go. But, even if you didn’t embellish your
abilities, and were able to do the job when you started, things can
change. The same HR person tells us that sometimes the skills required
to do your job evolve over time, and you suddenly find yourself unable
to fill the position. The role might come to require knowledge of a
different coding language or ability to use certain software. Again,
that’s when you will be restructured out of the equation.
adapt to change: Say you were allowed to work from home
two days a week but the job requirements have changed so that you can no
longer do that – hello Yahoo! – and you can’t make these changes. This
is a common reason to let someone go, I’m told.
People often lie to get the job. You need work so you
“embellish” your skills, education, or work history to get it. I’m told
one story about someone who claimed to have been a VP of marketing and
it was later discovered that they were really an inside sales rep. But –
surprise, surprise – if you lie in your application process and it comes
out later, that will very probably get fired.
restructuring: Sometimes the business really is
restructuring and it has nothing particularly to do with you, other than
that you no longer fit the plan. You haven’t, technically, done anything
wrong, but businesses shift direction, plans change, employees lose
their jobs. Alas, that’s the way it goes. You pick yourself up and move
That’s not always easy to do, but
remember that career setbacks happen to everyone.
What to Do
Right Now if You Just Lost Your Job
By Melissa Allen
With 51% of Canadian workers spending
less than two years on the job, it seems that frequent job movement —
whether through resignation, quitting, or being let go — is the new
norm. Over the course of my career so far, I’ve noticed that certain
people were able to quickly recover from career setbacks such as getting
laid off or fired. They all have similar attitudes and approaches and
all were able to find an even better position than the one they had
before, in a relatively short amount of time. Here’s what I’ve noticed
Deep down you know that you’ll find another position, and that the one
you lost wasn’t a great a fit for you anyway. But in this moment, you’re
allowed to be sad, angry and confused. This is where close and
sympathetic friends, family and partners come in handy.
2. Stay positive
The fact is, no one wants to be around a Debbie or Danny Downer, let
alone refer or hire one. No matter how bitter you are on the inside (and
it won’t last, trust me), arm yourself with positivity. It’ll pay off.
Being truthful about your strengths, what you can improve, and what you
really want to do with your life will play a big role in how you decide
to go forward.
4. Update your
Believe it or not, most open positions still require a resume. Update
your resume, get feedback, then revise and polish. You never know who
you’re going to meet or what amazing opportunity will become available,
so it’s best to be prepared.
5. Say your
Alright, you’ve recovered from the initial shock, you’ve mastered the
outward air of optimism, and you accept that you, and you alone, are
accountable for your future. Now that you’re more or less pulled
together, it’s time to take back control of the situation by deciding
when and how you want to say good-bye to colleagues you didn’t get a
chance to before. You’ll help maintain your relationship with them,
build your list of references, and who knows, one of them may have a
lead or contact.
You’ve been working at least 40 hours a week for how many years now?
Take a little break, and if you can afford it, a vacation. Many people I
talk to regret not doing at least some travel between jobs.
7. Jump into the
job search, fast
While you should reflect and rest, unless you’re fulfilling a lifelong
dream by taking a year off to teach orphans in South America, start
looking for a new job in the field you want. Now. Unfortunately, most
employers do not look favorably on long gaps of unemployment. Plus, the
longer you’re unemployed, the harder it becomes to find something. So
jump in, and stay focused.
8. Reach out
Don’t become a hermit or isolate yourself. Now more than ever is the
time to put yourself out there and meet people in your target industry.
Go to events, conferences and reach out to people you admire on LinkedIn.
Today’s worker must have the resilience
and adaptability to quickly bounce back from career trials and
tribulations. We’ll all have them at some point in our careers. The key
is what you do with this set-back to turn it into a success story.
The 25 Worst
Excuses for Not Finding a Job
By Elizabeth Bromstein
Excuses, excuses. We’ve all got excuses
for not looking for work. It’s that voice in your head, always bringing
you down. That voice is annoying. But you don’t have to listen to it.
Here are 25 of the most popular excuses,
and their counter arguments.
“There are no
Yes, there are. There are plenty of jobs. We’ve got 30,000 of them right
here on this site. There are jobs.
“There are no
jobs I want.”
Then take a job you don’t want. From there, it’s a lot easier to find a
job you do want. You’ll be in a better position since employers like
employed candidates. Take any job.
“But that job is
No it’s not. Nothing is beneath you. Do you know how many
immigrants with post-secondary degrees are driving cabs in this country
to make ends meet? Take a job flipping burgers or waiting tables or
packing boxes, then you can find a better job.
“I don’t know
where to start.”
Start with online resources and read books. Read 30 Days
to a Good Job by Hal Gieseking and Paul Plawin. It’s old but it’s a
really a gem. It worked for me. Create a resume. Start networking.
“I don’t know
how to write a cover letter/resume.”
Ugh. It’s true. Writing about yourself sometimes feels like an
impossible task. Lucky for you, we’ve got a vast repository of articles
on how to do these things. You can also get help from friends and family
who are good at this sort of thing. I think you’ll find that people are
usually willing to help.
hire me, I’m too punk rock/rock and roll/much of a rebel.”
Then find a job with a company that hires people like you. Or
grow up and comb your hair, buy or borrow some nice clothes and learn
how to get along with normals. You might find they’re more interesting
than you are.
“I don’t want to
work for the man and be a corporate sellout. I only work for one person,
man, and that’s ME.”
You’re always working for someone else. Artists and rock stars work for
other people too, at least they do if they want to make a living. They
work for managers, customers, corporate clients, galleries… Anyway,
there are no rock stars anymore.
“I’m going to
make it in the music business.”
You’re probably not. But even if you do, you might not make as much
money as you think you will. Nobody buys albums anymore and pop stars
have to tour until they’re half dead or land major endorsement deals to
get rich. Do you know how much you’d make with 100,000 Spotify plays?
About $80. You should have something to fall back on.
“I’m going to
make it as an actor.”
Here’s a stat: SAG and AFTRA represent over 240,000 actors in
the U.S. Their average annual income is below $5,000, and fewer than 100
of them are “stars.” (source: The documentary, That Guy…Who Was in That
Thing). It’s a longshot.
“I’m going to
make it as a writer/novelist.”
See above. I know many people who have published books, and
they all still have to work day jobs. Also, you can get a job as a
writer for a company.
More than half of Canadian dancers make less than $15,000 a year. Pursue
your dream, but be ready to do something else to pay the bills (just in
Find something for which you’re qualified and do that. Then,
get qualified on the job. Or get qualified for what you want to do in
your off time. You’re not underqualified, you are exactly qualified for
whatever it is you’re qualified to do.
Dumb your resume down if you have to, get the job, then swoop in and fly
up the ladder before they know what hit them.
“I don’t have
You do. You just think you don’t. Have you created funny
YouTube videos? You’ve got media and production skills. Have you ever
organized a student event, or promoted your own live music? Event
organization and promotions. Have you organized a baseball tournament?
You’re good a bringing people together and team building. You figure out
what you can do and how you can make it sound good.
“I’m too old.”
You’re not. Forty is the new 20. While young people might look like
they’re outshining everyone, plenty of employers know the value of
experience. Are you 60? You might live to be 120. You’re going to need a
“I keep getting
rejected. I’m tired of never hearing back.”
I know, it’s horrible and frustrating and it hurts. Here’s a
suggestion, rethink your approach. Try another way of doing things.
Rewrite your resume, look at different jobs. Reach out to people in your
network. And don’t give up. If you keep trying you will find something.
“I don’t have a
Find a job for which you don’t need one. There are
many. They range from trades you can learn in certificate courses to
jobs in sales, or in tech, or in admin. Figure out what your skills are
and go from there.
“I don’t have
time. I’m too busy.”
Doing what? You don’t have a job. No, seriously, I get that,
if you have children it can be very difficult to find the time to find
work – particularly if you’re a single parent. But it can be done. Turn
to your network of friends and family for help with childcare when you
need to go for interviews. Get help with your resume and cover letter.
Also, there are increasing numbers of work-from-home jobs on offer these
days, as well as part-time work and companies offering flexible
OK, maybe you are too sick to work. That’s fair. But, others might be
making excuses out of fear or laziness. Again, maybe you can find
something you can do from home or part time.
in summer. I’ll start looking in fall.”
Companies are always hiring, even over the Christmas holidays
(though, yes, they are hiring less over the holidays, I landed this job
over the holidays last year). People quit and need to be replaced all
Insurance doesn’t run out for another six weeks. I’ll start looking
That’s a terrible idea. It takes an average of 16 weeks to
find a job! You need to start looking now.
“I’m planning to
start a family/go back to school.”
Great. But you’re actually going to need money to do those things. As
John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other
“I’m going to
win the lottery.”
Good luck with that.
“Nobody is going
to hire me.”
Well, you’re right. Not with an attitude like that they’re not. I felt
this way not too long ago. It took everything I had in me to pick myself
up and turn it around. But I did it. You can do it too. I have faith in
Minimum Wage Job can Lead to Future Wealth
By Peter Harris
If you’re not working this summer, and
you can land a job flipping burgers or manning the drive-thru window,
take it. People sometimes look down on minimum wage jobs as beneath
them, or dead-end. Employers often have trouble actually filling those
Just last month Statistics Canada
reported that there were fewer people in Alberta working in part-jobs in
June, with the declines largely in the hospitality sector. However,
online job ads for opportunities in this field are actually up by over
40% year-over-year. This leads us to believe that the jobs actually
exist, but employers aren’t able to find the people they need to fill
Well, it turns out that fast food and
other service industry jobs can actually be the jumping off point for
future career success, and people who work them end up earning higher
wages later than people who didn’t.
A study out of the University of British
Columbia shows how young people who work in the fast-food industry and
hold down part-time jobs while studying end up being more successful in
their careers than their peers who didn’t work.
For this study, “Beneficial
‘Child Labour’: The impact of adolescent work on future professional
outcomes,” the researchers used data from Statistics Canada’s Youth
in Transition Survey that followed the work history of nearly 250,000
young Canadians over a 10-year period from age 15 to 25.
This research showed that teens who held
down part-time jobs achieve much greater career success because their
earlier work experience allowed them to hone their job searching
abilities and develop on-the-job soft skills. It also made getting hired
for subsequent jobs easier by giving them professional references and
kick-starting their broader career networks. Those young people who
worked also developed a better sense of where they wanted their careers
to take them long term, and made more focused decisions.
“Parents may think that their kids could
do better than a job at the local fast food joint,” said study
co-author, Dr. Marc-David L. Seidel. “But our study shows even flipping
burgers has value – particularly if it leads to part-time work later
during school term.”
Having to juggle work and school further
helps young people to develop their time management skills and learn to
effectively budget their time and energy.
One of the biggest lessons that people
need to learn on the job is that we are all in customer service. Whether
you are in a directly public-facing role or not, if you are paid to do a
job, then someone is expecting results from you, and that person is your
Being successful in a customer-facing
role can be the secret to career success. The valuable skills practiced
in that role are essential to managing working relationships, leading
teams and acing job interviews.
Five transferable skills from customer
service training that lead to career success:
Remembering to smile and keep interactions positive.
Act like you’re happy to help out with whatever is asked of you.
An up-beat attitude and good work ethic go along way with
Maintaining eye-contact and effective non-verbal communications.
Both in job interviews and on the job, being a pleasant and
polished communicator are vital for success.
Practicing active listening and conveying empathy.
The ability to really listen to another person is an often
overlooked skill in this busy era where everyone is rushing to
weigh-in with their opinion. Listen and understand what the
other person is saying, rather than thinking up what you’d like
to say next while they’re talking.
Speaking from a prepared script without sounding robotic or
rehearsed. Telling your accomplishments in a job
interview, or making your ‘elevator pitch’ in a meeting should
all sound friendly and conversational, but you should still
practice and prepare them in advance.
able to think on your feet and problem-solve in unpredictable
situations. When your job is dealing with the public,
you’re going to meet all sorts of people in a variety of
(often-challenging) scenarios. While some of these will be
unpleasant at the time, the ability you hone to deal with the
unexpected and resolve customer issues on-the-fly will benefit
you throughout your career.
So don’t look down at that minimum wage
job. If that’s the only role available right now, take it and do it
well. All career growth comes from showing up, making positive
impressions, learning on-the-job and building your network.
And kids, get a job now. You’ll end up
making more money over the course of your career if you start early than
your friends whose parents just give them spending money.