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The Career Rebel

Your Job- Follow The Leader?

by Lisa Kaye,


Lisa Kaye

You may have the best job on earth. You probably make a great salary, have killer benefits, sock away a fantastic annual bonus enough to buy that second home and are racking up those stock options every year. On top of that, you likely have an important title, big office, and work with a competent and fun staff. And let’s not forget that cute parking space with your name on it for kicks! All of these signs reinforce the fact that you have made it up the career food chain and are destined for great things. All of this and yet, did we forget to mention your boss? When all things are going well and you have ticked off a lot from your career bucket list-does it matter if you are not able to follow your leader?

In a time when leadership at the highest levels have been called into question, how important and critical is leadership in your decision to accept or remain in your job? The career choices you make are a part of your path in reaching your short and long term goals you have outlined for yourself. When it comes to figuring out what job is right for you, and if you are truly on the right career path, how much of your deliberation revolves around who you work for? Sometimes we make career choices for reasons we think have an immediate impact on our lives, such as salary, job responsibilities or even the commute to work.

What you fail to pay attention to really, is the person you will be working for or with, and how much that individual may impact the quality of your overall work experience. You assume that because you got the job, had a good initial interview or made an immediate “connection” to the person who would become your boss that it’s all good. Not necessarily true. First impressions are important but remember in the early stages of any relationship, you aim to impress. That’s true on both sides of the interview desk by the way.

You may think that you have a good relationship with your boss but find his/her tactics a bit strange. Maybe they are not consistent in their messaging. Maybe they provide conflicting direction or no direction at all? Sometimes, you may find yourself second guessing a strategy or directive when you feel like you’ve been hurled in the direction of a dead-end street. Do you blindly follow? Do you question figures of authority? Or, do you stop, think and have the courage to reassess your actions? When it comes to leadership, what type of leader would you want to work for? If you find that you don’t spend enough time evaluating that relationship, think twice before you accept the next job opportunity and try to find out a little more about the person you might be working for.

It may seem like the job is all you are after. Keep in mind that the person who is part of your daily job life and who has the power to make or break your work experience should be a major factor in your decision to accept or reject a job, regardless of how close your parking spot is to the elevator. Your career depends on working for and respecting the person who would be your boss. Understanding how important that relationship is to your overall career goals implies that you not only value your financial package but you place a great deal of importance on the values of integrity and self-respect. The job may change but those overriding principles stay with you long after the boss is out of office.

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You Asked We Answered

Question: I've been out of work for a while. Do I take a job offer if the pay is awful?

Answer: Yes, taking a job, sometimes any job particularly if you have not worked in a while is good not only for your paycheck but for your mental health as you search for the job you really want. There is no shame in accepting work for honest pay. You are in transition and you need to remind yourself of that and not feel bad if the job you have now or are considering isn't willing to pay you what you are worth. There will be a job out there that will and you need to use all of your resources available including interim work to realize your goals. Taking a low paying job in the meantime may bruise your ego but it won't kill your pride or your wallet.