In terms of work-life balance, this article is going to be more ‘work’ heavy.
So. You have a day job. I define that the same way Cambridge does, if we cut it down to the clinical aspects: it is “a job that you do to earn money so that you can do something else that you prefer but that does not pay you much money.” Generally, this is when we are working under someone else.
It is so, so crucial to work under someone who has your best interests at heart. It is also crucial to be able to have open communication with that person. My best day jobs (including my most current one) are thanks to a good rapport with my supervisor. And, likewise, my worst day jobs have been caused by fissures in that foundation. When I’ve felt like I haven’t had someone to go to, everything has fallen apart, ruining my life outside of work as a result.
It has become very, very important to me to maintain a solid relationship with my leadership in my work.
What does that mean exactly? How do you know that you have a winning supervisor? Here are a few prize-winning attributes. A good supervisor:
- Recognizes your accomplishments and appreciates them.
- Respects your time and space.
- Asks for your feedback and thanks you for it, even if it isn’t implemented in some way.
- Brings issues to you immediately in a courteous manner.
- Allows you to grow, even if it means it is out of a given area or company.
You can feel the difference between good management and bad management. You can see it in your department and among your teammates. Does poor leadership mean you should leave a given occupation? Not necessarily, if it’s work you really love, but it means that the onus is on you to know where your ducks are so you can keep them in a row.
There are also a few ways you can create a stronger bond with your leadership, including:
- Engaging them in a friendly manner in passing.
- Being prepared for interactions and proposing solutions to problems rather than just complaining.
- Asking questions about what you’ve been doing and how they see your work, including ways they think you may improve.
- Making your expectations clear about what you want from them.
- Be honest.
It’s really easy to want to slip under the radar, but that really doesn’t work for me, I’ve found. Over time, when crisis has arisen, I’ve felt better knowing that there’s someone in my corner who I can talk to.
What are things that you’ve noticed about your superiors in day jobs? What have been your best experiences? Worst?