How to Cope With a First Time Boss

Working for an inexperienced person can be challenging, but couple that with learning how to cope with a first-time boss can be downright frustrating if you don't know how to deal with the lack of experience. Giving the situation both time and patience can be beneficial to you in the long-run, though, as you forge a relationship with this person made out of trust and respect.


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    Start by being respectful. Mutual respect is constructive to all parties involved, and it will help you get off on the right foot with this person.
    • Treat your new boss as you would like to be treated.
    • Avoid office gossip surrounding this person.
    • Don't go over this person's head if you have an issue. Address it politely with him or her to resolve the issue together instead of trying to sidestep him or her.
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    Determine the communication style of your new boss.
    • You may prefer phone or face-to-face conversation, but a first-time boss may be right out of college and prefer email, texting, Skype, social networking or some other means of communicating.
    • Embrace the new communication methods, but don't be afraid to implement your own preferences as well. Finding a balance will be the key to happiness for both you and your new boss.
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    Learn the routine of your first-time boss so that you can make your timing not only appropriate but convenient when dealing with him. Popping into his office for something when that person has a regularly-scheduled meeting that he is already running late to will only cause internal resentment toward you. Instead, observe and learn his routine to be more timely with your interaction with that person.
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    Don't be overbearing with advice. Let the new boss know that you are available if he has any questions, but don't give advice without being asked. You don't want to come off as trying too hard or for making yourself seem better than that person.
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    Document everything as a protection measure. A first-time boss is bound to screw up at some point, but by keeping a paper trail of your correspondence, requests and more, you can ensure that the problem is not your fault or that the blame cannot be shifted back to you.
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    Perform exemplary and timely work to gain the trust of your first-time boss. By showing that you are a top performer, you can work to not be micromanaged as critically as others who are not holding up quite as well as you are.
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    Communicate with your new boss how you would like to be managed. If a certain way works better for you, after the initial introductory period has worn off, sit down and have an honest conversation with your boss about what learning and managing style works best for you.


  • Keep your patience with your new boss by exercising simple stress reduction methods. You can also put yourself in that person's shoes to gain more empathy for the situation.
  • If you are older than your first-time boss, don't be condescending or patronizing.

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Categories: Interacting with Bosses