What’s Most Important: Right Job or Right Boss?

It’s great to have choices but what if it’s a quandary?

Who's the Boss?One job offer is a role that fits you to a “T” with a boss with an awful reputation, the other is a poor-fit job with a well-regarded terrific boss.

While some thrill to have any job offer, figuring out which of these to take can be tough.

The right role fits you like a glove; it’s got stretch when you need it, and plays to your strengths, not your liabilities. That sort of fit – the type of thing upon which Gallup’s Strengths Finder approach is modeled – means you are in “your element” not a “fish out of water” most of the time.

A wrong job fit? You’re fighting most of the time to do things that others take for granted as easy, working twice as hard to accomplish half as much. It plays to the things that take you the most energy and has little of the elements in the role that make you shine.

A wrong boss can make the best day feel like the worst; micromanaging when you don’t need it, leaving you alone when you could use a life line – or two. A bad boss can under rep you –  “It’s not bad work for a first try” – when other’s work pales besides yours.

A right boss on the other hand – like the saying about a “bad day’s fishing is better than a good day at the office” – can take the sting out of stumbles and the worst of misfitting roles. The job may be out of your sweet spot and a good boss will thank you and support you to keep on moving forward.

Forbes quotes the following research by Mercer as well as Accenture regarding why people quit their jobs – all which is directly or mostly boss-related:

  1. “They don’t like their boss (31%),
  2. A lack of empowerment (31%),
  3. Internal politics (35%) and
  4. Lack of recognition (43%).”

Lack of job fit, according to a different survey by Gallup, is the reason (just) 20% of respondents quit their jobs.

No one ever went to the mat for a great job. Lots of people have given their 110% for a great boss.

If you have a choice, choose the right boss, wrong role instead of the wrong boss, right role.

Life Back West is an occasional set of writings focused on ways people, teams and organizations can be both more effective (doing the right thing) and more efficient (doing the right thing well). More about executive, career and team / leadership coaching services can be found at the “About J. Mike Smith and Back West, Inc.” sidebar or the “Hire Me” tab. You can also read an online interview with me at WhoHub.

Who’s the Boss? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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