My Newly Inaugurated Boss

Dear Lynn,

My boss was just laid off last week. Suddenly I have a new one, who got pulled over from another department, and is now doing two jobs. She’s totally different from my former supervisor, who I loved. She literally stands behind me and watches me work. It makes me sweat! I’m not sure she likes me, and I don’t want to be the next one out. Help!

— Jumpy

Dear Jumpy,
Lately, many people have new bosses due to consolidation and layoffs. Because a number of managers are now responsible for the jobs and duties of those laid off, it can sometimes feel like a “potluck” in terms of who your boss might be tomorrow – only a lot less festive. However, our country has inaugurated a new boss, too, so consider change as “the only constant” – and remember that change can bring opportunity, if you let it. It’s solely dependent on your mindset and actions, especially in the office.

I’m going to address “the sudden new boss” syndrome in my next blog because it’s become so relevant in a downsized corporate environment. But I’ll quickly point out a couple things here. First the good news. On the bright side, your boss may be trying to figure out how much supervision feels right for both of you, because it’s early in the game. But if you’re now being watched 24/7 by a more senior TOT™ (Terrible Office Tyrant) who is evaluating your every move, that’s a different matter. It’s time to diplomatically and constructively speak up – so you can perform your job (and save your sanity!)

If you haven’t done so already, offer to have a meeting with your new boss, maybe over lunch, about how you can best meet her objectives. You may have already addressed more superficial or project-focused matters in an orientation. But your means of collaborating is equally important. Without communicating this openly, it’s hard to be productive. One last bit of good news: you’re not the only one sweating this – which is why I’ll be addressing it in more detail. Stay cool!

Best regards,

Got a TOT™? You’re not alone! Dare to share your story at the TOT Blog with other TOT tamers in the making, while Lynn helps you: cope with difficult or childish bosses and office politics, and humanize your workplace™. Post your question for Lynn, and she will try her best to answer it in an upcoming TOT Tamer Advice Column or blog. Be sure to visit the Tame Your TOT™ website.