What Have You Learned From Your Boss?

Happy National Boss’ Day to you all! Whether we like it or not, chances are the majority of us have bosses “(to the self-employed, you have a boss: it’s you!), and today is the day to thank them.

Thank them for who they have made you as a professional, no matter how they’ve done that. Ann Marie Klotz posted a great question this morning on Twitter, and it really got me thinking about my life as an employee, all the jobs I’ve had, and how those experiences have made me who I am.

Think about it. In the best cases, your boss has been someone you can learn from. Whether he or she creates intentional learning opportunities, or sets an example for you to observe, you can learn from your supervisor. In the worst, there is an equally powerful lesson. Just as I tell students being in an internship or job that you don’t like isn’t a loss, but an opportunity to learn what you don’t want to do, a boss whose style doesn’t work for you is a way for you to know (a) how you don’t wish to be managed, and (b) for some, how to not manage those who work with you!

I’ll end this post with a few lessons that I’ve learned from my bosses over the years.

-It’s okay to have a bad day at work, so long as you rebound from it and can still be effective.

-Always make sure you have paper and something to write with at an event. Guaranteed, if you don’t, someone will need you to write something down.

-Find an office culture that allows you to be yourself. You spend a lot of time at work, you should work in an environment that supports your quirks, your strengths, and occasional silliness.

-Do whatever it takes to develop the people that work for you. Invest in them. Whether that’s time, energy, or sometimes money, they will be better for it and so will you.

-And lastly, as a nod to my former internship supervisor/good friend, “You can’t wear pajamas in here, this isn’t college.” (Those who work with me know I take work attire very seriously now!)

To echo Ann Marie’s question, what is the best lesson you’ve learned from a supervisor?

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