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5 types of bosses can make work a nightmare—here’s how to deal with them

By | Annika Kim Constantino |

Imagine this: Your boss is terrible enough to make you consider quitting your job, but you still need that paycheck. What do you do?

Three-fourths of U.S. workers stay with that bad boss because they need the salary, according to a 2020 survey by resume advice site ResumeLab. In the same survey, about 62% of respondents said they stayed despite a bad boss because they liked their jobs and colleagues, 59% said they didn’t want to lose benefits and 53% said they couldn’t find a better job elsewhere.

For those in such a situation, Tom Gimbel, a workplace culture expert and CEO of Chicago-based employment agency LaSalle Network, has a few tips for you. He says there are seven types of bosses out there — and while five of them can make your life a nightmare at work, you can still find ways to manage your relationships with them.

Here are those five types of bad bosses, from most to least common — and how to deal with them, according to Gimbel.

Grinder boss

A grinder boss works extremely hard and expects you to perform at their level, even if that’s an unrealistic request.

The key to working with them is openly discussing what they want you to achieve — whether on a daily, weekly or monthly basis — and creating a defined list of tasks that you can cross off as you go, Gimbel says.

Even if you can’t complete every task in the amount of time they expect, showing them that you’re working through your list “is usually enough to pacify them,” Gimbel explains.

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