I felt some changes within me that sparked my desire to search for a new job.
I not only sought new opportunities and challenges, but I sought new mentors and leadership that could propel me in my career, rather than hold me back.
You know what I’m talking about, right? My supervisor, y’all. That’s what I mean. I did not agree with his leadership style and did not feel comfortable as an employee working below him.
I’ll be honest, I did have my moments of power struggle where I wanted to preserve my control, autonomy, and individualism, and admittedly, some disputes were of my own making.
A successful relationship between an employee and their supervisor is one in which compromise exists; where the supervisor can see the best in their subordinates and empower them in their strengths, and employees can demonstrate the willingness to trust their supervisors’ proficiency and experience.
Unfortunately, I felt my supervisors’ style was one of rigidity, not being open to new ideas, and being unable to take into consideration any perspective other than his own.
I did not respond well to his authoritarian demeanor. My creativity felt confined, all in the name of “because he said so;” my sense of empowerment was nonexistent as his approach was to hand me a to-do list for the day; and the biggest disconnect that I felt was the relationship-building component that I feel should be at the foundation of every type relationship.
If you don’t care about the person/people you’re serving as a leader to (and it is apparent), you’re not fit to be their leader.
As you can see I care deeply about this matter, and I do not take lightly what the role of a leader should be.
Nonetheless, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, as he’s young and learning. I recalled past experiences where I held leadership roles but could not meet the demands of it, because I, too, was young and learning.
However, as a fervent aspiring leader, I hold onto the belief that in order to be a good leader, I need to be a good follower.
So, I became in search of an experienced leader that was open-minded to and respected ideas and worldviews that were different from their own; a leader that I would be happy to serve and be a better employee to.
Once I had worked through my inner feelings of petty power-struggles and the internal conflicts that I was dealing with as a result of what I felt was poor leadership, I felt ready to leave.
I came to accept the situation for what it was and I realized that I, too, had to be open-minded to other worldviews. Even though I didn’t agree with it, it was his style. And harboring negative feelings towards it was unproductive.
But staying in a situation that I felt was not in alignment with who I understood myself to be and what I prefered to experience, was also unproductive.
Thus began my job hunt. So, I prayed for, had faith for, and already started giving thanks for a job that was perfect for me.
AND BOY DID THE UNIVERSE DELIVER.
I interviewed once and I knew that first job was it
I was seriously appalled at all the right spots my soon-to-be-manager was hitting.
- He expressed understanding of the fact that we (employees) have lives, and as such, “shit happens” – for lack of a better word. He even gave an example about his previous assistant, and how she was a single mom and because of that, he was willing to be flexible with her (before I told him that, I too, am a single mom.)
- He expressed his style of respecting other people’s ideas and being open-minded to changing existing systems, so long as they proved to be effective and efficient (like, HELLO!)
- He also expressed that he did not believe in creating an environment where his word was the last one and no one else is allowed to disagree or express their own thoughts and ideas on how things should be done.
It’s almost as though the universe was saying: “YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND.”
This experienced showed me how important it is to understand your potential supervisor’s style,
- You don’t want to compromise what you’re looking for in a supervisor, you need to have a degree of mutual understanding of the relationship dynamic, and you need to make sure that you are both a good fit for each other.
- Your relationship with your supervisor is probably the MOST important thing next to the work that you’ll be doing because it has major implications on your sense of enjoyment at work and your ability to improve on your skill set.
- Your relationship with your supervisor can make or break your ability to have opportunities for advancement and promotion.
So, I’m going to boldly say – chose your supervisor wisely. Put that at the top of your checklist when considering what you’re looking for in a job.
Ask for it, pray for it, have faith for it, and give thanks for it.
Talk about living life intentionally, eh?