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What to do When You and Your Boss Don't get Along

Bookmark and Share Work can be miserable when you and your boss don't get along. Disagreements can be minor and easily resolved, ongoing personality differences or long-term disagreements that are not resolved. Here are a few tips you can try when you and your boss disagree.

Remain Professional

Despite your differences, always remain professional toward your boss, co-workers and job. Continue to do your best work, and don’t badmouth your boss to anyone.   

Perform Self-Reflection

It's tempting to blame your boss entirely for disagreements, but look at yourself first.

  • Pinpoint how you feel when you interact with your boss and what happens to make you feel upset.

  • Honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, you may be responsible for some of the conflict because you procrastinate or don't delegate enough.

  • Ask for feedback.  Your co-workers, teammates and boss can tell you when you're slacking or being bossy or if it's an issue like work style that causes conflict.
Use that data from your self reflection to find patterns of behavior or ongoing issues and to make a plan to address and resolve the issues in your control.

Meet With Your Boss

After you assess your behavior and responsibility, meet with your boss. Ask your boss where you fit in with the team and what personal issues cause problems. Remain humble, not confrontational, too, as you seek to understand and resolve any issues. If you can't find a resolution, take a break to re-assess and schedule another meeting.  

Meet With HR

Despite your best efforts, you may find that you and your boss are still unable to get along. That's when you can schedule a meeting with Human Resources. Share the facts about the disagreement and what you've done to address the issue then brainstorm solutions.

Manage Your Stress

Work challenges can create incredible stress in your work and home life. Take time to manage the stress in positive ways. Look for things to be thankful for at work, exercise, meditate, sleep and eat a balanced diet as you protect your mental health and physical well-being.

Walk Away

In the worst case scenario, you and your boss may be unable to come to a resolution, and you may need to walk away for your mental health. Apply for a transfer to a different department or take another job with a different company. If you switch jobs, consider asking someone other than your boss to be a reference for you, and don't badmouth your boss during job interviews.

7 Tips That Prepare You For a Layoff

Bookmark and Share Getting laid off from your job is stressful. Sometimes, you don't know when a layoff is coming, but if you have advance warning, take seven preparative steps.

  1. Update Your Resume

    If it's been a while since you've updated your resume, make time to do it now. Add any job responsibilities, new skills and other employment details that showcase your current professional abilities.

  2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

    Many employers use LinkedIn to check the job qualifications of prospective employees. Update your profile so that it complements your resume, and add any links, work samples or other materials that support your professional experience and qualifications. You should also connect with colleagues and managers from your current job so that you can contact them for job recommendations or referrals later.

  3. Improve Your Professional Skills

    Now's a great time to improve your marketability and expand your skills. Finish any certification classes or skill-training programs in your field or take an online course and become skilled at marketing, Excel, Photoshop or other skills that can help you land a new job.

  4. Negotiate

    Even though you face a layoff, you could have room to negotiate. Read your company handbook or employee agreement to find information about severance packages and negotiate a beneficial financial payout. You may also be able to negotiate for a partial paycheck or to retain other benefits even though you're no longer working.

  5. Continue to Work Hard

    You may be tempted to complain and rant against your employer because of the upcoming layoff, but choose to work hard, cooperate with others and remain professional. Your attitude could help you find favor with your bosses, postpone your layoff, land you a different position or  paves the way for a good referral for a new job.

  6. Increase Emergency Savings

    Because you won't have a regular income, boost your emergency fund savings now. Set up automatic transfers from your paycheck into your savings account, sell anything you don't need, stop using your credit cards and don't make any major purchases. You can also examine your family's budget and cut as many expenses as possible.

  7. Stay Positive During Your Job Search

    When you face a layoff, you may feel yourself becoming angry, stressed or depressed. Give yourself permission to mourn your job loss then focus on your skills and experience as you stay positive while filling out applications, preparing for interviews and looking for a new position.

A layoff is challenging, but you can successfully navigate the challenge with these seven tips. Discuss additional options with your Human Resources manager before you are laid off.

How to Write Professional Email

Bookmark and Share In a world of Twitter, Facebook and texting, email has taken a back seat. However, it's still an important communication tool for working relationships. Understand the basics of how to write a professional email as you stay connected at work.

Use a Proper Salutation

From the beginning of your email, establish that you are a person who understands courtesy and manners. To do that, address emails with the recipient's name. An example salutation is "Dear Ms. or Mr. Last Name."

Request Rather Than Demand

It's easy to use email to demand things from others. Consider requesting rather than demanding, though, as you keep your professional relationship and collaborative reputation intact. Instead of writing, "Place the report on my desk by five", write, "Please give me the report this afternoon."

Watch Your Tone

Written words are easy to misinterpret since you can't hear someone's voice or see their facial expressions. While you can't always predict when someone will misinterpret your email, you can read it before you hit send. Cut curse words and inflammatory language, and if the tone could be construed as sarcastic, rude, bossy or anything less than professional and courteous, rewrite it.


Spelling, grammar and punctuation don't always matter in personal communications, but they are essential for professional emails. Use complete sentences and proofread your emails carefully before you send them. If you're not skilled in this area, spend time learning the rules or ask a co-worker to help you edit.

Maintain Privacy

In your rush to make a sale or handle an issue, you may include sensitive information in the email or cc information that should remain private. Be sure to respect the recipient by not sharing his or her email address without permission or including an outsider in a private conversation.

Follow Up in a Timely Manner

An email overload may cause you to delay responding. Quick replies can improve your reputation, though, and symbolize that you value your teammates and customers. Set time aside each day to read and reply immediately to email. If you need more time to find an answer, let the person know and then be sure to follow up.

Remember That Email is Forever

Before you hit send on any email, remember that it is permanent. You can delete it, but the recipient may not. Take a minute before sending an email and only send it if you're okay with it going public.

 Remember your manners when you write email, and invest in your career and reputation.

Tips That Ensure You and Your Professional References are on the Same Page

Bookmark and Share The professional references you include on your resume should be people who can give you a positive referral. You may think your former bosses, supervisors or managers are on the same page with you, but what happens if they don't have your best interests in mind? Use several tips to make sure you and your professional references are on the same page.

Ask For Their Permission

Before including anyone one your reference list, ask for permission. The people you think will give you a referral may not want that responsibility.

Make Sure They're Available

Always verify availability with your references before you list them on your resume. You don't want to list a referral who has switched jobs or is too busy to talk to hiring managers. Be sure to get accurate contact information before you include a reference on your resume, too.

Remind Potential References of Who You Are

Your former boss may have helped to shape your career, but you could be one of thousands of employees he or she managed. Reintroduce yourself to ensure you receive an accurate referral. You can schedule a quick meeting, chat via Skype or forward supporting documents, including your resume, current job description, work history, strengths and future goals, via email as you make sure your reference knows you now.

Share the Key Facts of the Job

Let's say you worked in sales but are now applying to be a manager. Your reference may answer questions based on your sales ability and totally skim over your managerial skills. Tell your potential references about the job for which you are applying, share a copy of the job description and outline the reasons why you're right for the position so that they understand how to answer questions from potential employers.  

Find Out Where You Can Improve

Many hiring managers want to know the flaws of potential employees. Discuss the areas in which you need improvement with your references in advance. You don't want a reference to hurt your chances of landing a job because they share a long list of shortcomings.

Reply in a Timely Manner

It's unrealistic to expect a reference to reply immediately after receiving a phone call, email or online survey from a hiring manager, but that person does need to reply in a timely manner. If he or she delays too long, you could lose your chances of getting the job. When you talk to your reference, tactfully remind him or her that you appreciate their prompt response.