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What to tell potential new employers? Current boss from hell

(18 Posts)
CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 16:51:45

Name changed as regular. Been working for a company for a few months. Boss is narcissist. Sneery, patronising, drama llama you name it. I am looking elsewhere. As I have only been in job for a short while, what info should I give potential new employers regarding reason for leaving? I would prefer to be professionally honest. Never had to leave a job for this reason so am wet behind the ears in this respect. Help please.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 09-Apr-13 16:56:40

I had one of those jobs, apart from being rude and abusive he was hugely unprofessional with clients and never paid me on time.

I said I didn't get paid on time and that appeared to be acceptable, it helped the cmopany really wanted ot hire me and would have regardless.

Use a professional reason, either he doesn't do something that all companies would normally (ie pay on time), or that this role is not utlising your full skill set and you want something that fits better.

Play it by ear during the interviews, just don't slag him off.

CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 16:58:10

Thanks Fuzzy. It is a nightmare. Boss swings wildly between praising work and then tearing a strip. It is stressful to say the least.

BettyandDon Tue 09-Apr-13 17:01:50

I had really bad feedback from an interview once after I said my old boss was unethical (he was this and a complete twat - didnt say that obviously). I wouldn't say anything about him personally. You will always encounter complete twats in the workplace and you do need to work with them unless they are doing something illegal.

I think I read somewhere that 20% of people leave their jobs due to their bosses. I've had at least 3 absolutely ghastly people to work under. Not sure how you can escape it though.

Bessie123 Tue 09-Apr-13 17:03:55

You could say that the job isn't what you were led to believe it would be and it is not what you want to be doing. Be prepared to elaborate if asked but do not slag your boss off, it will be seen as unprofessional and you might be seen as difficult.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 09-Apr-13 17:08:25

I would also try to give reasons that didn't reflect the behaviour of your boss. Whilst you know that he is in fact a nightmare, when I'm interviewing if I hear such tales I'm going to wonder whether actually he is fine and you're actually oversensitive/irrational/the drama llama in this situation.

That said I have recently hired someone who explained to me one of their previous moves after a short stint was due to their nightmare boss so it isn't necessarily a killer, but best avoided if you can.

Phineyj Tue 09-Apr-13 17:09:41

Gosh do you work for my old boss?! In my case as it became obvious so quickly the job was not as described and as I had a freelance project running alongside, I got a bit creative with the dates on my CV (no lies, just vagueness) and have never mentioned that company ever again, as there was no obvious gap.

CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 17:10:27

Thank you Betty and Bessy, I was concerned about making myself appear difficult. I am not, and avoid confrontation. I need to get out of there. It is not a healthy environment. HR have offered to support me to confront boss but I have no doubt it will just make things much worse. It's a shame, the company itself is great.

EasterHoliday Tue 09-Apr-13 17:11:00

depending on the industry you're in, it's entirely possible that a new employer would know your boss's reputation anyway - I've certainly interviewed people and said that I fully understand why they'd want to move from a role. But I would be very unimpressed if they used that as an opportunity to slag them off - even if they are a card carrying w*nker.
The faster you move, in some ways the better for future cv as you can just leave it out but a simple explanation that the role is not what you were led to believe it would be from interview should do it and you can then build on that to say what you're good at and what you want out of a role going forward - turn the negative into a positive.

CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 17:12:20

Thank you Bingo and Phiney. It's not a creative environment. I am happy to go down the road of "not what I thought".

CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 17:14:51

Thank you Easter. I would look to move out of the area I work in. It's PA work so there are hopefully more diverse areas.

EasterHoliday Tue 09-Apr-13 17:24:35

ah, well you say that you were offered a PA role but it appeared to be much more team secretarial with an emphasis on shorthand and audio typing which didn't allow you to use your superb organisational skills or something along those lines?

CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 17:30:40

Thank you Easter and thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it. flowers

carabossse Tue 09-Apr-13 17:56:02

Show you're making a positive move. The reason could be that the job's not as described or whatever you're comfortable saying, but be clear that you've tried to resolve things with your current employer, that unfortunately there's no resolution possible in the foreseeable future and so you're moving on quickly. Positives to this are
recruitment costs could be lower - any agency fee may be reduced if you leave quickly
your new company haven't wasted time and money training you when you know you'll leave eventually
you're not the type of person to do nothing about the situation while moaning to colleagues and causing low morale in your team / department.

However before leaving, have you sounded out HR about other roles? Their first choice will of course be to try to keep you with the nightmare boss but if you're clear that's not an option they may want to keep you... It's a difficult one especially if you're new, on probation and lets face it, could be fired easily and that's why I wouldn't make an official grievance through HR. I've seen it to many times that HR ignore a known awful boss, persuade some vulnerable bod to make an official complaint "we can't do anything otherwise" - bollocks - and then the complainer gets fired or whatever, because guess what, the crap boss knows how to fight, is very political and that's why they get away with it. (Assuming here that your boss was just as bad to all your predecessors and has an in-house reputation.Ignore if you think that's not the case.) Sorry to be negative but I wouldn't like to see you make an official complaint and look for other roles while going through a disciplinary procedure or possibly after being fired and explaining that to prospective employers.

CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 21:24:17

Thank you Carabosse. I have asked HR if there are other positions but nothing at the moment. Probationary period is over. I suspect boss will play dirty, he/she (not saying as I'm paranoid!) is very ambitious and will stop at nothing to get to the top. Although I have more than proved my worth, complaining about he/she will only get me more abuse, more sneering, more aggression - I know it. I was in an abusive relationship and I know the signs. It's not just me who suffers this person, it is others around as well. I think they are all too scared to say anything.

hermioneweasley Tue 09-Apr-13 21:29:04

Carly - sounds awful. Also the PA relationship is very personal so I don't think it would reflect badly on you if you said it wasn't working out, but I absolutely agree that yo shouldn't slag them off as it will look unprofessional. Good luck!

CarlyRichards Tue 09-Apr-13 21:31:48

Thank you Hermione. It is awful. i dread each day wondering what mood boss will be in. Things can change in an instant - and then back again. This thread has given me a lot to consider.

carabossse Wed 10-Apr-13 19:30:53

Ok if your boss is generally known for this behaviour there's a political reason it hasn't been dealt with before now. Weak management maybe, I personally wouldn't take on the fight.

If you feel able to post about particular things that you find difficult about working with your boss we may be able to help with coping strategies to keep you sane while you're still there.

How's the job-hunting going?

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