Bad Bosses Don’t Get Better

When I worked in corporate America, I was the queen of “it’ll get better” when it came to bad bosses. I told myself that if I just worked harder, asked better questions, or knew more, then their bad behavior would stop. If I did the right thing, my manager would know how to be a better boss. I’ve convinced myself that people could change over and over. 

My therapist calls it a high tolerance for assholes. My best friend says I shine turds. I mean, they’re both right. 

I have an exceptionally high tolerance when my paycheck and standard of living are on the line. We all do. There’s a certain level of crap we expect to take from people because they get the title of co-workers. I still remember being told to put my head down and be patient at my first job. 

But it happened at every single corporate job after that. Everything started out great; my manager was singing my praises because I was a high-potential leader! Then, I’d point out an inconsistency or bad management behaviorsI’ve never been good at biting my tongue.  Instead of fixing the problem or addressing it with the manager, they would give me a new title: trouble maker.  

Those “be quiet” lessons and harsh labels started with the generation before us; people who were holding out for a pension and retirement. Just getting by at work paid off back then with pensions. 

Dealing with bad bosses doesn’t pay off

That’s not the world we live in today. Nothing is holding us in a lousy job besides expectations and all the lies we tell ourselves about how people will change. The lies we tell ourselves when we pretend we aren’t brave. Bravery is a muscle we flex – one that needs exercise. We have to be bold on other’s behalf, then brave all on our own for ourselves. 

That’s the best part about being a recruiter. You get to be brave to fight for someone’s dream. When you’re in it, you can change everything for someone else. This role is about advocacy – for our companies, for the best option, and for people who want a better life. 

Don’t forget it. 


Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for,, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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