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 behaviors. I’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.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.