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3 ways to spot a bad boss before you take the job

Sharon Florentine | July 16, 2014
Horrible bosses are all too common -- there's even a movie about them. Here, three experts weigh in on how to spot a bad boss before you accept a position and offer tips on how to make sure you're making the right employment choice.

'At-Will' Employment Goes Both Ways

If you do end up in a situation with a bad boss or a poor working environment, it can be helpful to know if your state supports the idea of "at will" employment, says Bryant.

While "at will" statutes empower employers to hire and fire as they see fit, employees can also benefit, especially in a booming tech industry market where employment's plentiful, he says.

"If you're in an at-will employment state, you're not bound or beholden to the company to stay, or even to give two weeks' notice if you decide to leave," Bryant says. "Especially in IT, it's a bustling economy and you can walk away; with a low unemployment rate, it can be much more productive to find another situation than to stick it out under a bad boss or in a bad work environment," he says.

"Always remember to 'run to' a job for the 'right' reasons," says Cleverbridge's Aiken. "Even if you're currently in a bad situation, make sure you're taking a job opportunity because it's the right thing for you, not just because you hate your current situation," she says.

That said, it can happen that sticking it out under a bad boss or in an otherwise less-than-ideal job situation is worth it if it opens doors and clears the way for even greater professional and personal growth and advancement, says Azzarello.

"From my own experience, I worked under a boss who was a walking red flag," she says. "But that position and the experience I gained opened up so many more opportunities for me later — jobs with global scope, with increasing external responsibilities, rapid advancement. So, you should always gauge the pros and cons and decide what's the best for you and for your future," Azzarello says.


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