Floating Icons on Left Border

How To Shine at Work When Your Boss Doesn't Stand Up For You?

  • 29th Nov'21

They say, "Picking the right boss is far more important than picking the right job"! Anyone with corporate experience can understand the intensity of the words in the quote. It is always fabulous to have a supportive boss who mentors you and creates a robust ecosystem for you. But sometimes it isn't our choice when things happen. And the trouble keeps snowballing when your boss won't help you in any situation.

You might want to argue that your professional competence should be enough to earn you recognition and pave your career with opportunities. While that is true for about 70 percent of your career chart, the remaining 30 percent is dependent upon people in your immediate work circle. Bosses, supervisors, colleagues tend to influence your career even if you are an achiever. Their recommendations can take your career to great heights while opening doors of immense possibilities. Sadly, an unsupportive boss can induce pressure and lead to job burnout in their employees. So, how to shine at work even when your boss doesn't advocate for you?


Things To Do When Your Boss Doesn't Help You

Look Into You

When you realize that your boss is not being supportive, the first thing you must do is look into your actions to see if you started on the wrong foot. Are there loopholes in your work? Go deeper and assess the reasons for their attitude. 

Seek help from colleagues or other managers if you miss out on the work standards and request performance feedback. These can help you get a perspective of how things are and what they expect from you, giving you a clear picture of your responsibilities. Eventually, with your commitment, you can lead (even when you have no power) with your boss. 


Build an Ecosystem In and Out of the Organization.

While the notion of impressing your boss is convincing, denying other people's attention is not. It's essential to build networks within an organization. Your relationship with your colleagues and other managers really counts. You may not realize the value they bring right away; however, looking out for them and all the teamwork pays off at the right time. 

Establish a connection with immediate clients, vendors, and customers too. That will earn you great feedback and enrich the work culture by depicting care and support at the workplace. Either your unsupportive boss will eventually stand up for you, or their ignorance would not matter to you anymore.


Increase your Visibility

When you work diligently, people cannot un-notice you. Ensure you are on track and cross your targets well before the deadline. Assess your performance chart and improvise where you lack skills. Build up your profile by exposing yourself to different projects and expanding your circle. Reach out to other mentors and sponsors. Once you establish your stance with your exceptional work quality, you will get help. Your work standards need not be bound by limits. 

Stretch yourself in the direction of more creativity and focus on providing solutions to the organization's problems. Once you set up a standard, everyone will agree with you, including your difficult boss.


Don't Ruin your Mental Stability for Acceptance

It may happen that however hard you try, you will never fulfill your boss's requirements 100 percent. Do you know what you should do then? Let it be! When you try more than enough, you seem vulnerable, and it affects your work quality. You can seek help from other managers, hold a one-on-one meeting with your boss to discuss the reason behind their behavior, or simply not care. 

What matters, in the end, is the satisfaction of doing a job and doing it right. And if someone you seek out does not support you, you will have to change your focus to another mentor. Seek management's help in politely joining other teams or projects or asking for a counselor's intervention.


Shift your Focus to Important Matters

Yes, your boss may be an influential person, and his views might matter to you after all. However, gaining his attention should not be your only goal. People's behavior is highly unpredictable, so you must focus on matters that mean much to you and the company, like the organization's objectives, your personal career boost, and your work relationship.

It must be challenging to break your limits and have someone advocate for you, but if you stay updated and put in the exemplary efforts at the right place, it's not impossible. Create a simple diversion that could eventually add value to your career, like coming up with an easier way to do something within a project. You can also assess some faster strategies within your team to see if it works with all members and suggest them for implementation.


Draw A Line

It is okay to make things work around an unsupportive boss for a certain period so that they see your dedication and eventually advocate for you. But remember, it cannot go on forever, nor should it take a personal turn. Any boss who drives you crazy by questioning your every move within the organization, making it tough for you every single day, or continually doubting your intentions isn't worth the trouble. They are not even worth the wait and so know when to quit. 

Draw a line and excuse yourself from people who demotivate you and kill your energy. After all, a life valuing others' opinions is silly.


Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

Post Your Comment

Actions speak! So to top up what Shellye said, remember you don’t work for your boss. You work for an organisation. Understand your company’s objectives and map your objectives/ actions to it. You will see things changing in your favour. It’s not easy to deal with an unspportive boss so my advise is don’t deal with it. Just do your things right. Rest will be taken care by itself!

2022-07-14 23:41:14


How do you handle a situation when a coworker makes a negative comment about a protocol that you followed but yet your boss does not stand up for you

2023-11-07 17:57:33