How to CHOOSE your BOSS in 4 simple steps
I literally have a list of people I'd love to work for. A genuine, authentic list of people I have met who are professionally aligned (in both culture and ethics). Because from time to time, at a networking event, business meeting, conference or even a random crossing of paths I meet someone who inspires me.
Now I tend to choose my jobs (and employers) carefully, so I don't often find myself seeking new opportunities, but when I do, I already know who to call first.
Often candidates forget that applying for jobs isn't just about whether the employer likes you - it's about whether you like them too! If something doesn't seem right in the interview, or you feel like the company's values aren't aligned with yours, don't accept the job offer - go with your gut and wait for the right fit.
How to choose your boss:
Identify likely candidates.
Take note of those people you cross paths with but keep it realistic. Whilst we'd all love to work for Richard Branson or Oprah, think closer to home to start with.
I have around 5 people on my list of ideal bosses, one inspired me by the way he spoke to people. He walked into my office building one day and personally greeted every staff member (from the doorman to the executive team), he told stories that personalised the advice he was sharing and had everyone in the room (including me), engaged 100%. Another I met at a conference and she reminded me of who I might be 10 to 15 years down the track. She was personable but tough as nails and I found myself wanting to impress her.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Can you see yourself as them in the future? A great boss really doubles as the ultimate mentor. They are someone like you, who worked hard to get where they are. A boss / employee relationship is often most effective when they can see a part of themselves in you, and vice versa.
The greatest boss I ever had was someone I model myself on now as a leader. As the young, enthusiastic (and to be honest, naive) team member I was back then, I idolised her and the way she led the company. She never clipped my wings, and instead provided opportunity and challenges and I'd like to think one day that alongside the financial results and company successes, I'd turn out to be one of her proudest achievements.
Ask whether they can provide a pathway for you.
Are they committed to your professional development and helping you build a career? Don't choose a boss who will only ever see you as you are today, choose one who is excited about your growth and who you might become.
As a recruiter, I love identifying potential. I feel like the ultimate talent scout and that each new team member is an investment in the future of our company. Make sure your 'boss to be' feels the same way and isn't just looking for a short term gap filler.
I promise you - your recruiter has googled you! These days there is so much information available online. Check out their Linkedin profile, perhaps they've written articles or been featured in magazines. You'll get a good feel for who someone is by reading up on them and their business.
If you are excited by the job offered, feel good about the company vision, mission and values and are inspired by your boss - there's every chance you'll enjoy a long and successful career with your chosen employer.
Don't just take the first job offered to you - take the time and make the effort to ensure it's the right fit.
Happy BOSS hunting!