My New Boss Hates Me!


After a company merger, I got a new manager directly over me who is the polar opposite of her predecessor, who I just loved working for. It’s been a few months, and I have a funny feeling that my new boss hates me. I don’t know what to do about it. Help!

Boss_Hate_iStock_000023671292Dear, From Elated to Hated,

Now, now; let’s not jump to conclusions. You may not have adjusted to your new boss’s completely different personality yet. Have you noticed any of these red flags?

  • You’re being micromanaged when others are not.
  • Your boss avoids you and doesn’t return your phone calls and emails.
  • She doesn’t make eye contact, has crossed arm “closed” body language, and rarely smiles in your presence.
  • She doesn’t ask for your input and dismisses your contributions in meetings.
  • She leaves you out of key meetings completely or hands plum assignments to others.
  • She doesn’t give you feedback – positive or negative.
  • Or, she criticizes you – constantly or in front of coworkers.

If you are experiencing several of these behaviors, you may be right: Your boss may dislike you. But it’s still early in the transition period. You may be able to win her over.

  1. Clarify expectations. Set up a one-on-one to provide your new boss an overview of your current role and ask if she envisions any changes. Bring your job description to see if she foresees any duties that will be added or taken away. Ask your new manager how you can be successful under her leadership.
  2. Boss_Like_iStock_000023669427Help your new boss succeed. This isn’t a one-way street. If your new supervisor was hired from the outside, you can help explain procedures and help her get acclimated. Without calling her out or embarrassing her in front of colleagues (“That’s not the way we do that!”), share your institutional knowledge and you may win an ally.
  3. Identify her personality style. If you’ve taken the DiSC profile or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in your workplace, you’ll probably be able categorize your new supervisor’s traits. Don’t judge her by your former boss’s best attributes; discover your new manager’s strengths. Read up on workplace profiles to learn how you can increase your effectiveness in your 9-to-5 relationship.
  4. Actively participate in meetings. Even if your ideas seem to be met with the enthusiasm of a wet blanket, continue to chime in with optimism. If you’re taking a “wait and see” approach, your lack of engagement in meetings may cast you as a non-contributor and possibly put you on the top of the chopping block list. Give your new boss a chance to get to know you and value your contributions.
  5. Be open to new ideas. If you want your boss to respect your opinions, avoid being negative about new perspectives or procedures your newly-appointed supervisor brings to the table.

Even though you and your new manager did not have the luxury of choosing each other in an interview and hiring process, you can learn to coexist and employ your differing approaches to your company’s advantage.

Readers: Have you ever had a rough start with a new manager? How did you improve the work relationship?


Getting the Cold Shoulder
6 Survival Strategies for a Job You Hate
Stay or Quit
Becoming the Boss: Advice for New Managers

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tiffany Lieu
    Mar 18, 2016 @ 13:09:10

    My previous employers were alright; at least I did not notice being ignored. And, when I had problems to address they promptly responded. Most of my employments were short-term though. Maybe you will encounter more managerial issues with long-term jobs. We definitely need good conversational skills in general to minimize workplace misunderstandings. Every once in a while I have seen workers ignoring each before, less with managers ignoring workers.


  2. Nancy
    Mar 15, 2016 @ 14:31:21

    My experience with this is listen to your gut. If a supervisor doesn’t like you it does not matter what you do. Do your best. Try to find a way to get along. But you will know soon enough, probably do already, that nothing you do will be enough. I knew when my boss wrote me up for having the stapler crooked on my desk and went inside my dresser, and said the inside of my desk was too messy. She kept putting more and more work on me and was upset when I still managed to accomplish it. I even covered for her when she made a mistake. No thanks given. I should have left months before, but kept hoping because I loved the job. If you have worked there 13 years and did well, then it isn’t you. I think you should do your best while there, but like someone else said, spiff up your resume, post it online, and move on down the road.


  3. pcburke
    Mar 15, 2016 @ 13:50:41

    Oh those little bells in our heads. I didn’t used to listen, I do now. Even if this seem fine , deep down you know somethings not right. I recently was involved in just such a situation and well it didn’t end well. So here’s what I found. One is that I live in a “at will” state. So In my case they really didn’t have to sweat for a reason. So familarize yourself with your state regulations. Also take a look at corporate culture. If your working for a bunch of business mercenary’s , you may be right to worried. Also you may need to familarize yourself with your new boss. In my case he was insecure and wanted to be surrounded with “his boys”. It’s not unheard of for a Manager to bring a few of his own with him when he moves into his new position. Don’t expect them to work. I had one follow me for 9 months and
    keep him posted on everything I did and a few things I didn’t do. Finally decide if you really want to stay with the company. In the event that you do get let go, take notes at your dismissal and have the head of HR there if you can. They usually don’t know whats going on and will be appauled at the whole event. Finally stay calm,and when they jump out of their chair and call you a blasphmer as they did in my case ,you can shake your head and know that you’ll be better off out of there.


  4. Toni
    Mar 15, 2016 @ 10:25:11

    I’m looking for an administration, teller or anything as to that line of work but I have no experience but 2 degrees in computers that includes Microsoft Office. How can I get experience without someone giving me the opportunity that I would do exceptional for there company?


  5. Baldip singh
    Mar 15, 2016 @ 09:48:45

    Do your job honestly ? and trust your self i done right job and keep you happy any way time being change Soon .


  6. Carole Anderson
    Mar 15, 2016 @ 09:08:44

    I recently had the “pleasure” of receiving a new boss where our personalities just did not mesh no matter what I did. Unfortunately she was my subordinate and became my boss and took my job so its not quite the same circumstance however I feel your pain and frustration. I did lose my job after thirteen years but was very lucky to find another position right away. Follow the suggestions given to you above and if all else fails, polish up your resume and move on. That may save your sanity like it did mine.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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