I'm a Gen Z worker and I'm not getting along with my new boss. What should I do?


As a relatively new employee, I am feeling lost and adrift since my previous boss left the company. Initially, I thought that getting assigned a new boss could be a good opportunity to learn different things and work with a new manager. However, that has not been the case. While I like my new boss as a person, they don't have much time for me or show an interest in my professional growth. I miss my old boss who cared about my progress and development. Even though I know my old boss is not coming back, I need to adjust to the new work setup. I want to know what I can do to change the dynamic of my relationship with my new boss.

Firstly, I am lucky that I had a great first boss who invested in my development, treated me with respect, and supported me. However, the boss-employee relationship can be challenging, and I may not always be as fortunate as I was with my previous boss. I need to take control of the situation and "manage up." This means cultivating an effective relationship with my new boss by adapting to their preferences and earning their trust. This approach will make our work lives easier and increase my chances of recognition, raises, and promotions. 

To start, I will ask my new boss open-ended questions during our next one-on-one meeting. Some of these questions include how they want to communicate with me, how we should check in with each other, their process for assigning projects, and how they prefer to collaborate. If my new boss doesn't ask me these questions, I will volunteer the information needed to foster a productive partnership.

To address the issue of an unresponsive or uninterested new boss, it is best to be direct but gracious in communication. Instead of making demands, present observations and potential solutions, such as suggesting a daily summary email or check-in call. It is important to stroke the boss's ego by asking for their input, but ultimately let them make the final decision. While it is common for bosses to not prioritize their employees' career development, it is important to find additional mentors and build relationships across the organization. Additionally, be patient and take the time to get to know the new boss through regular communication and bonding over common interests, without forcing anything. Overall, it is important to be kind to oneself during the adjustment period.

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