On Our Minds

Working with so many organizations across multiple issue areas gives us a unique view into what’s happening in the social sector. This is where we share our insights and ruminations.
Before you accept that job offer, consider this…
Job title, scope of responsibility, passion for the organization, compensation – these are all fine factors to consider when weighing a potential job opportunity. And of course you know that you should “like” your new boss, but is having a fantastic manager that important? Many candidates underestimate the importance of vetting their future managers before signing on the dotted line, and that can be a big mistake. So, why do managers matter? Your manager holds the keys to your professional growth. Your manager is the only person in your life who is expected to give you regular feedback and coaching. Until you’ve had an awesome manager, you may not understand the difference between “ok” coaching and “exceptional” coaching, but the gap is huge. Even the most self-aware person can benefit from another set of eyes and perspective on how to handle challenging situations, and those are the moments where professional growth happens. Additionally, managers often decide if and when you get to work on projects that will stretch your skill set. Great managers become great mentors. Career advice blogs are practically dripping with articles about how important it is to build your own “personal Board of Directors”. But – and this is the million dollar question – where do you find those people? You can use current and former managers as a “farm team” for that personal Board because they have direct experience observing your performance in a professional context. Don’t you want to make sure your future mentor has what it takes? Managers have a disproportionate impact on your overall happiness and health. We spend nearly 40% of our waking hours at work every week, so it makes sense that the effects of a bad boss would creep into the off-hours, too. Research has shown a link between bad bosses and elevated incidence of heart disease. Research also shows that a bad boss doesn’t just affect you – a bad boss can affect your whole family!