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How to work with your manager's shortcomings?
Nothing can make or break your career more than your relationship with your manager. If your manager is good at his job, he can help greatly help you. You can work around some of your manager's shortcomings but not all of them.
A good manager gives you assignments that stretch your abilities and make you learn something new. If your manager keeps giving you the same types of work, you should seek more challenging work yourself.
A good manager represents you well during promotion and compensation discussions. Most large companies do promotions and compensations on a regular schedule every year. If you have regular performance discussions with your manager over the year, you should know the manager's opinion of your progress. The manager should set your expectations. If you don't get the compensation or promotion you expect, you should discuss that with the manager. This discussion could tell you if the manager can represent you in the compensation and promotion process or not. Don't work for a manager who cannot represent you well in these career growth processes. It's time to prepare the resume and interview for other jobs.
A good manager gives you meaningful feedback. You should never be surprised by your manager. Some managers are afraid of confrontation, so they avoid giving feedback. You have to force the hand of such a manager, always ask for feedback when you complete a project. If you cannot get valuable feedback, even after asking, then it is time to leave that manager.
A good manager makes good decisions. If your manager cannot make decisions, you can use that to your advantage. You can make a decision and ask the manager publically to decide whether it is a good decision. A manager who cannot decide will not challenge your decision and cannot blame you for the outcome. If your manager can make mainly bad decisions, you will have a pretty bad time. The only upside is that higher management may replace such a manager quickly. Unfortunately, some employers can tolerate bad decisions for too long; and your career may stagnate as a result. If you work for such an employer, you should look for an exit.
What other manager shortcomings did you encounter in your career? Leave a comment, and I may address them in future articles.