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  • Stephanie Arozoo

How to deal with a new boss

Throughout the year, many people are starting out at their new jobs. There’s always anxiety when you start at someplace new, especially anxiety about your new boss. Below are a few tips to handle a new boss effectively:

Learn the new rules quickly

Most people like to dig in their heels when a new boss takes over. Statements like “that’s not the way we do things here,” are not going to end well. New bosses bring with them new rules and their own ways of getting things done. So, learn the new rules and adapt quickly. Set aside some time to talk with the new boss one-on-one. Tell your boss that you want to support her, but you need to know what she expects and what you need to do. Also, take notes so that you will remember what the new boss wants.

Be patient

Some people are excited for a new boss to arrive because it means a new slate. They see this new boss as someone they can go to in order to settle their issues with pay/title/duties etc. But the last thing a new boss wants to deal with in their first weeks are an employee’s specific problems. Help your boss first and prove yourself in the first few months. After that, you can schedule a time to meet with him and ask for advice or help for your concerns.

Don’t back stab

The new boss likely doesn’t know anyone in the office that well. He may ask for help like approaching you and asking “Do you think Amy can do this task?” Try not to share the negatives like, “Amy is great with paperwork, but she just doesn’t do well when talking to clients.” Also, don’t take credit for other people’s work. We are not saying that you should always do this, because there may come a time when you need to call out a slacker or a troublemaker, but the first few months of a boss’ regime are usually not for the occasion.


This is a piece of old advice: repeat back to your boss what he just told you. For example, he asks you to send him a report by Friday, so you should say, “okay, just to be clear Boss, you need the report by Friday, printed and bound. I’ll start on this right away and email you on Wednesday with my progress? Does that sound alright?”

The thing is, when change happens, stay positive. Change is inevitable. Change is going to happen sooner or later. Instead of moping about it, put your energy into the situation to make it as good as it can be. A new boss can be a fresh start, but you need to remain patient and positive.

What do you do when a new boss comes into your office? How do you make such transitions a little smoother? Share with us by e-mailing to . We read every e-mail.

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