“Don’t pick a job. Pick a boss”

By Las Rodrigo, Head of Recruitment, Links International, Macau

You may have seen the captioned quote on LinkedIn before and might have even commented on it.

When I saw this, given that I work at a recruitment company, it really got me thinking about what is actually more important.

We have all been there at some point; we have worked for someone we don’t like. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as: they are lazy; they are never around; they don’t really seem to do anything; they make unrealistic expectations; they demand that you are there all the time, and so on.

So, for this reason, many people may decide to move on and approach a recruitment agency to look for another role.

We talk about career advancement and making the step up to be important, and of course the all-important monetary value attached to this. However, as statistics show, salary isn’t the primary motive that causes people to make changes in their career; more often than not, people move because of their boss.

Therefore, when you are looking for another role, what exactly do you look for and what points should you be following?

Here are a couple of points from my own personal experience that you should consider looking at when thinking about a job move:

  1. Research your prospective new manager.
    I don’t just mean on LinkedIn, but also look at how they are viewed in the market. What are they good at? Have they undertaken and led any significant projects? How well known are they? Do they display leadership skills from an outside perspective?
  2. When you are interviewing with them, trust your gut instinct.
    So the interview is going well, you have good rapport and the job fits what you are looking for. Can you grow into this role? Can you expect your boss to manage you appropriately? Will this role stretch you? Don’t just look at the role – will your new boss support you?
  3. Do you respect your prospective line manager/boss?
    This is important, because if you don’t, then you will not perform to your potential if you cannot get any inspiration, or ideas on how to improve.
  4. Do you think you can be honest and give him/her feedback in the future?
    It’s vital that you can do this without feeling threatened by someone or also the threat that your career will stagnate if you give constructive feedback.
  5. How long do you expect to be in this role before advancement?
    You shouldn’t be expecting a promotion within three months (unless it has already been agreed), but neither should you be committed to a role for five years without growing, particularly if you feel your boss is holding you back. Be upfront about your realistic ambitions and discuss your expectations.

With all this in mind, don’t just go for the role that sounds great, if you will have a boss that is going to run you into the ground and not give you any rewards or appreciation. It’s important that you look for someone who you feel you will respect, because this – more than anything else, any job title, big salary etc. – will give you the career fulfilment you are looking for as well as providing you with natural development.

Everything else will follow.

Links International specialises in recruitment across the Asia-Pacific region. If you would like any career advice or would like to speak with us about how we can help take your career to the next level, please don’t hesitate to contact me.