I’ve had a few jobs in life.  I don’t know that I’d call them ALL career-track jobs.  In fact, some of them have been quite the opposite of any career path I’ve gone down.  But bills have to be paid and habits have to be fed.  I can think of a couple jobs that have been perfect for me, and a couple that are probably only on my list because I needed work, or because I ‘knew a guy’.  In all of my jobs, I’ve noticed that the boss makes or breaks the job.  I’m just now starting to process this thought, so here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

1.   Bosses at good jobs know that environment plays a major part in how the employee feels about the job.  If the environment is sterile and inhuman, people feel uncared for.  (Joe vs. The Volcano)

2.  Bosses at good jobs know that they don’t have to be best friends with the employees.  A safe leadership/staff boundary is healthy.  (the opposite of Michael Scott from The Office)

3.   Bosses at good jobs treat employees with healthy respect.  Employees need to know that the boss thinks they’re valid and important, both in and out of the office.  (the opposite of Buck Strickland on King Of The Hill)

4.  Bosses at good jobs share criticism without stabbing employees emotionally.  Criticism is always easier to take when it’s constructive and not pointing or full of blame.

5.   Bosses at good jobs give incentives to do better work.  Notice it doesn’t say to do good work.  If and when employees attain what is defined as good work, they’ll stop getting better.  But when employers ask for general improvement rather than specific numbers and goals, they’re empowering the employees to strive for more and better and faster and stronger.

6.  Good bosses encourage creativity and allow employees to work with creativity rather than try to force it.  When employees (and creative people in general) are allowed to let creativity flow freely, sometimes the 9-5 hours aren’t the best place/time for it… and good bosses allow creativity to drive rather than be stifled.

Maybe you don’t care about what I’ve noticed about bosses.  And maybe this is right up the middle for ya.  Either way, now it’s on the internet, so there’s nothing you can do to stop it.