Have You Ever Left A Job Because You Just Couldn’t Work With Your Boss?

It's often said that employees leave managers, not companies. I heard it frequently when I worked in a large company, and I heard it again when I was a manager. Sometimes personalities clash and something has to give. Have you ever gotten along so poorly with a manager that you just couldn't take it anymore?

Photo by luckyracoon (Shutterstock)

Personality differences often cause people to leave a job, but when they interview for the next one they're universally encouraged not to mention that. That silence doesn't make the issue go away though, as the article linked below discusses.

So we're curious: have you ever quit because you just couldn't work another day with your old boss? What made it difficult for you to get along with them? Tell us in the comments.

Employees Leave Managers, Not Companies [Alaister Low]


    didnt quit but got transferred to another department. one of the worse people ive met in my life.

    Errr,.. I have a tendency to bring out the very best in people so.... hell yes..!! :}

    I don't know if this relates but I was in a position back in 2011 working for the "State Government" in which my contract ended (I loved that position, it was a shame it was a contract /maternity position otherwise I would still be there) and I found a new job working for a "Major Cancer Hospital" working at a procurement/purchasing officer in the supply department.

    Everything was fine at first as everyone, however I found my self butting heads with the department manager as she would use the phrase "this is the way we have always done it" and due to this mentality I couldn't suggest ways to improve our operational practices, and considering my background these were simple changes which to me made sense.

    Because I'm inexperienced in having this happen to me as my opinions were always taken on board and implemented, this shook my confidence and I had a point in which I had major anxiety and actually hated going into the office, from this point I knew the end was coming, unfortunately I was "Let Go" before I had the chance "To Leave" I then found out after this occurred the person that replace me left in a shorter time frame that I was there.

    To me this is showing the perfect example of the Manager was inflexible and causing people tension that makes people leave.

    The down side for this the GFC v2 happened soon after and I have struggled to find a new job ever since.

    Yes, I had to leave a job because of my manager. Apparently he was "afraid" of me and was thinking that I was here to take his job .... As a matter of fact, I was doing his job before he was hired as the company was new and they were building the IT department. So I has to do some knowledge transfer on how do his job. He was paid 3 times more than me as I was too young to do his job (which I had done for 6 months and setup most of the procedures).
    I think some company do not understand that if you have a bad manager, you'll get nothing from the employees. The company where I am now value everyone, and if a manager is not getting good reviews, they offer to train them and even cousel that person if need be. To let go someone is often the last result but they've done everything so solve the issue in the long term.

    Of course.

    When you feel like the person in control of your development and progression doesnt care about either of those things, you have to do something about it.

    One problem I've found is that there is rarely a formal process to deal with a bad boss. I got hit by a double-whammy of two bad project managers simultaneously. The first was totally incompetent - they were employed in an IT oriented consulting role, and they couldn't use word. I don't mean that metaphorically - they couldn't get there head around formatting and the like. I ended up doing there job for six months. The other meant well, but was completely directionless - they hated making even basic decisions and would pass it down the chain. They just weren't ready for a senior role.

    Between the two, a massive Government project was at risk (hence two project managers), so the rest of the team - eight people - called a meeting with the managing director, which was sat in by the board. They heard us out - after all, there were eight staff to corroborate the events.

    They gave the incompetent project manager employee of the month. The company lost the contract two months later, and folded not long after.

      We did get a small payout when the company folded, so it wasn't all bad though.

    People stay at bad companies because of good managers, and leave good companies because of bad managers.

    I once left a job after 3 months because my boss literally had me thinking I was losing my mind. After giving notice I discovered that (a) my colleagues were running a book on how long I would last and the longest anyone bet was 6 weeks and (b) my boss had received (and kept!) several letters from people she dealt with expressing concerns about her mental health. Worst professional experience of my life.

    I didn't want to leave the company so had to survive as long as I could under the worst possible manager. He bullied and harassed me to try to get me to leave. When applying for internal jobs he would sabotage my chances by giving bad references (even tho I did not put him down as a reference).

    Eventually after formal grievance process and bullying training for my boss I finally got a job in a different department.

    Still scarred by these events.

    I have just left my job due to an awful boss. I loved the work, most of my colleagues, the clients and the projects I was given, but my boss' people skills were so awful, I couldn't overlook them any more. I know he was happy with my work, as many of the managers who quit while working under him had let me know. He was too dysfunctional to tell me directly, and never rewarded anyone's work. He didn't have enough backbone to fire an exceptional workplace bully he hired, so we all had to suffer the bully as well as him. He would take out his bad temper on whoever was in the office. He once threw my work across a table at me, swore at me and never apologized, even though he knew I wasn't at fault. He once went three days without speaking to me at all, even though we worked in the same room.

    He's the owner, so he's the only thing which will never change in that company, which is why I left. I could barely drag myself out of bed to get to work towards the end, and avoided speaking to him at all as my hatred towards him had become so strong. When I thought about the situation after a particularly bad day, I got so frustrated I typed up my resignation and quit the next day. He freaked out and pleaded with me to extend my one month's notice because I was so vital and would be so hard to replace. A bit late to tell me that.

    Now I'm unemployed, and about to run out of annual leave to live off. Any stress I feel about my current employment situation doesn't amount to 10% of the stress I had working under my old boss though.

    Worked for a 'meh company in North Sydney but had some fantastic managers that kept me there for 2 years. Eventually the CEO removed them all and replaced them with his cronies, After that it took barely a month before I left.

    What goes around comes around I guess, the board got rid of them a little while later, but the damage was done.

    Last edited 13/02/13 6:41 pm

    YES! i left cause my boss was taking me for granted and paying me peanuts, my next job i got payed double doing the same line of work!

    Before where i am now, i was working for a smalltime ISP in Blackburn, Melbourne called Day3/Clear Networks as a helpdesk analyst. I was offered a job which i was in desperate need of but from day dot, i was treated like i wasn't important (by the manager). The job lasted 3 months (the time of my trial) after which i was fired on the last day. The whole time i suggested things to the manager, ways to improve processes etc, helping out other staff who obviously needed help but all this went unrecognised. The manager, was not at all computer literate and spent most of her time surfing Ebay for dresses and clothing and yacking with the girls in the accounting department. At the time of being fired and escorted from the building, i was told they thought my lack of knowledge was unacceptable (mind you i was teaching others who had masters in IT) and made up stories about how i was looking for other jobs and work during working hours. After being fired, a friend i made there told me he'd found out about a bet most of them had about how long I would last at the company, being the only Aussie working for the Helpdesk. I also found out, the person they had replaced me with left 2 days after being employed and so did the rest of the helpdesk analysts over the following weeks. Goes to show how much they cared about their employees. Mind you, it was a blessing in disguise for me as i now work for a world-wide security company and am loving every minute!

    I left the restaurant I'd worked at for 2 years because my boss had a gambling problem and was stealing money from my till, knowing that I'd be blamed for losing the cash and would have to pay it back.

    The last job I was at, the boss was never happy unless he was angry and had someone to take said anger out on. I watched as his anger and the taking out of said anger went from one colleague who was released, to another who was hired to replace him & then released, and then on to me.

    In the end I was working 40 hour weeks, then doing another 20-40 hours on top of that just trying to look for additional chargable work I could do. Well, either that or for new clients themselves because he didn't seem interested in doing that either.

    He was only interested in looking after his pet client (that he spent most days at) and finding excuses to be angry at the lowest person on the ladder (which previously was others, but was now me). The stress became too much, and eventually I quit for my own personal sanity.

    Best decision I made in regards to that job, even though it was followed up by 6+ months of being screwed around by jury duty and hence nobody else being interested in me with 3+ month trials potentially looming.

    I work in a state health job. I was really excited to work with my manager, who I'd met in meeting and always appeared wise, unflappable, funny and best of all, patient focused. Some workmates had talked about occasional funny run ins with him before, but I thought that was just a quirk between their personalities. How wrong I was.

    He turned out to be a massive, hysterical bully. He would make disparaging remarks in front of the entire team about whether I cared about patients or not, fly off the handle over a test result that had been chased for him weeks ago (that he couldn't remember), insist that something was incredibly important and needed to be chased for the coming week and then totally forgot about it, and made ridiculous demands that would be more appropriate for private investigators than for clinicians. I discovered that my 2 predecessors had the same problems with him.

    You can imagine my delight when my expected transfer after 6 months was withheld (despite telling my head supervisor about these issues) and I was sent back to work there for another 4 months (it was only 4 because an overseas clinician finally made it in).

    When I told the head supervisor that I was not going to stay in the position and discussed our reasons, he said not to use the term 'bully'. Actually this was pretty pragmatic, as my bully supervisor was always incredibly careful to never swear and to make the comments superficially about the quality of my work - so I would be the one who came across as a hysterical bully. It took me a while to get over it, including starting antidepressants - I think it was much more grating that nothing really changed and my head supervisor didn't really get it.

    I got transferred out but am keeping a close eye on the situation now for my colleague.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now