It’s natural to think that the most frustrating boss is the one who stands over your shoulder every moment of a project, asking if you’ve thought of this and remembered to check that. However, it can be equally challenging to work for a boss who is nowhere to be found.
Picture this: Every time you say (or think), “I’ll just run that by my supervisor,” no one’s there. So you alternate between deflecting the questions you know you aren’t supposed to answer, making executive decisions you aren’t positive you’re allowed to make, and trying to figure out the best way forward by yourself.
This is a sink or swim situation. Some people feel unsure what to do and end up doing nothing. Some people take their newfound freedom too far and learn after the fact that they took the project way off course. And a third group of people find a way to adapt and make it work.
In a previous job, I worked for someone who was too busy to be my supervisor—so I taught myself how to complete projects that would meet his expectations without needing too much oversight. Steal my steps if you’re in the same situation and struggling to succeed.