Supervisors have a unique set of responsibilities. While they do not have the same level of authority as owners or senior executives, they are still responsible for guiding a team, accomplishing personal and professional goals, and inspiring others to become better. Doing this can be a part of an exciting ride. But, that is not always the case for everyone. While no leadership position is perfect, there are times when leaders begin to hate their position.
Discovering that you dislike being in a supervisory role can be disheartening. You might have worked hard to attain the position, or perhaps you were thrust into it without much choice. Regardless of how you arrived there, if you find yourself resenting your role, you must address this issue head-on.
Avoidance can lead to decreased job satisfaction, burnout, and ineffective leadership. Here are some steps you can take if you find you are hating your role as a supervisor.
Why Some People Hate Being a Supervisor
Being given the responsibility of leadership is an honor. As a supervisor, you wouldn’t have been given the position if someone didn’t believe you were capable of doing a good job. Being a supervisor also has its perks. There are usually monetary benefits, gained experience for future positions, and being able to help a team reach goals.
However, there are many reasons why someone may learn to dislike their position:
- Required to work longer hours
- Held accountable for failures
- Managing different personalities
- Not getting along with management or team
- Unreasonable expectations
- No passion for the work
- Employees are taking advantage of you.
While there are many more reasons why people dislike being a supervisor, only the person holding the position can say for sure how it is affecting their life and well-being. If you are someone who no longer likes what they are doing in this role, there are some things you can do right away to help or change the situation.
Take Time to Self-reflect
If you find yourself saying that you hate your role as a supervisor or manager, one of the first things to do is to take some time to self-reflect. It is easy to blame everything and everyone around you, but first take some time to understand your own feelings, expectations, and actions.
Firstly, consider your preconceived notions about leadership. Often, our ideas about what a supervisor should be are shaped by past experiences or things we’ve heard in the media. Maybe you’re unconsciously comparing yourself to an idealized version of leadership. This could be causing feelings of inadequacy or discontent.
Next, assess your comfort level with the responsibilities within your role. Overseeing a team requires a balance of providing guidance, resolving conflicts, ensuring productivity, and nurturing team growth. Do you find any of these areas particularly challenging or draining? For example, some individuals thrive on guiding and mentoring their teams but dread resolving conflicts.
Take a look at what you want to do, and what you love to do, and compare those to what you are asked to do as a supervisor. Are those things incompatible? Maybe they’re not now but are there skills that you are willing to work on? By pinpointing which aspects of the role are most troublesome, you can work on strategies to address these specific areas. Also, by understanding more about yourself, you can align your strengths with your responsibilities.
In essence, self-reflection is about understanding the ‘why’ behind your feelings. By doing some self-reflection, you can gain clarity on your challenges and devise a plan to address them effectively. This clarity not only benefits you but also your team.
Is It the Role Or the Company Culture?
One of the things some new supervisors assume when they begin to dislike their position is that the role is the problem. However, that may not always be the case. Many factors contribute to someone disliking their position within the company. One of the things everyone, no matter the position, should question is if it is truly the role or the company and its culture that makes the role difficult.
Some supervisors will find that their leadership style is not in line with what the company values. For example, you may be a person who arrives at work on time and is ready to work. However, some members of your team may not take that same approach. If your bosses and fellow leaders do not enforce tardiness policies, it may be hard for you to do your job.
This creates a conflict within yourself because your working style is not compatible with the company you’re working for. This doesn’t necessarily mean the supervisor position is the issue. Perhaps you just need to work for a company with a culture where you can thrive.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if the company you are working for is the right one for you:
- Does this company share my values?
- Do they act upon those values?
- Am I able to get along with my employees and fellow leaders?
- Do I feel like I’m making a difference?
- If I were to leave my supervisor position, would I still want to work for this company?
Asking yourself these questions may help you identify if it is the culture or the position that you dislike. From there, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about your future.
Find a Mentor
Navigating the complex terrain of leadership can be daunting. Having an experienced mentor to guide you can make a significant difference in your journey as a supervisor. A mentor can help by sharing their experience, insights, advice, and perspective. Many leaders feel better knowing that there is someone who can relate their struggles and concerns.
When you can talk to someone who has faced similar challenges, and their hindsight can become your foresight. Hopefully, this will help you sidestep potential pitfalls or address issues more effectively. For instance, if you’re having an issue with your decision-making, a mentor can share strategies that worked for them or shed light on what didn’t.
A mentor can also help you set goals you should have as a supervisor. Another thing a mentor can offer is someone who believes in your abilities. A mentor’s faith in you, along with constructive feedback, can alleviate feelings of impostor syndrome or self-doubt that many new supervisors experience.
Being in a leadership position can be stressful. One of the reasons why our jobs feel so difficult is because, as leaders, we are not doing a great job at managing that stress. Instead, we allow the work and the responsibilities to overwhelm us. As a supervisor, this could be contributing to the feeling you may have about hating your position.
It is important to prioritize self-care. Especially if you are in a high-stress leadership position. Taking care of yourself while on the job and outside of work can help minimize the negative feelings you have around your job. Learn to set boundaries with your bosses and employees so that you are not adding to your stress. Also, learn to delegate tasks so that you can balance your workload.
Outside of work, learn to disconnect from your workweek. This means avoiding doing work on your days off and taking time for doing things you enjoy, spending time with friends and family, and getting plenty of rest and recovery.
All of these things may help you deal with the challenges you face as a supervisor. Over time, taking good care of yourself may improve your mental health. You may even come to enjoy your job more.
Reevaluate Your Career Path
Many times, when a person makes a career move, they have certain expectations. These expectations usually concern what the new position will entail and its future prospects. Supervisors who are not happy with their position should reevaluate their career path to see if this position is still part of the plan or if there should be a new plan.
Consider what you genuinely want in a career. What tasks or roles ignite your passion? What would you like to be doing in 2-5 years? Will this position help you get there? It might be beneficial to engage in career counseling or take aptitude tests to gain insights into roles that better align with your strengths and interests.
At some point, you may have wanted to grow within the company but those desires and goals may have changed over time. Take the time to understand where you want to go and how this position will help you get there.
Also, be open to exploration. Whether it means seeking a lateral move within your organization, looking at opportunities in different industries, or even considering a complete career change, remember that your professional journey is uniquely yours. Staying at a job that you hate may not be the best thing for you or even the company you work for.
Disliking your role as a supervisor is a challenge, but it’s not insurmountable. Also, just because you hate a job now doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for it. By taking proactive steps to address your feelings, seeking support, and focusing on personal growth, you can either find a renewed sense of purpose in your role or pave the way for a career change that aligns better with your passions and strengths.