8 Things to Look for in a Great Boss ...

I'm picky when I look for a new job, I admit it. Working from home makes no difference, I still need a boss with whom I can communicate. And I have been pretty much the luckiest girl in life in that regard, because I have incredible bosses who are fair, fun to talk to, informative, and always fair. If you want to be lucky in your professional life too, check out these 8 things to look for in a great boss!

1. Appreciation

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A good boss always appreciates his or her employees. A good boss listens to suggestions and ideas, takes problems seriously, and appreciates the work that you do. You don't get that feeling of impatience or expectation, i.e., “I'm not going to praise you doing a fantastic job on this product, it's the least I expect,” or something like that.

2. Well Balanced

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It's great when you can be friends with your boss, but he or she also needs to keep up a professional balance. Being your friend is great but it should never interfere with his or her ability as a leader, and it's not a good idea to step over the line. Now, this means different things to different people. I love randomly emailing my boss, or receiving random emails – but at the same time I know that I shouldn't take advantage of that, and your boss shouldn't either. So, text messages and emails are awesome; texts and emails during dinner are not (ahem, this applies to the Better Half's boss, by the way).

3. Realistic Expectations

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A good boss needs to have realistic expectations of his or her employees in any given expectations. Newcomers should not be expected to know everything right out of the gate, for example, and you can't be expected to master a new system of doing things in five minutes. A good boss also realizes that you can only handle so much pressure before the proverbial pot boils over.

4. Listens

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If your boss never listens to you, honestly and seriously, that might be a deal breaker. I'll be honest, it is for me. It's important to be able to go to your boss with issues that you might have, even if you can't talk about things in your personal life. Professionally, you need to know your boss is listening and taking your issues seriously.

5. Laughs

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It's also great when your boss has a sense of humor and isn't afraid to show it. I love a boss who laughs. It makes them altogether more personable, so they seem like human beings instead of hulking Persons in Authority who can, you know, sack you.

6. Remembers the Little People

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Do you remember thinking in high school that your teachers obviously didn't remember what it was like to be fourteen and all your teachers thinking theirs was the only class you had? Well, you don't want a boss who doesn't remember what it was like to work up through the ranks. Those folks tend to get major attitude, and somehow act like they were born, full blown, as a Person of Authority. Whatever, you know that particular boss probably spent due time flipping burgers or bagging groceries back in the day.

7. Understanding

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Empathy is an important quality in a boss. If you're a leader to other people, you have to be understanding, not just of work related problems. You also have to understand that your employees have lives outside of work, and those lives can make an impact on work sometimes.

8. Shares the Credit

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Finally, you don't want a boss who takes credit for your ideas or the ideas of your coworkers. That's just dirty and vile. A boss who shares the credit and acknowledges your hard work is definitely the best boss to have.

It's really not hard to find a boss who manifests all these qualities. Most are actually quite reasonable, as long as you do your work and do it well. Of course, there are horror stories out there. Do you have any? I'll share my worst boss story if you do!

Top Photo Credit: Boyan Yurukov

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