At my current workplace, my boss is severely hands-on, so much so that he has practically trained his employees to wait on his decisions and responses for almost everything that they do (while complaining of this fact, but that's another story).

I get it: some people are micromanagers and in some instances, micromanaging may be a good thing. But in this case, regardless of experience, skill, aptitude or otherwise good characteristics, everyone is micromanaged (except for when they aren't, but that's another story).

However, my boss' behavior might be particularly damning to me, given the 'high-level' position I have in our company. Were I to go somewhere else and be expected to hit the ground running, I feel personally that I would find this ingrained behavior hard to shake; e.g., always waiting or asking for approval, not showing initiative or taking the risk to make good assumptions due to those behaviors being punished here.

I think it may be my greatest weakness, and thus my greatest area to improve upon-- making decisions without worrying if they are 'just-so' or 'exactly what was expected, (when that wasn't communicated)', and an area to gain confidence in.

Is this something that I should bring up in an interview, e.g., 'My previous position was one of constant oversight, but now think that this is the right time to try to stretch my wings, and this is the right place'? Should I eventually talk to future employers about this, or HR? Or should I avoid this topic entirely and deal? Any tips on how to nix this behavior in myself?

Thank you all for your time.

  • 1
    Why do you think or feel that this is something you should bring up with future employers?
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 19:38
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Why is it not a good idea to "badmouth" a previous employer?
    – gnat
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 20:18
  • @DarkCygnus I am just thinking about being asked 'How do you deal with an overbearing boss?' or 'What have you done when your superiors stressed you out?', etc. And how to answer those kinds of questions and deal with a possible repeat situation in the future. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:02
  • @JoeStrazzere You're right in that I haven't had many bosses in my professional career, and as the only boss I've had in the industry I'm in, I worry about my current employer's lasting effect, and if it's really just me (i.e., assholes are the norm everywhere), or it's him (not everyone is assholes). Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:05
  • @Metalgearmaycry you are right that putting up with behavior like you've described will hurt you, because it starts to seem normal. At least you are recognizing that it will be something to overcome. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


There is no benefit to you in bringing this up during a job interview, in fact it would probably hurt your chances. Also, there is no need to talk to HR or anyone within the company about it if you are hired. It is something that you need to work on correcting.

As for advice on correcting this behavior, it seems like you may be using your boss's micromanaging style as an excuse for your own lack of initiative. Even if your boss needs to approve of every decision and move that you make, it is still up to you to make those decisions. You can always run your thoughts by the boss if that is what he requires but you need to work towards doing things on your own rather than waiting for someone else to tell you what to do.

  • I can see why you would say that. The issue is that things that were done correctly last week, are suddenly being done incorrectly this week, while nothing has changed. Decisions that he asked me to make are vetoed when presented, and then used later on. He has asked my opinion, only to ridicule me in front of my team and coworkers. And this doesn't extend to just me, this is our whole office. And yes, I once had initiative, and drive, but it was all for naught, as everything I did wasn't perfect enough or good enough, even though I was told 'You're doing a great job'. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 21:54
  • @Metalgearmaycry Sounds like your boss is a psychotic jerk. I would search for a better opportunity, you won't have these issues with a normal boss.
    – sf02
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 21:57
  • I hope not, and thus my OP-- trying to unlearn this learned behavior. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 21:58
  • That sounds like an awful situation. You just have to chuck your old baggage and ask enough questions at the job interview to lower the chances of you working for a terrible boss again.
    – jcmack
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 0:49

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