How to Work for an Interim Boss

First thing to note: it’s going to be no different than working for your regular boss. You should still treat them with respect and do the work they assign because while they are only temporary, the things they say to their replacement are not. If you were an unprofessional sloth the whole time the interim boss was there, then it isn’t going to bode well for you once the new boss puts you down for naughty on his or her list. Imagine that you are working for your permanent boss because the reputation you have with the interim boss will be passed along to the replacement.

Be professional, do your job, be on time, respect your boss and coworkers. The same rules that apply for working for a permanent boss apply to working for an interim boss as well. That being said, there are a few things you should avoid doing while they are there. Being interim means they aren’t going to be there forever so don’t come to them with problems that won’t exist until after they’ve gone. If you ask the interim boss to get the last week of the month off but they’re leaving in three days they’ll say this to you:

“If it were up to me it would be no problem, but I’m not going to be in charge then.”
Or
“It won’t be up to me but I’ll put in a good word for you.”

Either way, you’re going to have to talk to the new boss about those days off and it’s up to them to decide, so don’t bother the interim boss with it. It’s unprofessional and shows you have trouble understanding what’s important and what isn’t.

However, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Say it is January and you need November off because you’re going to get married in Tibet. If your interim boss isn’t leaving until September then you should absolutely approach them about this. But when you do, explain to them that you understand they will be gone by that time and you’re hoping he or she can tell the new boss that this plan has been in the works for months and not just a whim to take advantage of the transition. This is the right way to go about talking to your interim boss and if he or she is a decent person, then everything will go over smoothly.

To recap, the interim boss should be treated just as professionally as a permanent boss would. Everything should run the same; the only difference is what you approach him or her with and what you don’t. These are very minor changes and shouldn’t be too difficult to implement, but not doing so is highly unprofessional. Whatever this boss thinks of you will be passed on to the next boss, so behave accordingly.

Have you ever had an interim boss? How did it go? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of WordPress blog

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About Bane Srdjevic

Bane is a Purdue graduate and has been through a lot of the trials and tribulations every job seeker goes through. He is looking to spread his knowledge so that other job seekers don't make the same mistakes. Learning by doing is fine, but knowledge is king.