High school is the time when most teenagers get their first jobs…and that means they have their first encounters with a boss. For teenagers who feel that they know what’s best, having someone else besides their parents boss them around can be quite an adjustment. However, the relationship you create with your boss in high school can be essential to your success in the future. Dealing with a boss prepares you for the real working world and having a good relationship with your boss can provide a good recommendation for your next job. In some cases, the relationship with a boss can even be a mentorship of sorts that can help you find your true potential and learn the value of hard work.
However, sometimes the working relationship you have might be a little too close. For example, I personally am lucky enough to have a really cool boss. However, having a cool boss is not always as good as it sounds. So, what does it mean to have a “cool” boss and how cool is too cool?
What makes a “cool” boss cool?
Cool bosses are relatable. You as an employee should feel comfortable approaching your boss. I can talk about a lot of stuff with my boss, sometimes even more than I can with my own mom.
Cool bosses also give you freedom. As much as they feel like a younger, cooler parent, they have a business to run and don’t have the time to baby you. For example, my boss lets me eat and use my phone on the job. Another thing about cool bosses is that they can be firm but still nice. In my experience, bosses are only mean if they have to be. If I’m a little late and with a good reason, my boss understands. My boss even bought me flowers for my birthday! If I make a mistake, my boss tells me what I did wrong and what I could do to fix it. Cool bosses can teach you and be there when you need help. The best bosses not only give you chances to succeed, but genuinely want you to help you do so.
What are the downsides of having a cool boss?
However cool and “mom-like” a boss may seem, there is a line that cannot be crossed in the professional world. Sometimes, being too close can negatively affect you. Having a relaxed, personable boss is fantastic, but it doesn’t prepare you for the realities of work. Half the time, bosses will not be so nice in the real world and it might be a major adjustment.
Also, being so close with your boss can create an unnatural closeness. When it comes down to it, your boss is your boss, not your best friend. If you’re super open with your boss, you might hear more about your boss’s life than you want to or should know, and vice versa. There is a limit to how close you should be with your boss.
Relaxed bosses are cool at the time, but if your boss is too lax, it could negatively affect how you work in the future. You can become used to having a cool boss and getting away with simple mistakes that could be considered unacceptable by a future employer. You can develop bad habits, such as coming in late to work every day, which can stick and cause you to loose a future job you might be passionate about.
Even if you don’t have a “cool” boss, it is very important to develop a good relationship with your boss and learn good work ethics now. I’ll admit, some days my boss isn’t very cool at all. Naturally, I sometimes do get yelled at, but this just means that I have something I can improve on. Now is the time to make mistakes at work and learn from them. Your first job is a lesson. It teaches you not only how to manage your time, but it teaches you how to be a respectful and desirable employee. Having a cool boss does not always make a job easier. The most important part is to treat your employer with respect. Regardless of how “cool” they are, it is never okay to take advantage of them. Regardless of your type of boss, find the proper balance for a professional relationship. Remember, now is the time to develop important work ethics and good habits that will be essential to your success at any future job.