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How Can I Prepare for a New Boss?

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Preparing for a new boss before she arrives lessens your stress and increases your chances of starting off on the right foot. Whether you're starting a new job, getting a new manager at your current job or dealing with a co-worker's internal promotion, you'll need to decide how to approach and interact with your new supervisor. If you prepare yourself in advance, you're less likely to make a mistake and give your new boss a bad first impression.

Current Job

Begin preparing for a new boss on your current job by putting your old boss outside your mind. Whether you liked or disliked your old boss, you risk bringing in those feelings if you compare the two. For instance, if you liked the way your old boss worked, you'll feel disappointed if your new boss has a different approach to the same activities. Research the new boss by asking people who've worked with her before so you have an idea of what her personality is. Use any information you get to adjust your interactions accordingly.

New Job

Dealing with a new boss at a new job is challenging because you're in an unfamiliar environment. Prepare yourself before your first day on the job. If your job has a dress code, for instance, make sure you have the right clothes. You'll want to showcase your professionalism from the start to make a good impression. While nervousness on a new job is understandable, prepare to project confidence and ask questions. Making mistakes because you were too afraid to ask for help is never a good sign to a new boss.

Inside Promotion

You may encounter awkwardness when a former co-worker is promoted to a supervisory position. You'll need to adjust your interactions to reflect the new work hierarchy if you didn't have a good relationship with your co-worker. Since she's now your boss, you must respect her authority and accept her new role in the company. If you liked your co-worker but felt as if you deserved the promotion, leave those feelings of disappointment out of the relationship. You may need to look for employment elsewhere if you're unable to adjust to your former co-worker taking charge.


Sometimes, despite your prep beforehand, you have to adjust to your new boss as you go along. If you get information on your new boss before she arrives from former co-workers but see a different personality than was described, you'll need to deviate from your planned approach. Do the best you can in your work and be honest and open with your boss to develop a good working relationship.