Mindset of working with a boss/supervisor


Hi, I have just re-submitted my PhD thesis (with corrections). While I wait that decision, I have started to look for jobs. But there are some things that are holding me back.
I had an extremely stressful relationship with my PhD supervisor. She constantly bullied and harassed me. So, my confidence took a major hit. Since last year I started volunteering for an organization that does really good work. I enjoyed the work and I made some friends. But the boss in that organization was narcissist and egotistical that led to the entire team resigning in just a day, last week. I left too but this has also brought up feelings of insufficiency of working with a boss.
Unfortunately, since the last 8 years, I have been working with bosses who were bullies and I ended up being bullied/harassed. I feel very very underconfident that no matter where I go, I will always have a problem with my boss/manager. I am a straight talker but I try to be mindful while speaking so as not to hurt others. Maybe there's some problem with my mindset.
I don't think this mindset will help me especially now that I am looking for new jobs, starting a career after my PhD.
Did any of you face this? How do I heal from here? Where do I go from here? How can I change this?


Hi anne_with_an_e
Congratulations on submitting, and best of luck for your award decision! This is extra specially impressive by the sounds of your supervisory situation, and given that you were volunteering in a harsh work environment at the same time, so I think you should be very proud to have overcome that to complete a whole PhD. 2/2 bad relationships with managers really sucks, but bear in mind it's only 2! Try to remember that, in addition to leadership positions being somewhat enriched for narcissists and sociopaths, academia and charity are 2 somewhat unorthodox sectors where bad leadership can often go unpunished because of the extra prestige politics. It's easy to over-analyse your own possible role in a bad relationship, especially as a courteous and thoughtful person, but remember that the rest of your volunteer team thought your boss was a nightmare too! I would recommend working on your boundaries: I have a difficult supervisory relationship (though not abusive), and my dad's advice was always to ask myself "what's in it for me?" Moving forwards in work remember that not only are you providing something for a company as an employee, but the job is supposed to enrich your life also (even just financially). It sounds like you try to be reasonable with superiors, so be clear with yourself what you're willing to give, in that sense, and what treatment you expect in return. If you feel you need professional support to rebuild confidence then don't hesitate to seek it out, but otherwise just allow the people in your life (even fellow forum users!) to remind you that you are about to get a doctorate against some steep odds, and for that and probably many other reasons you deserve respect from yourself and your bosses! Have faith!