Working With Busy Bosses – Accept the Challenge and Reap Benefits


The Tension

For many of us, getting a good, sound sleep at night is perhaps a rare thing to happen, particularly, if you are past fifty, and particularly if you are in a job full of tension, tension meaning each minute of your day in office, you being on your toes. I for one like such a situation for the reasons that the work keeps you fully engaged throughout, you have nothing else to worry other than your work, and with your full attention focused on accomplishing each of your talk in the best possible manner not only to the satisfaction of your boss, but also for the satisfaction of yourself, bringing to you a feeling of fulfillment. At least, this is how I have found in my case.

Loss of sleep – make use of them

As for the broken chunks of sleep which I regularly used to get, I could use them to ‘think out of the box’ – other than thoughts concerning my work. Several of my articles have resulted out of such fresh thoughts which came to me during such sleep breaks, which normally occurred around 3 a,m. (may be the mind is more fresh at such an hour) And, on getting up in the morning I used to take special care to retain those thoughts in my mind, so that, on getting to the office, I could straightaway dictate to my PA.

Think of the benefits

I had the opportunity to work as a Secretary to one of the busiest Secretaries in Government. Besides holding a top position in Government, he also happened to be a top scientist and was also associated with various scientific bodies in various capacities. Normally such busy bosses wear multiple hats and expect their secretaries also to possess qualities of effectiveness and excellence. While just thinking of having to work with such a busy boss could produce some fear in you, one really forgets the vast knowledge and experience one would get through such opportunities. While being selected for such a posting, many of my friends warned me of the consequences of possible break-downs and ruining my family life. Added to this was the caution expressed by the boss, for those aspiring to work with him, through his words at a gathering of all employees, ‘it is customary for me to work on Sundays and holidays whenever I am in town’. None of this, however deterred me in my opting to accept that position; rather, I was thinking within myself, ‘oh how great, I too will be busy and be able to learn many things and will soon be rich with experience – all of which could contribute to my own improvement and advancement in my career.

Vast opportunities

Thus, I was really able to see the opportunity ‘through my mind’ (which is the title of a recent book I have published) and my strategy paid off very well. From a Private Secretary to Secretary to the Government of India, I could hold positions like Under Secretary to the Government of India, Officer on Special Duty in the Secretariat of the Science Advisory Council to Prime Minister, Chief Personnel Officer, CDAC, Joint Director in the Government, Director in the Government, Senior Associate in a Public Limited Company. What wonderful opportunities I would have missed, if I had shown hesitation to join the busy boss.

Excellence at work – other advantages

Not only that, many of these appointments actually came to me, since I could virtually ‘create a demand for my service’ and other officers ‘wanted me’ very much. And, the vast experience covering a wide variety of work bestowed me with a rich reservoir of thoughts which I could convert into articles on a variety of subjects which got published in several leading newspapers/magazines etc. – the number growing to75!

I could also earn appreciations from all my bosses – many of them eminent scientists and top bureaucrats in Government. I could cherish all these and, by ruminating on these achievements, I am now able to motivate myself, at the ripe age of 76, by finding topics to write on and sharing with others which act as a tonic to my frail physique.


If you have to work with a busy boss, don’t back out, think of the benefits, think of your own advancement in career and all the splendid opportunities which will unfold before you which will enhance your career advancement.


About cvsubramaniam

Former Director, Department of Electronics & Informatiin Technology, Government of India.. Authored Book on Human Resource Management. Published 80 plus articles on HR, Management, S&T, general topics.
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