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Working under a busy boss in building services is never easy. In fact, it can start to feel remarkably frustrating after some time, especially at moments where you’re in urgent need of guidance in a work-related matter. After all, without a boss or manager around, who are you supposed to reach out to for help?

Unfortunately, having a busy manager is more common than you think, and while there’s no real cure for it, there certainly are a number of steps you can take to help yourself deal with the situation and get the guidance you need. 

So, if your boss is too busy to support you, here’s what you should do:


Look for an Alternative Mentor


Your boss’s job goes beyond just telling you what to do. A boss or manager is more like a mentor; they’re supposed to teach you tips and tricks that will not only allow you to get the job done well but also encourage your growth as a professional so that you can get ahead in your career, and one day become a chartered engineer is you’re not already. 

However, when your boss is too busy to live up to their mentoring duties, you’re likely not going to be able to make any significant progress within your career. So, if you’d still like to learn new skills from your job, it’s better to find an alternative mentor rather than chase after your old one all of the time. 

Look around the office for someone who could help you when needed, someone from whom you can learn new skills and sharpen your work ethic.  

This new mentor could be someone who’s been at the office longer than you or the individual who held your job before you did, after which they were promoted. If you learn some helpful tips and tricks from them, there’s a high chance you’ll be in their shoes one day, too! 

Of course, because this person isn’t getting paid extra to mentor you, you shouldn’t reach out to them unnecessarily or eat up too much of their time. So, be sure to consider their boundaries when asking for help! 

If you’re new to the job, you already have the edge over others. Because you’re a newbie, your co-workers will be more eager to help you as opposed to an older employee. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to a new potential mentor, but do so with respect. 

There might still be some specific tasks that they cannot guide you with. In such cases, you’ll need to find a way to reach out to your boss, which brings us to our second point.


Schedule Meetings with Your Boss


In a normal scenario, your boss would be having regular meetings with you to ensure everything is on track. However, if they’re too busy for this, you’ll have to create a special meeting slot for them and have it added to their timetable. 

Try holding weekly meetings with your manager. If weekly seems like overkill, start with monthly check-ins instead. This will allow you to ask important questions and prep for the week ahead under their guidance. You should also create a shortlist of all the points you need clarification on and briefly let them in on it beforehand. Also, let them know how much of their time you’ll need. Chances are, if they’re aware of your exact needs and time requirement, they’ll find it easier to factor you into their busy day. 

If your boss has a PA, you can reach out to them for schedule assistance instead of directly approaching the former.


Adapt and Adjust 

To help them make time for you in their busy schedule, try adapting to your boss’s style. So, for example, if they’re more readily available through an online conference call, go for it. Or, if an in-person meeting suits them better, then roll with that instead. 

By making it easier for them to meet with you, there’s a higher chance you’ll get some essential one-on-one with them. 

You should also try and adjust to not having them around by becoming more self-reliant and finding new mentors, as noted above. 

If your boss’s reputation for being busy dates back to over a few months old, there’s a high chance that things won’t change, so you will have to. Luckily, this collection of tips can allow you to overcome the challenge of having a busy manager and get the support you need from elsewhere. 


Wondering if you’re being undervalued in your job? Evaluate some of the signs here.


Author: Alex Cole is a Specialist Building Services Recruiter with Responsum. He’s always interested in networking with Building Service professionals. He loves talking football, is hoping to get on the property ladder soon, and visits Tenerife every year!


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