If you want to keep your job for a long time and enjoy it too, here’s a word of advice I learned the hard way. Don’t outshine the boss. It will not help your career. In fact, it can make your life miserable. The boss hired you to do things their way or perhaps they hired you to come up with a better way. But in most cases, no one wants to be “shown up” because it threatens their own livelihood.

I’ve always preferred to work for people who are smarter, or more experienced than me. That way I can learn new skills from the best in the business. But from time to time, there are those in supervisory positions who got there because they were good at their old job and someone else thought they’d be a good fit as a manager. It’s not always the case. The term, “The Peter Principle” is alive in well when it comes to the corner office. I’ve worked for people who were related to the owner, or managed their way up the ladder with few skills. They knew the right people.  It’s a fact of life.

If you work for someone who is less experienced or not as smart as you, you can do the following: you can quit and try again, or you can grin and bear it. Grinning and bearing it is not that hard, unless of course you work for an unbalanced bully. But for the most part, it’s best that you figure out quickly which buttons not to push, and how you can best succeed without becoming a martyr.

Do your job well, but not so well that a jealous boss can get their nose out of joint. Do not outshine the master.