Team meetings — especially gatherings such as brainstorming sessions — are supposed to be a non-judgmental place to freely express ideas and get the ball rolling. But if all of your contributions are met with derision, scorn and dismissals from your boss then you know something is amiss. If you’re being ignored or — even worse — “shushed” during the creative process, then that’s a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
There’s room to be smart and savvy without turning into a total pushover. Find that middle ground.
The only thing worse than constant negative feedback from your boss, is no feedback at all.
At least when your boss is dumping on you, you know he/she still cares enough to say something. But if you’re handing in work on a consistent basis and getting zero positive or negative feedback, it could mean your boss doesn’t view you as a valued team member and therefore doesn’t care what you do. It’s possible your time could be limited and you’re not being coached up because your boss knows you won’t be around much longer.
SOLUTION: If you can find something else that’s a better fit, you might want to pull the trigger. But if you need the job and want to stay, you have to take matters into your own hands. Pull out your dusty copy of your employee handbook and find the section on employee reviews. Is yours way past due? If so, cite that in an email to your boss in which you specifically ask for feedback in the hopes of improving your performance. Couch it in a way that shows you’re ever-eager to evolve and improve. As an added bonus, it serves as written proof that you’re doing your part if it gets to the point of termination or HR getting involved.
1. You’re Assigned Menial Tasks
You worked hard for that bachelor’s degree. Even harder for the master’s. You have a sharp mind, a few years of experience under your belt, and you’re itching to get ahead. But it’s hard to do that when your boss views you as the office intern. Despite your qualifications, your boss has chosen you as his errand-runner, coffee-bringer and bagel-fetcher. Although you’re one of the hardest workers on the team, your efforts are being wasted on menial tasks because your boss has — for reasons known only to him/her — picked you as a whipping boy and personal slave.
SOLUTION: It all depends on your boss and your specific situation. If this is a highly competitive job that will be a steppingstone to a high salary position in a year or two, maybe you stick it out. But if you don’t want to quit yet can’t bear the thought of being a glorified intern, take some action. Make yourself a “brag book” and fill it with specific examples of your noteworthy successes while on the job. Then go to your boss and present him/her with it, asking for added responsibilities. Pitch a new project or idea you’ve been cooking up, and tell your boss you’d like the opportunity to pursue it.
Maybe you’ll still have to put up with fetching daily coffees, but if you make a big enough impression you can get promoted and escape to greener pastures sooner.
Know Where You Stand & Go From There
Everyone is different, our bosses are different, and no two situations are the same. The advice in this article will not be applicable to every single person who reads it. But at the very least, you need to know if any of these things apply to you because workers are often blind to the fact that they’ve fallen out of favor with their boss. No one wants to admit they’re not liked, and sometimes we bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is fine. But the sooner you realize you’re in a bad situation with your boss, the faster you can formulate a plan to either quit or confront your boss in the hopes of improving your lot.
If you have other examples of signs your boss hates you we didn’t list, please leave them in the comments section below.