Having a bad boss is a problem. Working for a manger that hates you is a disaster.
Dealing with an undermining boss is a nightmare.
The Business Careers team recently went over all the signs that you boss hates you. However, in some cases, actively disliking you isn’t enough — your manager will actually go out of their way to harm your career.
Working for someone who wants you to fail puts you in a very dangerous, tricky position.
However, it’s not always obvious that your boss is actively working against you.
Here are some signs that you ought to start watching your back when it comes to your boss:
1. They throw you under the bus
Something went wrong and now your boss’s superiors want an explanation. Instead of taking some accountability, however, they place the blame squarely on you or your team.
This isn’t just a demonstration of their inability to accept responsibility. This is pretty much sabotage.
2. They steal your ideas
Listen, at the end of the day, it is kind of your job to make your boss look good. That being said, any halfway decent boss wouldn’t try to pass off your ideas as their own.
If your boss is actively lying like that, you have a problem on your hands.
“Now some bosses do this even with employees they like, but if your boss really doesn’t like you, they may loathe the idea of giving you any credit for your work or ideas,” “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant author Lynn Taylor says.
3. They belittle you
Demeaning behaviour might be an act of indirect sabotage. An undermining boss may try to simply force you out of the job, just by treating you terribly.
4. They never invite you to participate in important meetings or special projects
Your boss just can’t seem to remember to send you an invite to meetings or include you on important email exchanges.
One or two oversights can be chalked up to forgetfulness. If this becomes a pattern, though your boss may be trying to isolate and exclude you.
Any signs of being shut out or excluded in any way is a major red flag that your boss has a problem with you, says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humour Advantage.”
5. They don’t give you feedback
A boss who wants to help you grow will provide feedback — good and bad. “But an absence of any feedback shows complete indifference towards your performance and your future growth as an employee,” says Kerr.
6. They criticise you in public
Openly criticising your efforts or ideas in a meeting is a huge sign of disrespect. If your boss goes out of their way to embarrass you, chances are they have no interest in helping you succeed.
7. They micromanage you, and only you
Bosses micromanage for a number of reasons — a need for assuming constant control, or insecurity at some level, for example.
“But it can also mean they don’t trust you,” Taylor suggests. “In some cases this can even lead to mild bullying behaviour, where the boss is so consumed with monitoring your every step that it begins to feel like a form of intimidation.”
8. They know your worth — but they stick you with mundane tasks
When you’re just starting out, you can expect to do some less-than-glamorous tasks.
However, it’s a red flag if your boss has got you exclusively running around fetching coffee when you were hired to do so much more — especially if no one else seems to be getting the same treatment.
If your boss gives only you menial tasks well below your level of experience or competence, such as “busy work,” then it’s a sign that they don’t trust or respect your abilities — or worse, that they are actively encouraging you to look for work elsewhere, says Taylor.
If this is the case, your boss also may be intimidated by your potential. Instead of supporting you and creating a potential rival, they sabotage you by handing you the most trivial and worthless assignments.
If that’s the case, it’s time to ditch your job and find something new. You simply shouldn’t have to deal with an undermining boss.
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