If you’re miserable in your current job, chances are you’re already looking for something new.
But what if you’re not sure? What if you like your job and your colleagues, but your boss is driving you crazy? Do you stay or go?
Here are some cues I believe are sure signs a boss is toxic enough to force a job search. Carefully weigh these unprofessional, unproductive, unkind practices. If your boss is using them, start sending out your resume.
She ignores you. If your opinions are constantly disregarded, if you’re rarely included on team emails, if your questions receive no answer, or if you aren’t invited to meetings or outings that should include you, your boss is unkindly showing you that you don’t matter. Consider leaving. A boss who ignores you might have myriad reasons for doing so. But your response should be seeking better employment.
He avoids you. If your boss emails and drops notes on your desk when an in-person talk or phone call would be better, if he reschedules meetings just before they happen, if you can’t ever get on his schedule, your boss is rudely showing you he doesn’t want to talk. That’s a red flag for someone who doesn’t think your time at the company is worthwhile. He’s wrong, and you need a new boss.
She takes credit for your work. If your boss presents your ideas as her own, tosses out suggestions in meetings that she’s taken directly from your conversations, or if she takes your writing and drops it into her work, she feels too threatened to let you shine. This will be a major obstacle to your growth professionally, and you should think about leaving. Be careful with this one and seek advice on confronting her gently to see if she’s actually stealing from you or is negotiating a highly restrictive management structure.
He gives your work to others. If your boss takes work away and has someone else finish for you, he clearly doesn’t think you’re capable. If he’s right, get better. Fast. If he’s wrong, find another employer who acknowledges your worth.
She verbally abuses you. If your boss insults you, shouts at you, undermines your intelligence, or spreads rumors about you, get out. She’s going to do real damage to your career sooner rather than later.
He distorts your reviews. Everyone makes mistakes. If your boss points out mistakes or weaknesses that result from a misunderstanding, try to help him understand what happened, showing him the side of the story he hasn’t heard. But if he intentionally misrepresents your work in order to thwart your career growth, you need a new job. Now.
I hope none of these situations is true for you. But if they are, please start looking for something else. Healthy employment doesn’t include any of the above situations.
Happy New Year!