When things are going well at work and the praise is flowing, things are great. You’re feeling happy and accomplished, and comfortable that you’re in the right place. But sometimes there will be bad days and bad periods, when the work is more difficult, or you’re just not performing up to where you should be.
How can you tell if things are moving into a danger zone with your boss? Let’s look at some of the signs that you’re just not crushing it at work.
You’re bored. All. The. Time.
A little boredom can be a good thing—it can give you some space to be creative, or find a new way of doing things. Feeling bored all day, every day is a bad sign. It means that something just isn’t clicking for you in your work. Maybe you just don’t have enough to do, or maybe you don’t like what you are doing. You should be doing work that makes you feel challenged and satisfied—if not all the time, then at least most of the time. If you’re constantly bored, it’s likely that you’re not the only one who has noticed, and it’s time to consider your other options.
Your work gets reassigned.
If a project that would normally have come your way goes to a colleague (or is taken on by the boss herself), that’s a red flag too. It’s a sign that your boss is losing confidence in your ability to get the job done. If it happens only occasionally, it could just be that your boss is trying to spare your workload. But if you notice it happening frequently, it’s time to talk to your manager about it. Let her know that ready and able to take on tasks.
You’re being micromanaged.
Everyone’s had a manager like this at some point—the boss who details all of your next steps, item by item, and hovers to make sure everything is getting done. The boss who checks in every five minutes to see if you got his email. Some people are just micromanagers, but if you find that this is a consistent issue with your own boss, it could be a sign that he or she doesn’t trust you with particular tasks.
You’re called into meetings to discuss your work.
Status meetings are one thing, but if you find your boss is regularly scheduling sit-down meetings to talk about the quality of your work, that’s not a great sign. Even if there’s no specific criticism, it can be a sign of lost confidence.
So what do you do when you notice these issues creeping into your working relationship with your boss? The first step should be having a neutral, nonconfrontational discussion about it with your boss. Make sure he or she knows that you’re open to more responsibilities and making changes that make you more productive, while avoiding personal accusations. And if you find that there’s no longer a productive dialogue and your boss is still freezing you out, it may simply be time to look for another job.