Feel like the boss doesn’t like you? It might not be paranoia. It’s possible that your manager really doesn’t care for you. Worse, he might even want you to quit.
If that’s the case, staying in your current position may not be the best way to advance your career. Sometimes, however, you can find ways to improve the situation and have a good working relationship with your boss. Here are the three biggest signs that your boss doesn’t care for you, and how to respond.
1. You Are Being Micromanaged
Sometimes, micromanaging bosses don’t trust you. Other times, they are simply insecure themselves, or lack delegating skills. If you are being micromanaged, first ask yourself if you are being singled out. If the boss treats everybody this way, the problem is not how he perceives you. Rather, it is his style of management.
You can help yourself by recognizing that this boss needs to be in the loop and to feel in control. Be willing to communicate as much as the boss seems to require, and be as responsible as possible. Insecure bosses may learn to trust you and rely upon you if you don’t take their micromanagement personally.
If you are the only person in the office being micromanaged, and you are unable to gain this person’s trust over time, you may need to make a change, because you will not advance in your career under the aegis of somebody who will not trust you with responsibility.
2. Your Boss Is Overly Critical
Criticism is part of the workplace. You can’t learn from your mistakes if you don’t know you’ve made them. Step one if you think you are being unfairly criticized is to look at your work and yourself. Is there validity in the criticism, and how can you improve?
The next step if you feel treated unfairly is to examine whether you are being singled out, or if the boss critical of everybody in the office. If you are not the only report whose work gets torn apart, relax. It’s not personal. Take the criticism to heart and try to do better. Ask this manager questions about how you can improve; a good but critical boss will appreciate your attempt to do well.
If you have an overly critical boss who is either singling you out or is inappropriate (such as calling you stupid) you may be best off changing your work situation as soon as you can.
3. Your Boss Ignores You
This may be the most important sign that your boss does not like you. Employees need feedback and mentoring to do well at work and advance in their careers. If your boss pays more attention to everyone else, but never gives you any feedback, you are not being given tools to improve.
If your boss ignores or avoids you, he is indicating that your presence in the workplace does not matter to him. You may be not included in meetings, given feedback, or given work unless you ask for it. Of course, you can try asking for feedback and letting him know when you can take on additional work. This may gain his trust.
If you are consistently ignored by your boss, and he pays attention to other employees, this is likely a “dead-end” for you. Consider changing your situation as soon as you reasonably can.
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This post was updated from an earlier version previously published on PayScale.