Hate is a strong word, but sometimes, you get stuck with a boss that really doesn’t like you. It doesn’t matter how hard you work or how many great ideas you pitch — he or she ignores your emails, leaves you out of key meetings, and passes you over when it’s time to dole out raises. It can be frustrating and disheartening, but there are ways to handle the situation. In a piece for DailyWorth (excerpted on Daily Muse), Alison Green shares “7 Signs Your Boss Hates You and How to Deal With It.”
As Green points out, it can be difficult to figure out whether your boss actively hates you or just has beef with everyone in the office. These handy tips will help you figure out if it’s the former — and how you can be proactive in fixing the situation.
1. You’re Getting Micromanaged — If your boss is constantly looking over your shoulder and scrutinizing everything you do, Green writes, start by asking whether it’s warranted. Maybe you’ve been messing up on a lot of recent assignments? If not, and your work is solid, try asking him or her why they feel they can’t trust you and volunteering to submit weekly reports on your progress. That might get ’em off your back.
2. No One’s Giving You Feedback — Constructive criticism is essential in the workplace, and if you’re boss isn’t giving you any, ask. “Try asking for feedback directly, saying something like, ‘I’d love to hear about what you think is going well and where I could focus on doing better,'” Green writes. “Or, if that feels too daunting, try asking for feedback on a smaller scale; for instance, ask to debrief a recent project, share your assessment of what went well and what could have gone better, and ask for your manager’s thoughts.”
3. You Got Passed Up for a Raise — While not receiving a pay increase could be a sign your boss has it out for you, it might also be the result of budget constraints or other issues. According to Green, the best thing to do is ask something like, “What would it take for me to get a raise in the future?”
4. You Feel Ignored — If your boss never responds to calls and emails and is constantly rescheduling planned meetings, it could be a sign they don’t value you as an employee. Green suggests you propose meeting at other times and be diligent about following up. “The day after a missed meeting, go back to her: ‘We didn’t get a chance to meet yesterday. Do you have a few minutes to talk this morning?'” Green writes.
5. You’re Not Invited to Important Meetings — Here’s another surefire sign your boss is less than enamored of you. Once again, Green says, the solution involves talking to the supervisor and expressing your desire to be included in key meetings. “But don’t be accusatory; you’ll get better results if you work from the assumption that it was an oversight to be corrected, rather than an intentional exclusion,” Green says.
6. You’re Constantly Being Criticized — If the boss is always bagging on your work, it could be time to hightail it out of there and look for another gig. But if you want to stick around for a while, Green writes, you have two solutions — one for the long term, the other for the short. In the short term, make sure you’re on the same page with your supervisor in terms of expectations. You might send an email with that kind of language, as it will “boost your chances of a project going smoothly,” Green writes. In the long term, it all comes back to sitting down with that hater of a boss and having a conversation. “Say something like: ‘I want to have a strong working relationship with you, and I hoped you could give me some feedback. I have the sense that you might not be happy with my work, and I wonder if we can talk about where I’m going wrong?'” Green advises.
7. They Don’t Care If You Leave — If a boss likes and respects you, he or she will go to great lengths to keep you on board. If that’s not your situation — you’re contemplating a move, and the supervisor doesn’t seem to care — there’s probably not much you can do, Green writes, other than consider leaving. When a boss doesn’t value your contributions, you won’t get the guidance or professional development you deserve from a manager, so why stick around?