Career Advice

6 Strong Signs Your Boss Wants You to Leave

unimpressed boss

The moment you walk through the office door, a feeling of dread settles in. You thought this was going to be a long, successful career move. Nobody’s told you that you are on borrowed time, but it’s as if you are being pushed out.

Is it all in your head? Maybe not. Get to know why and when your boss wants you to quit from this post. 

Why Does Your Boss Pushes You to Quit? 

If your boss wants you to leave, you’d think they would simply fire you. But, it’s not as simple as that. Sometimes, employers have strategic reasons for pushing people to quit rather than firing them. For example, if you quit, they don’t have to pay you a severance package or fund your unemployment compensation. 

Likewise, some managers would rather engage in passive-aggressive behavior, than go through the proper process of firing an employee, which would involve multiple conversations with the HR and official performance reviews. 

Gallup calls such behaviors “quiet firing” — the managers’ reluctance to provide coaching, support, and career development to an employee, which results in them being pushed out of the job. 

In the worst cases, managers allow their employees to have miserable or toxic work experiences at work as a way to get rid of them quietly. This may include gaslighting and ostracization at work. 

6 Signs Your Boss Wants You to Quit

So how do you tell if you are being pushed out of your job? Watch out for these signs. 

You Face a Lot of Criticism

It seems like you can’t do anything right at work, but you are doing the same things you’ve always done. Everything you do is placed under a microscope, and even the least important things are criticized. It’s demoralizing, especially when you see others performing at the same level or worse without constant nagging. 

You’re Being Ostracized

It’s bad enough when your boss is treating you like dirt. When your co-workers have seemingly turned on you, going to work each day is absolutely miserable. 

Here’s what being ostracized look like

  • Never being invited to socialize after work
  • Coffee chat that stops the minute you walk into the breakroom
  • People refusing to help you or even sandbagging you on the job
  • Gossipping and spreading rumors
  • Being cut out of the loop from information that is necessary to do your job correctly

Do you have a work friend whom you can trust to be straight with you? Ask them directly about what’s going on. Your boss may have turned the team against you. They may believe you’ve done something awful, or simply be going along out of fear for their own job security.

You’re Held to Unrealistic Expectations

When your boss sets standards, you are given expectations that are impossible to meet. Whether it’s productivity numbers or customer service ratings, you are expected to perform at impossible levels. When you don’t hit the mark, you get lectured or written up.

Two things are probably happening here. First, the manager wants you to feel miserable and as if you will never make them happy. Second, if they can’t get you to quit, they may be building a case to fire you for performance reasons.

Your Responsibilities Are Being Taken Away

If they aren’t dumping on you, your boss may be taking away your responsibilities and giving them to others. You are left sitting at work, bored while you see others take on your duties and special projects. Worse, you aren’t allowed to do anything to keep yourself occupied.

This tactic works on many levels. You feel terrible because your employer is acting as if they don’t trust you to do your job correctly. Your coworkers may resent you if they are now taking on your work. You are dealing with crushing boredom on top of it all. If they aren’t trying to get you to quit directly, they may be making a case to upper management that your services aren’t needed.

Your Efforts Are Always Overlooked

You know what it takes to be recognized at work, so you make an effort to do those things. Despite this, your best work is ignored. Worse, credit is given to others while you receive none. This may not be an oversight. If it happens over and over, it’s a sign that they are icing you out.

You Are Being Undermined in Public

Picture this scenario. You have an important project to present to other departments. Your boss has to provide you with specific information to complete it. They ignore your requests. Naturally, the final product is incomplete and poorly executed. 

You want to explain the situation to the people who are now inconvenienced and disappointed. But, you know that would just make you appear as if you are playing the blame game. So, you suck it up while your boss joins in piling on.

What Can I Do If I’m Being Pushed Out of a Job?

If you are being pushed out of a job don’t do anything out of anger or impulse. Don’t rage quit. Don’t sabotage your employer. Take a deep breath and consider your options. No matter what, document everything. Send every request or question in an email. BCC your personal email so you have a paper trail. Know every possible outcome if you quit or if you stay until you are fired. This will allow you to make an informed decision rather than being pushed out of a job by someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind.


  • Elena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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