13 Signs Your Boss Is Not Happy With You

Your boss can play a direct role in your happiness and success at work or your misery. When things are going well, you’ll experience career growth and fast work weeks. If your boss is not happy with you, you’ll experience Sunday scaries, work dread, and stagnant growth and pay raises. If you’re wondering which side your boss is currently falling into, we’ll explore the main signs your boss is not happy with you, so you can find a new role with a better boss.

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13 Signs Your Boss Is Not Happy With You

1. Your boss tells you you’re underperforming

One of the signs your boss is not happy with you is he or she directly tells you that you’re underperforming. In terms of underperforming, it could be you’re not hitting your targets, your attitude has changed, your work ethic has decreased from when you first joined, or some other variable which has gotten flagged by your boss. The thing is your boss has his or her own sets of targets, and when you don’t do your part, your boss gets blamed for your sub par performance. Your results directly reflect your boss’ leadership. If you’re not doing your fair share, your boss will get blamed for not hitting the team’s main targets. And if you’re the weakest link on the team, then you could lose your job to be replaced by someone who’s performing better. Performance isn’t personal. But achieving results and producing work is a crucial part of success at work. So if your boss tells you you’re underperforming, it’s time to step up your game in terms of producing better work, learning your skills more deeply, or making a change in how you approach your projects.

2. You stop getting feedback on your work

One of the clearest signs your boss is not happy with you is you stop getting feedback on your work. When people are direct and straightforward with you regarding your work, even if it’s unpleasant, it means they’re still invested in you. They’re trying to work with you to help you grow and evolve so the team can achieve its key targets and thrive. But when your boss checks out and stops giving you this valuable feedback, it’s a sign that they don’t think you’re worth investing in anymore. Getting feedback from your boss, even when it’s hard to hear, signals that they’re interested in developing you and seeing you grow. It’s crucial to keep the conversation of feedback ongoing when discussing with your boss about work. Not only do you need to be getting the feedback to improve, you also need to do the work to improve it. So, if your boss isn’t happy with you, start working on the past feedback you’ve gotten to make yourself the best version you can be.

3. You start getting set up to fail

Getting set up to fail at work can be a sign your boss is not happy with you. If your boss views you negatively, they may be more critical of you. You might hear more negative comments from them about you and from others. They might bombard you with negativity often. Slowly, your attitude at work will worsen. Then, you’ll start dreading work and take more sick days. From there, your performance at work will suffer. Everything snowballs from constant negativity. Most bosses don’t know how to lead a team to greatness. They use negativity and “constructive” criticism to coach people to get the results they want. But hearing “you’re not good enough” repeatedly takes its toll on people and eventually causes failure. A lack of appreciation at work can cause top performers to weaken, which drastically reduces company morale and productivity.

4. You start getting micromanaged

When your boss isn’t happy with you or your performance, you’ll start getting micromanaged more. They might start looking over your shoulder, ask you to show what work you’ve done,  or add bottlenecks to your workflow so you need their approval before moving forward. Overall, there’ll be a sense of distrust from them. This can be unsettling if you used to have autonomy and now don’t have any. If they start creating more friction for you to finish your work, it’s likely because you’re not achieving the results, meeting the deadlines, or hitting the targets you need to. As a result, they’re looking over your shoulder to see if you’re actually doing your job to figure out why you’re underperforming.

5. Your boss reassigns your projects

One of the signs your boss is not happy with you is that your boss reassigns your projects. They may assign a project to you without giving you all the details you need to start it. Then, when you don’t work on it because you don’t have enough information to do it, they’ll get mad and reassign it to someone else. Rather than accepting ownership of not providing all the necessary details required for you to complete the task, they’ll assign blame to you for not actually doing the work required. The reassignment will likely get flagged or documented to make it seem like you did something wrong when it was really their lack of leadership. This happens a lot with inexperienced bosses or toxic bosses. It’s not something that happens when a boss has a growth mindset or is open to accepting the blame of the team which is what a true leader is supposed to do.

6. They disagree with you constantly

Your boss probably isn’t happy with you if the two of you are constantly butting heads. If you’re both constantly disagreeing with each other, it’s a sign that you’re not aligned. But being aligned on a strategy is crucial to success on the team. Sometimes you need to disagree and commit. But that doesn’t mean your boss always knows what’s best. Sometimes, you’re disagreeing because you know the strategy will end badly and you’re trying to help the company hit its targets. But bosses don’t like being told they’re wrong, especially when they have big egos and are insecure about their competence in a role. So, you’ll end up clashing. When it comes to navigating constant disagreements, you might have to get your idea down in writing so you have proof that you said it wouldn’t work, then do what they want. That way, when they fail, you have evidence that they signed off on that their idea was the best course of action when it wasn’t.

7. Your boss has fewer 1:1s with you

If you transition from weekly 1:1s to 1:1s once every three or four weeks, it’s a sign your boss is not happy with you. It’s possible that your boss is busy juggling a bigger team than before or managing multiple responsibilities. So, give them the benefit of the doubt if you noticed your team size has drastically increased. But if it hasn’t, it could be a sign your boss isn’t happy with you. A great boss is obsessed with their team's performance, career growth, and happiness. They should want to connect with you to help ensure you’re performing at your best, growing at work, and happy doing your job. A 1:1 is the crucial face time of relationship building, providing context, and developing you as an individual contributor. When your boss isn’t doing that, not only are they not doing the most important part of their job but they risk morale dropping for failing to invest in their team’s career development.

8. You’re held back professionally

One of the signs your boss is not happy with you is you start getting held back professionally. You’ll constantly see multiple people being promoted over you and you’ll be passed over for promotions. You might not get mentored into transitioning into your next leadership role or career advancement. So, you feel stuck. They do this intentionally so that you go ahead and quit yourself. Some people are afraid to give you the feedback you need to help you level up to the next stage in your career. Others will tell you feedback but it might not be the real reason you’re being held back. Most of the time, there’s subtle things that annoy people or that they want you to change but don’t know how to tell you without coming across judgmentally or with a presented sense of bias.

9. They constantly criticize you

A boss that constantly criticizes you is a boss who isn’t happy with you. Criticism at work is usually uncalled for and unnecessary. A toxic boss will criticize your character and try to get you to change who you are to work around them. This just means that they don’t have true experience in managing different personalities. There’s no good or bad employee. It boils down to whether or not the manager knows how to lead people. Does the manager know how to coach someone’s behavior into improving without upsetting the person? Does the manager know how to motivate his or her team? If they don't, instead of coaching you to be better, they’ll criticize you in hopes that you’ll do their job for them. Now there is a level of accountability you’ll need to play in your success at work, you’ll have to learn new skills, and be a team player. But a good boss will create an environment where you want to do those things. They’ll support you as you’re struggling to learn something new. And they’ll help you on your path to success.

10. Your boss hides information from you

A huge sign your boss is not happy with you is that they start becoming secretive. They might hide information from you or do sneaky things that are borderline unethical. They might suddenly delete all your conversations in Slack and then write you up so you can’t pull evidence of what actually happened. They’ll hide proof and evidence of their own wrongdoing and instead blame you for what they perceive you did. They might start asking people for negative feedback about you, ignoring or not acknowledging the positive feedback about you. Hiding information from you is a sign they’re doing something shady, which is a clear indicator that they’re not happy with you. Breaking morals and ethics to cause you harm is often a pretty bad sign that something is wrong with your relationship with your boss.

11. You don’t get raises

It’s not uncommon to hear stories about people leaving their job for a lack of pay raises. And when they get that better offer, sometimes companies suddenly have found access to the money they needed all along, only to lose one of their top employees. Not getting pay raises is a sign of a bad culture. And in bad cultures, you’ll often find bad leaders. Your boss may not have a gripe with you personally, but he might not be giving you pay raises or trying to help you flourish either. A lack of pay raises is done to get people to quit their job and push them out. It’s so they don’t have to pay their team severance packages, which saves them money.

12. Their body language is cold

A sign that your boss is not happy with you is they start giving you the cold shoulder. If their body language presents signs of being stiff, crossed arms, or looks of annoyance, it could indicate a problem. When you start feeling like something is “off” with your boss, trust your intuition because there probably is something wrong. All you can do is try to keep a positive attitude and a willingness to do the hard work.

13. Every conversation is put in writing

When your boss starts putting all your conversations in writing, they’re trying to build a case against you. It’s a clear sign they’re not happy with you. They’ll start writing down in Slack messages things they talked about with you in meetings. They might move all their conversations to Slack instead of video chats or in person conversations. They might ask people for feedback in Slack so they can screenshot conversations about you from other people’s perspectives. It can get really ugly when you have an unhappy boss.

So, what next?

If you’re looking at this list and feeling an unsettling feeling in your stomach, it’s a sign your boss is not happy with you. It could be time to start the job search. It’s better to find a job when employed instead of when unemployed from a termination. You can transition to a new job with ease, better pay, and a more supportive boss. If you’re thinking of starting your job search, start building your resume with Huntr’s AI resume builder today. Sign up for Huntr.

Nicole Martins Ferreira

Nicole Martins Ferreira

Nicole Martins Ferreira, Senior Writer at Huntr, brings a rich background in marketing, tech, and ecommerce to craft insightful content on job search strategies and career advancement. With experience from Super Magic Taste to Shopify, she excels in creating engaging, actionable advice for job seekers.

Nicole's expertise in SEO and content marketing, honed across diverse roles, enables her to effectively guide individuals through the complexities of the job market. Her contributions at Huntr are vital, offering readers valuable tips and strategies to navigate their professional journeys successfully, making her work an invaluable resource for job seekers everywhere.

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