15 Signs You’re In Trouble At Work


It’s almost the end of your calendar year, and it’s a good time to assess where your career is headed. Most people wait until the new year to take a look at life, rip the bandaid off and try something new – whether it is a new workout routine, a new diet, or a new job. But you don’t have to wait for a new year to get a pulse on your life.

As you’re assessing your career, don’t forget to consider your relationships. The holidays may be making you feel snubbed by your coworkers or management. Sometimes, it’s just paranoia. At other times, it’s clear your boss may be considering a post holiday break-up – from you.

Here are fifteen signs trouble may be brewing at work:

  1. You’ve received multiple bad performance reviews or negative warnings. This is the clearest indication – things aren’t going well.
  2. You’re left out of the loop. Maybe you’ve been purposely or accidentally left off of the distribution list for the after hours events or upcoming company changes or new project news. Maybe everyone hates you.
  3. You’re being set up to fail with tasks that make you feel like you’re being asked to climb Mount Everest. Most of us appreciate a challenge, but when we’re being pushed to prove ourselves in ways that are near impossible within the constraints of the company, it does make you second guess your relationship with your employer.
  4. Your relationship with your boss has changed. Where communication used to be frequent, it’s now decreasing or where you were once left alone, you’re now fielding frequent questions about your work.
  5. You have increased scrutiny over any time expended or expenses. It’s good to determine if this is company or department-wide treatment – or just for you.
  6. Your days are continually freed up because fewer projects or tasks are coming your way. Maybe it’s a dry season at the office and you have a little more time on your hands. But if everyone else around you is super busy, then you may need to investigate. There’s a chance they’re taking tasks off your plate as they prepare to remove you from the dinner table completely.
  7. You’re being asked to do work without resources – budget, staff, etc. It could mean that the company has a low budget for your task, but it’s good to stay proactive with why resources aren’t being made available.
  8. Your boss keeps asking for progress reports. Helicopter management or micromanagement may be your manager’s unfortunate style, but it could also mean your manager doesn’t trust you.
  9. Normal praise for work has evaporated. It doesn’t matter how many miracles you perform, no one seems to notice or care.
  10. You messed up on a project that cost your company money. You either delivered a project late or over budget. Your employer may decide to recoup those funds – starting with your salary.
  11. Your manager doesn’t talk to you, but instead seeks out your subordinates for updates and information. A disruption to the chain of command can be a clear sign something is amiss. It may initially be a relief to not have to weigh in on every little thing. However, when your manager stops asking for your input, it means they no longer value your opinion.
  12. Your company has merged and very little information has been communicated to you. Often, that means you might be on the expendable list should the organization need to trim costs.
  13. Cross training on assignments suddenly becomes a thing…only for you. Your coworkers or subordinates keep asking you to help explain your work to them, but they’re not 100 percent sure why they have to ask you for that information. It could be a sign they’re planning for the day sometime soon when you’ll no longer be around to do those tasks yourself.
  14. You’re no longer invited to the usual meetings…even worse is if you’re specifically asked to not join.
  15. You can’t get a meeting with your boss if your life depended on it. Your boss is always too busy for you, and if you try to make a spur of the moment meeting happen, you’re told to put it on the calendar….only to have requests ignored or rejected.

If five or more of these items stand out to you, you either work in an unhealthy work environment or your boss is phasing you out, and you may need to get a jump start on the job search. It is never too late to turn things around at work. Instead of feeling desperate and acting needy, change what you can and don’t sit still and let a toxic workplace happen to you. Seek out other opportunities while you are still gainfully employed. Staying in a toxic environment will only decrease your chances of finding a new position, because it impacts your approach to your work. If it seems like people at work are just not into you, update your resume and online profiles, and start searching on ClearanceJobs.com.

Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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