• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Don’t fight a losing battle

When to flee from a no-win job

Get PDF file

by on
in Dealing with Bosses,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Management,Performance Reviews

After one year in her new job, Mary was ostracized by her bosses. They ignored her memos, gave the best assignments to others and didn’t invite her to staff meetings. She kept trying to impress them, but her managers had decided that Mary just couldn’t handle the position. Rather than fire her, however, they let her wither on the vine.

Many workers share Mary’s plight. They’re determined to keep their jobs despite evidence that their bosses have lost faith in their abilities.

When you cling to a job where you’re not wanted, you prolong your agony needlessly. Here’s how to tell when it’s best to cut your losses and move on:

Absence of feedback. A poor performance review can actually be a blessing in disguise because it means your employer’s willing to spell out exactly how you need to improve. Such open communication helps you upgrade your skills and know where you stand.

But if you don’t get feedback, problems can erupt. We’ve heard from many frustrated employees who work for companies where they’re kept in the dark about their performance. In such situations, no news is not necessarily good news: Management may be too busy or too bashful to take you aside and level with you about your work product.

“I’m uncomfortable having to tell my people that they’re not making it here,” admitted the director of a nonprofit agency with 60 employees. “So I guess I just hope they’ll figure out on their own that they won’t advance and opt to leave.”

Falling out of the loop. Are you repeatedly left out of staff meetings and other events? Employees who start out feeling like they’re being listened to but who suddenly sense that they’re no longer held in the same high regard may be stuck in career quicksand. If you find yourself working day after day without having your bosses stop by and chat with you (especially if they used to do so during your early months on board), that’s a bad sign.

Losing co-workers’ support. Typically, employees who fail to see the handwriting on the wall try to get information from their peers. They’ll ask, “Why don’t I get the prize assignments anymore?” or “Do you have any idea whether management still thinks I’m any good?” When trusted colleagues offer encouragement, that can help you persevere. But if you’re greeted with silence, then perhaps they know more than they’re willing to tell you.

Leave a Comment