There are few worse feelings than realizing you’re being pushed out of your job.
Whatever the reason someone has for doing it, this form of workplace bullying is not acceptable.
If you spot the signs and feel like it’s happening to you, you should write down as much evidence as possible.
You can then either take it to your company’s HR department or take it to the Department of Labor to seek protection.
Here are 15 signs you’re being pushed out of your job, how many rings true to your current situation?
15 Signs You Are Being Pushed Out of Your Job
1. Your Boss Is Micromanaging You
If your boss is constantly looking over your shoulder, nitpicking your work, and questioning your every decision, it’s a sign that they don’t trust you and they want you to know that.
This behavior is a form of harassment, and it may be a sign that they’re trying to push you out of the company.
Even if this isn’t the reason, no one likes being micromanaged and it’s going to make your working life miserable.
2. Your Manager Starts Documenting Everything You’re Doing
In line with micromanaging, if your manager starts keeping a close eye on everything you’re doing and documenting it, it’s a sign that they’re looking for dirt on you.
They may be trying to find a reason to fire you, or they may be hoping to catch you making a mistake so they can write you up.
Either way, it’s not a healthy way to work and it’s only going to increase your stress levels if it doesn’t result in you being pushed out.
3. Your Work Responsibilities Have Been Reduced
If you’ve suddenly found yourself with less work to do, or your responsibilities have been taken away from you, it’s a strong sign that someone is trying to push you out.
They may be giving your work to other people, or they may be hiring someone to replace you.
Either way, it’s not a good situation for you and as your workload dwindles you’ll feel like you no longer have a meaningful role – which is the desired effect.
4. You’re Left out Of Meetings and Importing Communications
If you’re suddenly being left out of key meetings, or you’re not receiving important emails and memos, it’s a sign that someone is trying to push you out.
Communication is essential at work for most roles, from liaising with coworkers to carrying out tasks efficiently.
Having communication taken away or compromised is a sure-fire sign that someone is trying to push you out of the loop, and on a broader picture out of your role.
5. You’re Being Given the Silent Treatment
Being given the silent treatment never feels good, no matter if we’re talking about work or your personal life.
It’s a little immature, and it’s a manipulation tactic.
In the workplace, the silent treatment is often used as a way of punishing someone or making them feel isolated.
If you’re suddenly being ignored by your boss or coworkers, it’s a sign that they’re trying to push you out.
You may have done something to upset them, or they may simply not like you – either way, it’s a sign they’re trying to push you out.
6. You’re Not Included In Long-Term Plans
If you’re only being given short-term tasks, or your projects are coming to an end, it’s a sign that someone is trying to push you out.
Long-term projects require an investment of time and energy, so if you’re not being assigned them it’s a sign that your boss doesn’t think you’ll be around for the long haul.
It’s not a good sign, and it’s likely to make you feel like you’re not valued or appreciated and that your role is being slowly extinguished.
7. You’re Being Assigned The Tasks No One Else Wants To Do
We all have to do the jobs that no one else wants to do from time to time (well most of us do).
But if you’re suddenly being assigned all the grunt work with no end in sight, it’s a sign that someone is trying to push you out by making your life a misery.
This is an easy way some bosses will abuse their power, and it’s a way of making you feel like you’re not valued or appreciated.
8. Your Efforts Are Not Recognized
I’m not suggesting you get a pat on the back or an award for doing your job or going above and beyond, but if your efforts are being snubbed by your boss or coworkers it’s a sign something is up.
This is one way a boss will try to break your spirit and demotivate you so you feel like you’re working hard for no reason.
They hope that you’ll be demotivated enough to leave of your own accord, or that your work will suffer and they’ll have an excuse to let you go.
9. You’re Made to Feel Isolated
This is similar to being given the silent treatment, but it’s a more deliberate and conscious effort.
If you’re suddenly being left out of social events, or you’re being excluded from work-related activities, it’s a sign that someone is trying to push you out by making you feel isolated.
This is a common tactic used by bullies, and it’s an easy way to make someone feel like they don’t belong or that they’re not valued.
It’s a nasty thing to do, but unfortunately, it happens in the workplace all the time.
10. You’re Incorrectly Blamed for Things Going Wrong
If you’re being blamed for things that are out of your control, or you’re being scapegoated for the mistakes of others, it’s a sign that someone is trying to push you out.
This is a common tactic used by bullies and those in positions of power, as it’s an easy way to make you look bad and undermine your work.
It’s also a way of piling up the pressure on you with the hope that you’ll just leave and go somewhere you’ll be happier.
11. You Can Just Tell You’re Being Treated Unfairly
There’s often a gut feeling we get when something isn’t right, and this is especially true in the workplace.
If you just have a sense that you’re being treated unfairly, or that someone is trying to push you out, it’s probably because they are.
You know yourself better than anyone else, so if something feels wrong then it probably is and you should spend a little time looking for more concrete evidence.
12. You’re Excluded From Social Events
This can be harder to accept than being pushed around within the workplace for some people.
If your coworkers have started excluding you from social events, it’ll make you feel like you’re losing friends as well as coworkers.
It’s a sign that for whatever reason, your colleagues don’t really see you as part of the team anymore.
It’s probably because someone has been telling them to exclude you, hopefully by asking some questions you’ll be able to figure out who and why!
13. Coworkers Are Telling You Your Boss Is Trying to Push You Out
If you’ve been hearing from your coworkers that they think your boss is trying to push you out, it’s probably because they are!
Maybe they’ve overheard something, your boss has told them directly what their plans are, or it’s just that obvious to them.
Whatever the reason, it’s a huge red flag, and it means that you’re in a very difficult situation.
Always do your own digging before taking their word for it, but if you already had your suspicions it’s pretty big validation to hear it from someone else.
14. You’re Given Unrealistic or Impossible Deadlines
This is one of the classic ways a boss, manager, or someone above you will make you feel like you can’t do your job up to standard in the hope that they can push you out.
At the very least, it’s a way of putting more pressure on you and making you feel like your work is never good enough.
If you’re constantly being given deadlines that are impossible to meet, it’s a sign that someone is trying to set you up to fail so they can have some ammunition against you or push you out.
15. Your Boss Is Ignoring Your Grievances
If you’ve raised concerns about your treatment at work, or you’ve made a complaint, and your boss is just ignoring you, it’s a sign that they don’t really care about your wellbeing.
It’s also a sign that they think they can do whatever they want without any repercussions, and also validates that they’re trying to push you out of your job.
It puts you in a difficult situation, but you are protected by law.
You can start by going above your boss to their boss or to your HR department, or if you think your company is trying to push you out you should seek the advice of an employment lawyer.
What to Do if You Know You’re Being Pushed Out Of Your Job
If you’re certain that you’re being pushed out of your job, the first thing you should do is talk to your boss or HR department.
You need to be careful about how you approach this, as it could backfire if not done correctly.
Try to stay calm and collected, and explain your concerns without sounding like you’re accusing them of anything.
If they’re truly pushing you out, they’re not going to admit it, but you’ll at least be putting them on notice that you’re aware of what’s happening and you’re not going to take it lying down.
The next step would be to seek the advice of an employment lawyer.
They will be able to tell you what your options are and help you navigate this difficult situation.
Pushing someone out of their job is illegal, so you may have a case for wrongful dismissal.
An employment lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action moving forward.
I can’t recommend you take matters into your own hands or do anything yourself without the advice of a lawyer as this could damage your case.
Image credits – Photo by Ashima Pargal on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.