Signs your boss is setting you up to fail are not always easy to spot. Sometimes it’s the little things, like being given assignments well within your abilities.
Or getting to do things that are far below your skill level. Other times, it’s more obvious, like being passed over for a promotion or raise.
Here Are 12 Obvious Signs Your Boss Is Setting You Up To Fail
A few key signs are that your boss is setting you up to fail.
1. You Don’t Get Challenging Assignments:
If you don’t get assignments challenging, your boss doesn’t think you’re up to the task.
There’s a chance they’re right-you may not be able to do the job. But it’s more likely that your boss is just trying to set you up for failure.
Ask for assignments that are a bit out of your comfort zone to ensure success.
This will show your boss that you’re willing to take on challenges and grow in your role.
But if your boss refuses to give you assignments that stretch your abilities, they don’t believe in your potential.
2. Your Boss Micromanages Your Every Move:
A micromanaging boss is a sure sign that they don’t trust you to do your job.
They’re constantly looking over your shoulder and correcting your work. They don’t think you’re capable of doing the job right.
Micromanagement is a form of control. And it’s a sign that your boss is trying to set you up to fail.
If your boss is micromanaging you, discuss it with them.
Explain that you need the freedom to do your job without constant supervision.
They don’t think you can handle the job if they’re unwilling to give you that freedom.
3. Your Boss Constantly Passes Over For Promotions Or Raises:
Passing someone over for a promotion or raise signifies that your boss doesn’t think you’re good enough.
They may give you false promises of future opportunities. But if they’re constantly passing you over, they don’t believe in your ability to do the job.
They may not believe you have the skills or experience to do the job. Or they may think you’re not performing at the level required.
Either way, it’s a sign that your boss is setting you up to fail.
Raise and promotion opportunities are essential for career growth. If your boss is constantly passing you over, discuss it with them.
Find out why they don’t think you’re ready for the next level.
And if they can’t give you a good reason, it may be time to look for a new job.
4. Your Boss Critiques You Constantly In A Negative Light:
Your boss may give you constructive feedback. But if they’re constantly critiquing your work in a negative light, that’s a red sign.
They may point out your mistakes and tell you what you did wrong. But they never praise your successes or give you positive feedback.
A boss who only criticizes is a sure sign that they’re setting you up to fail.
Tell your boss you need specific, constructive feedback to improve your work.
Constantly being told you’re doing something wrong without any guidance on how to fix it is demoralizing.
5. You’re Made To Feel Like You’re Not A Valuable Member Of The Team:
The feeling that you’re not a valuable team member is the worst.
Your boss may make comments that devalue your contributions. Or they may give all the credit for your work to someone else.
They may also exclude you from important meetings or decisions. It’s a clear sign that they’re setting you up to fail.
No matter how hard you work, you’ll always feel like you’re not good enough.
Tell your boss how their words and actions make you feel. And explain that you need their support to be successful.
If they’re unwilling or unable to give you the support you need, it may be time to find a new job.
6. They Give You Impossible Deadlines:
Your boss may give you impossible deadlines to set you up for failure.
They may not think you can do the job in the time they’ve given you. Or they may want to see you fail so they can get rid of you.
Despite the impossible deadline, you try your best to complete the job. But of course, you’re not able to meet the deadline.
Explain that you need more time to do the job right. And if they’re unwilling to give you more time, ask for help from other team members.
7. Your Boss Takes Credit For Your Work:
Your boss may take credit for your work to belittle your accomplishments.
They want everyone to think they’re the one responsible for your success. It’s a clear sign that they don’t think you can do the job on your own.
Taking credit for your work is a form of theft. And it’s a clear sign that your boss doesn’t respect you.
Have a conversation with your boss about taking credit for your work.
Explain that you need them to give you credit when due. Without credit, you’ll never be able to move up in your career.
8. They Don’t Listen To You:
Whatever concerns or ideas you have, your boss doesn’t want to hear them.
They’re not interested in your input, and they shut you down whenever you try to speak up.
This behavior is a clear sign that your boss doesn’t respect you. And it’s a sure sign that they’re setting you up to fail.
No matter what brilliant ideas you have, your boss will never listen to them.
And without the opportunity to share your ideas, you’ll never be able to reach your full potential.
Talk to your boss about their unwillingness to listen to you. And explain that you need their help and support to be successful.
9. They Neglect Your Work:
Your boss may neglect your work as a way to set you up for failure. They may not give you the resources you need to do your job.
Or they may assign you tasks that are outside of your job description. Or they may not give you any direction or guidance.
They see you as nothing and don’t think you’re capable of doing the job right.
When your boss neglects your work, it’s impossible to do your best. And without the opportunity to do your best, you’ll never be able to succeed.
Confront your boss about their neglect. And explain that you need their help and support to be successful.
10. They Complains About You To Higher Management:
Despite your best efforts, your boss is never happy with your work. They’re always complaining about you to higher management.
They’ll find something to complain about even if you did a great job. And even if you don’t do anything wrong, they will find a way to make it seem like you did.
This complaining is a way to set you up for failure. If your boss can’t find anything wrong with your work, they’ll make something up.
And eventually, their complaints will reach the higher management. And you’ll be in trouble.
The higher management will start to think that you’re not good enough. And they may even begin to think of firing you.
11. Your Boss Is Never Satisfied With Your Work:
Your boss is never satisfied with your work no matter how hard you try. You may go above and beyond, but it’s never good enough for them.
Your boss doesn’t see you as someone with potential. They see you as someone who is not good enough. And they’re always looking for ways to prove it.
It’s a clear sign that they’re setting you up to fail. Your boss may never be happy with your work, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
Keep doing your best; eventually, they’ll see that you’re not the problem. And they may even start to respect you.
12. They Threaten You:
The most apparent sign that your boss is setting you up to fail is when they threaten you.
They may threaten to fire you, or they may threaten to demote you. They may even threaten to give you a bad performance review.
These threats intimidate you and make you feel like you’re not good enough.
And when you feel like you’re not good enough, you’ll lose. These threats are a way to set you up for failure.
And you should never tolerate this type of behavior from your boss.
Don’t Fall Into The Trap:
Now that you know the signs, you mustn’t fall into the trap.
Your boss may be trying to set you up to fail, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
You can still succeed despite your best efforts. All you need to do is to be aware of the signs. And when you see them, don’t let your boss get to you.
Stand up for yourself and confront your boss. And explain that you’re not going to let them set you up for failure.
This way, you can take control of the situation and still succeed.
These are just a few signs that your boss is setting you up to fail. If you see any of these signs in your relationship with your boss, it’s time to take action.
You must confront your boss and explain that you need their help and support to succeed.
Your boss may not be willing to change, but you must do what’s best for yourself. And sometimes, that means leaving a job that’s not good for you.
Last Updated on 2 years by Shahzaib Arshad