No matter what we do in life or at work, there is nearly always an amount of headroom for further growth. It is human nature to want to become better versions of ourselves – the question is whether our bosses are happy to facilitate this. Maybe they feel that their position may be threatened? Maybe they are just so comfortable with you in your role that they don’t want to let you spread your wings?
The responsibility to do the “right thing” by an employee is a great one, but for a certain type of employee, the irreplaceable type, for some bosses it is tempting to keep them in the fold for as long as possible. Of course, these are among the worst types of bosses, but I hear more than my fair shares of stories like this.
Sometimes the boss gets too comfortable. They know that you do a good job and wish to maintain the status quo. The hassle of replacing you and training the new starter would be significant, so they use a number of tactics to stall proceedings.
I am writing this article to shine a light on a few of these measures, and if you feel that you are in a similar situation, you need to give your future with this boss some serious thought.
They belittle you
They will only praise you up to the point that they fear that you might leave. Then little by little they will start to plant seeds of doubt in your mind.
Any opportunity is taken to magnify your weaknesses and tell you how lucky you are that they are so forgiving. Classic bullying tactics.
They limit participation
Where before they may have maximized your impact on their department and ensured that you got involved in as many projects as possible, now they attempt to take you out of the limelight. If you are less visible to the business, then you are less likely to be promotion material.
If you don’t work with anyone outside of your core team, you won’t be building any relationships that could provide leverage for an upwards move.
They will ensure that your job responsibilities are limited to what suits them best. You will stop developing, and your career will come to a standstill. It will be enough for your boss, but it won’t be enough for you.
It is not that they don’t trust you; they are scared to trust you.
Your reviews get worse
Suddenly, on paper you don’t seem like the ideal employee. Your boss uses every opportunity for constructive criticism, and there is seemingly little to celebrate. You know that this doesn’t reflect reality, but his view still carries a lot of weight.
If one of more of these things start to happen and you feel that your boss is unjustly maneuvering to keep you “in your place”, you have two choices. Mention the situation to HR or a higher power, or think about leaving the company altogether.
The one thing that you definitely shouldn’t do is nothing.
If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments: