5 Surefire Signs It’s Time to Walk Away From a Bad Boss

stressed employee


Profile Picture
Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
May 25, 2024 at 9:6PM UTC

We don’t always think of our work relationships as things that need to be nurtured and cultivated. We don’t necessarily believe that they’re as important as our personal relationships, even though we spend a considerable amount of time at work — possibly even more than we do with the people outside of work. That’s why it’s sometimes difficult to imagine that we deserve the same level of respect from our colleagues and managers that we would expect from, say, a partner. 

Just like romantic relationships, some work relationships are simply not salvageable. Here are five signs that it’s time to leave a bad boss.

1. They expect to be able to reach you — frequently — during off-hours.

There is, of course, a such thing as an emergency. But if your manager is constantly calling, texting, emailing and otherwise expecting for you to be available during nights, weekends and other times you’re supposed to be off, it’s a sign that they expect too much from you and want you to constantly be at their beck and call.

2. They take credit for your work.

A good boss gives credit where credit is due. If you create a particularly impressive project, your boss will let other managers and staff know — even brag about your successes. On the other hand, a poor manager will accept compliments on your behalf — without acknowledging that the work was yours. It’s a sign that they’re not confident in their own abilities and could be threatened by you.

3. They micromanage you at every turn.

We’ve all had micromanaging bosses, the ones who go over (and often redo) every task and assignment with a fine-tooth comb and can’t let you work independently. It seems like they’re constantly looking over your shoulder, and you’re starting to feel suffocated.

Some bosses also refuse to delegate. This could be a lack of trust, or it could be an indication that they don’t want you to have the opportunity to prove your skills and capabilities.

4. It feels like they’re holding you back.

You want to grow in your career, but your manager is not only not giving you that opportunity, but they may even be holding you back. They don’t give you opportunities to take on more responsibilities, and it seems like you’ve hit a ceiling. There’s no room to grow in your role, and what’s more, your manager isn’t at all invested in your career.

A great boss wants you to succeed. They will look for ways to give you more opportunities because they recognize your talent and don’t want to lose you.

5. They don’t have your back.

Ultimately, your manager simply isn’t supportive. Perhaps you’ve gone to them with concerns, and they haven’t attempted to address them. They don’t back you up when you need them. Or, even worse, they could be actively sabotaging you, not wanting you to succeed. This is creating a toxic environment for you.

It can be difficult to walk away from any bad relationship, especially when it involves someone who is your superior at work. But if you’re seeing these behaviors and attitudes in your manager, it’s more than likely time to walk away.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice on breaking up with a bad boss? Leave your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss'ers! 

This article was written by a FGB Contributor.

Why women love us:

  • Daily articles on career topics
  • Jobs at companies dedicated to hiring more women
  • Advice and support from an authentic community
  • Events that help you level up in your career
  • Free membership, always