Is your boss happy with your performance? You may not know the answer to this question. Many of us assume that no news is good news when it comes to our immediate supervisor. But sometimes a lack of communication from your boss is a signal that he or she is deeply unhappy with your performance or may even be thinking about replacing you.
That insight comes from the personal finance site GOBankingRates, which recently compiled a list of telltale signs that your boss may be unhappy with your performance. You can find the full list here. These are some of the most ominous:
1. Your boss stops giving you feedback.
There could be an innocuous reason, for example that you've mastered the tasks your boss was teaching you, or an increased workload means your boss no longer has time to talk. But there's a good chance this is a very bad sign, because often bosses don't express their unhappiness directly, especially if they've given up on trying to improve an employee's performance.
So take the initiative, GOBankingRates advises. Schedule a meeting with your boss and arrive prepared to discuss your recent accomplishments, and ask what more you should be doing, or what jobs you should do differently. If your boss still wants to work with you, you should get some honest answers. If you just get a bland "everything's fine," or if you can't get your boss to schedule the meeting at all, it may be time to start looking for work elsewhere.
2. Your boss stops inviting you to meetings.
Again, this could have a harmless explanation--perhaps your boss thinks there are better uses for your time, or your email address got left off an invitation list. But if you're not getting invited to important meetings that you were attending in the past, it could be a warning sign.
GOBankingRates advises coming up with some key information or insight on whatever the topic of the meeting was about. Use it to demonstrate that you could add value to the meeting, and see if you get an invitation next time.
3. Your boss won't discuss advancement, even when you ask directly.
If you've asked your boss about advancing to the next position or taking on additional responsibilities that could lead to a promotion, and gotten little or no response, you may have cause for concern. Even if there isn't a job available for you right now, or even if you need to sharpen your skills before being considered for promotion, your boss should be willing and able to discuss this issue with you openly.
Your best strategy is to ask straight out what you need to do to get a promotion. You should get an equally straight answer. Worry if you don't.
4. Your boss is watching your calendar.
If your boss seems to be keeping track of what time you arrive in the morning, how long you spend at lunch, and when you're out of the office on personal matters, that's likely to be a bad sign. "A boss who keeps track of these things is likely looking to establish a pattern that is not going to work out in your favor," Gretchen Skalka, senior manager at tire company TBC Corp. told GOBankingRates.
Your best response is to ask your boss about it up front. But you should probably also start looking for other job prospects.