5 Signs You’re Being Pushed From Your Job (and What to Do About It)

It’s an unfortunate fact of professional life: Sometimes, your company makes it clear that they want you pushed out the door. Oftentimes, their desire to boot you out has nothing to do with your performance; it could stem from a personality clash with your supervisor, for instance. If you’re over a certain age, you have to consider whether ageism is a factor, as well.

Whatever the case, here are some signs you’re being shoved from your job—and what to do about it. 

You’ve Been Reassigned (and It’s Not So Great)

It’s one thing for your manager to shift you onto a cool project, especially if you’ve asked for it. It’s entirely another if you’re dumped into a team or division that’s clearly a dead end for your career at the company.

Sure, some people want to do nothing all day—you’re still earning a paycheck, after all, and chances are good that nobody will talk to you. For most folks, though, a dead-end gig is psychologically trying; even if it seems like fun to watch Netflix on your work computer for eight hours a day (interspersed with web-cruising and maybe some discreet game-playing), boredom will inevitably set in.

If you find yourself in such circumstances, you can always try speaking up. But if your supervisor seems unconcerned about your concerns, it’s likely time to hunt for another job.

There’s Blatant Favoritism

Let’s say your team is developing a new app for iOS—and you’re the resident iOS expert. If your supervisor suddenly brings in someone from another division or team to work on the app—even after you voice your interest in putting the project together—that’s a clear sign you’re not valued.

Nobody Cares About Your Goals

Most companies have some kind of “check in” system that absorbs and aligns individual employee goals with the work of their division (and the entire company). If you go through those regular evaluations, but management isn’t making much of an effort to ensure they’re being met, that’s a bad sign. Why would you want to work at a place that’s not fulfilling your professional targets?

Inexplicably Poor Performance Reviews

In a similar vein, if you’re doing objectively good work (i.e., you always fulfill or exceed your targets) and yet you’re scoring poorly on performance reviews for unexplained reasons, it’s probably because management wants you gone. 

What to Do About Being Pushed

If your company clearly wants to push you out, there’s a straightforward solution: Leave. The upside of your supervisor not caring what you do is that you have more leeway to search for new gigs.

Before you start sending around your applications, though, take some preliminary steps to ensure your head’s in the right place, and your eventual transition is as smooth as possible.

Record everything: Did your supervisor write you an insulting email? Do you have written evidence that your performance reviews were skewed against you? Make sure you save all those materials; they might come in handy later.

Have a Sounding Board: Most of the time, if your instinct tells you that you’re being pushed out, you’re likely right. Nonetheless, it can pay to explain your situation to a trusted third party, such as a relative or a former manager; they can tell you if your instincts are correct, and often provide advice on what to do next.

Consider a Lawyer: If the effort to push you out of your company is paired with blatant discrimination (for example, your boss repeatedly tells people that you’re “too old” to be working here), consult an attorney with a history of pursuing discrimination cases; they’ll tell you if there’s something to actually pursue.

List Your Accomplishments: Even if your tenure at the company has been a tale of misery and stress, you no doubt managed to accomplish something while you were there. Before you begin assembling your materials to apply to new jobs, make sure you itemize your accomplishments (and the hopefully positive results); you can use those to demonstrate your aptitude to potential employers.

Good luck! And remember: Even if your current company is trying to push you out, you definitely still have value.  

5 Responses to “5 Signs You’re Being Pushed From Your Job (and What to Do About It)”

  1. Ron S

    These are the reasons more and more people are no longer working for US companies. These are all things that causes depression. It’s a spiral to disaster.

    Become independent. Work for yourself. Become your own boss. Don’t look back, or for that one moment to say, “fu— you!” Maybe give ‘em the finger and a wink, or hey, a quick moon. Your choice!

    Is being independent tough?! Sure is!! It takes time to sink yourself into a new routine, too! But it can also be very rewarding!

    • Angela

      Truer words have never been spoken!!! Love your insight and I’m starting a plan toward this very same goal. It’s baby steps right now but at least it’s written down and I’ve taken some action toward it. Best of luck to you!

  2. Everyone nowadays where people do not care about fellow workers should have this plan in place long before that day happens to make sure it will not to you!
    Do it now….may never need it but you never know.
    In the1970’s (I am retired) I worked for a security surveillance company. A girlfriend that was a friend of the general manager discovered that he had a private secret 3×5 index card system (like excel spread sheet type system today) which had as they say all the dirt on anyone inside and outside the company who could possibly do him harm or lose him his job with names dates places/times of all their indiscretions business (possibly fraudulent) and personal associations being married with other staff members/wives and so on. These were kept offsite in a safe place, ONLY to be used against whomever when under threat of big problems or job loss. This information was never used to my knowledge as company dissolved admirably in the 1980’s.
    When friends nowadays tell me they are worried about losing their job will not be able to pay mortgage kids school fees in large company they have worked for years. I tell them to collect this type of information about senior members of the company, and personal dept the higher the better and all their indiscretions and maybe what appears to be fraudulent behaviour with hard proof, document copies photographs dates and times married boss went to lunch with junior sectary as the lowest dirt digger.
    All to be kept at (more than one) unconnected trusted friends home without them knowing contents. Not Gym or club locker! And ONLY to be used in event of imminent job loss as last resort not anything else unless affecting own family personally.
    When (if) that fateful day comes and they are summonsed without warning to the faceless personal office or manager director with the security guards about to be told to collect their belongings empty desk and leave the building in the faceless way things are done nowadays. They quietly tell the person about the information which they have and as a loyal employee would never tell anyone about but if they no longer worked for the company….. So maybe their dismissal should be reconsidered, and to pass message higher up if need be. Must NEVER ask for any pay increase or change in work conditions as this could be construed as extortion or blackmail and never repeat in front of a third party once should be enough to keep job. So faceless company bosses be afraid be very afraid unless of course you are squeaky clean with nothing to hide or things going on which should not be…..
    Your and your company’s life story could be getting the wrong sort of newspaper or authority’s attention very soon, or a happy employee continuing to work for your company or given a very handsome redundancy package to pay off his mortgage.
    Hit man may come to mind (Grin) but you never know how many copies are around and what is in them, if he hopefully to you does not have any fatal accidents. Just one more thing for boss to worry about when getting rid of the loyal little man….
    (Disclaimer: I am not suggesting for one moment that anything in my short story should actually be carried out)
    You tell NO one about this information even family, today they are all your friends tomorrow( divorce) who knows, which is why you are collecting it.

  3. I have a new boss and the first thing he said to me is how old are you and when are you going to retire. I found this so unbelivable and I was a real asset to him since I knew the job very well. I was thinking of going to a lawyer but just gave my retirement notice. I think lawyers are great in this situation and if you are young, go talk to a lawyer. They can give you great advice and also keep notes of everything, date, time, etc. It is time for us to put a stop to these arrogant people and start standing up for ourselves. It has caused me anxiety and depression and no matter how hard I tried he just had a hate on for me.

  4. I was working today on the line i wasn’t standing in the right spot so my boss grabbed me and dragged me to the right spot instead of just asking me to move over a little bit is that ok?