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A mindful and competent leader will take an employee aside and explain the situation. Maybe that employee needs to change their behavior towards coworkers. Perhaps they have been slacking off recently and need to work double to finish all the tasks. Or maybe they simply no longer fit their role within the organization. Either way, a good leader will be straightforward about the situation and will honestly break the news to the employee, no matter how ugly the news is.

Unfortunately though, some bosses are far from mindful or competent – rather than risking an awkward situation transpire from making a big move, these bosses would rather repetitively nudge employees to quit. If things haven’t seemed right at work lately, make sure you’re not losing something in the subtext. 

1. You’re Not Scheduled As Often

If your workplace doesn’t have a moving schedule (i.e. everyone shows up from 9 to 5 from Monday through Friday), you may not notice any irregularities. If you have to check your schedule every week and something seems wrong, consider the circumstances. If new employees are being trained or your company is experiencing its slow season, being scheduled less shouldn’t be cause for concern.

If, out of nowhere, your hours seem to be disappearing and this phenomenon isn’t happening to everyone, it may be a sign from the higher ups that they’re trying to minimize the time you spend around the workplace. They’re either trying to get you to quit or reworking the schedule to avoid being shorthanded when they fire you

2. You Feel Excluded From the Team

Workplaces are built around teamwork. Everyone’s role somehow relates to everyone else’s roles. That’s why so many companies invest in group meetings, bonding events and team building exercises – people need to know each other, develop stronger confidences in their work relationships, and complete tasks with synergy. 

If the team seems to be working around you rather than working with you, this can be a sign that something is wrong. Cliques happen in the workplace all the time, and if your boss is the one handing down the assignments, he or she might deliberately be excluding you from important group work. 


3. You’re Being Outright Bullied

Perhaps one of the worst ways a boss can influence an employee to quit is by creating a hostile work environment. If you feel bullied within the workplace or cyberbullied online by your coworkers or boss, you should not have to tolerate this behavior. If your boss is belittling you, harassing you, or treating you unfairly, don’t just quit. Gather evidence and file a formal complaint – you might get to keep your job and your boss may not. 

4. You Aren’t Being Listened To

Everyone needs a voice in the workplace. The only way anything can get accomplished is through effective communication. People need to voice their ideas, vocalize issues, and be heard. If you feel like all the things you’re saying are falling on deaf ears, this should be cause for concern.

If your boss intended you to be a part of the future in the workplace, he or she would have to consider your input. Your ideas and contributions are crucial to the success of whatever project your team is focused on. If they’re being dismissed, this might be your boss’s subtle way of telling you that he or she doesn’t intend for you to be around when the project is completed.

5. They Demote You or Rescind Something

Being demoted, having your title changed to something less important, or revoking of important privileges is a common tactic that bosses use to get their employees to quit. It’s a very “on the nose” method of telling an employee that they aren’t as important as they used to be without explicitly stating that they’re no longer needed. 

What to Do Now 

If you feel as though your boss is trying to get you to quit, you have three options. You can either confront your boss about the situation, go above your boss with the situation, or end the situation by quitting. Each choice comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Confront Your Boss

If it seems like your boss is trying to push you to quit rather than firing you, bring the subject to your boss. If there’s a misunderstanding somewhere, it will put things into perspective for your boss. He or she will realize that you feel unwelcome in the workplace. If it isn’t a misunderstanding, your boss will either have to make a move or cease the antics.

Go Above Your Boss

If your boss’s behavior has been egregiously unacceptable, complaining about it directly to the source may not yield results. Go above your boss, and complain to the person they report to. Your boss should be held accountable for his or her behavior. 


Just leave. Even if you can technically save your position by proving that your boss used some shady and illegal strategies to make you quit, it can be hard to stay in a workplace where you have negative associations with the way people treat you. You deserve to feel safe and respected at work. Tune up your resume and start searching. If your boss is really eager for you to leave, he or she will likely write you a letter of recommendation to help you find a new position. 

Feeling pushed to quit is an awkward situation to be in. Thankfully, that situation doesn’t have to last forever. If your boss doesn’t want to take an effective approach, you can. 

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About the author:

Sienna Walker is an ex-tutor, a careers and education blogger, and a huge advocate of lifelong-learning and self-improvement. Whenever not writing, Sienna can usually be found online, participating in discussions with business owners and job-seekers, or sharing her tips and strategies for effective learning. If you ever visit her Twitter @SiennaWalkerS feel free to say “hi” to her.

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