My boss has several favorite people in the team. He tends to show it when he doesn't like somebody clearly.

I've now fallen out of grace. I was in his inner circle when I joined 6 months ago, now I'm very much out.

I didn't do anything awful. He gave me an undoable task - he's known for doing that - and I tried to diplomatically convince him it can't be done. He does that a lot, e.g. tells me he doesn't want me to work overtime and then tells me he expects me to implement 3 new projects still this year.

I have voiced a question which he interpreted as critical during a (internal) meeting ("maybe we could... instead"). He reacted very badly to that. I explained myself later, apologized if it came across as critical. I admit, it's possible I chose the wrong tone for the question. I was frustrated because of the crazy work time and lack of progress despite discussions.

He's a very political person, is doing everything possible to be liked by his peers and bosses, which in the past meant not standing up for me when that was important.

Why do I think I've fallen out of grace? He ignores my contributions. He criticizes strongly my deliverables, although I have had objective successes in the last weeks and have been working very hard. He ignores most of my emails.

Is there a way to make it better or should I start searching for a new job? The truth is my boss is known for being difficult. But some people get along with that well and I wouldn't like to switch my job so soon.

  • "But some people get along with that well and I wouldn't like to switch my job so soon." Are you the type of person that gets along well with difficult people?
    – sf02
    Oct 12, 2020 at 19:31
  • 1
    @sf02, no, unfortunately not. I'm a quite straightforward person, want to do my job well, don't like office politics, although I have improved a lot in the last years.
    – user552523
    Oct 12, 2020 at 19:32
  • Are you in a large enough company that you might be able to transition to working for a different boss? I've done that a few times when faced with either difficult co-workers or a difficult boss.
    – DaveG
    Oct 12, 2020 at 21:32
  • 1
    @DaveG, there are very limited opportunities given I'm a manager.
    – user552523
    Oct 13, 2020 at 8:08

3 Answers 3


Is there a way to make it better or should I start searching for a new job?

Why you've "fallen from grace" we can only guess.

However, based on your description, this seems like a bit of a toxic and self-centered manager. If he doesn't acknowledge your contributions, reacts badly to your constructive criticism, excludes you from important meetings, gives you hard tasks and impossible deadlines, etc., perhaps you should consider getting another job.

If you are convinced that you have "fallen from grace" and the pattern you see is that your manager fires the ones that fall from grace, it would be logical that you update your resume and start job-hunting just in case your suspicions are true.


One strategy would be to emulate and network with the folks that are on his good side. If there's evidence that people do manage to get along with him, that's probably the path to success. The tricky part is - how long will it take to get enough on his good side to regain the stuff you want.

You could even ask the chosen ones, directly, what they do to get along with this guy. Sounds like he's got a fragile ego, and yet high demands - a lot of folks in those cases do a lot where they don't directly contradict him, and then they have subtle ways of avoiding blame/passing the buck when the unreasonableness of his demands becomes unavoidable. Or they have ways of cutting corners that means it looks like his demands are met (even if the product really isn't meeting all the requirements).

The hard part is - do you actually want to work for this guy? A bad boss is a real morale killer. How much of him do you want to put up with before you consider a new job? While it's not fun to look for a new job shortly after joining a company, putting up with a really toxic situation for years is just years of your life you won't get back... but it's really up to you to decide how bad it is, and how much you want to put up with. It's also your call on how uncomfortable it feels to emulate the people in his inner circle.


Favorites in an office place is a bad sign.

Even if you do most of what you should do right, consider that the favorites keep their position by making sure there aren't new favorites.

You only control half of the picture here, you control how you present yourself. The others control what the boss is thinking before he sees you.

To turn this around, you need to win over the boss and the favorites; and, you need to make sure the favorites are the kinds of people who will share a little of their spotlight with you.

Since some of these items are in your control, and some are not, don't be too hard on yourself if the favorites act protectively by keeping you out of the club. There is only so much spotlight to go around in these unhealthy kinds of jobs.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .