I have been working on a project from a few years. My Manager never appreciates us, but is very quick to find the faults. I have also been yelled upon for the mistakes of others. Last year I had expressed my desire to leave, stating some secondary reasons. I was not allowed to leave. I even wrote to my HR and higher authorities, but, no one went against my Manager's wish to keep me. My Manager told that he would leave me after 3 months. After 3 months, it became some more months, and then some months more further. And now he is trying to further extend me for another year. Here, there is absolutely no appreciation, or praise, for the hard work, I, or my colleagues, put in. But the mistakes (genuine or not) are yelled upon pretty quick followed by angry threats. As far as I am concerned, it has become a point that if there is a group meeting, I would definitely be pointed out, without a reason, and my other colleagues can anticipate that. Another senior, a friend of my Manager, has also started hating me ever since I answered the question he had publicly asked, on the same public platform, which he didn't like. Not a single opportunity is missed to pinpoint a mistake. I even indirectly offered a replacement, which was rejected.

Also, even though we are made to work even on the weekends and festivals, there is absolutely no self-progress, with not enough work, due to which I am getting out of touch with my skills, and my knowledge rusting away. I am also not able to find interviews (trying my best though) with other companies at the moment.

The only benefits I have are extra salary from working overtime (with less allowances) and working from the place of choice (which if I argue a lot may be taken away too), which are not enough without motivation or satisfaction.

Due to this I have started to feel depressed. My manager is trying to extend me in the same project for another year, and I don't know how to say No to him, since writing to HR/Senior authorities does not work. I feel in a deadlock. My colleagues feel in a similar fashion.

Any suggestions? I need help on how to tackle this situation, and leave the project.

  • I don't want to leave the company, just the project. – Aftaab Oct 29 '16 at 18:07
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    You may not have that option. The company won't respond to your requests, so that tells you they are aligned with your manager, not with you. You are hardly the first to be in this position. – Wesley Long Oct 29 '16 at 18:11
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    Would help to know what country you're in, and why you don't just find a job elsewhere. – jamesqf Oct 29 '16 at 18:17
  • It's not gonna happen, find another job instead of lamenting your situation online. – Lilienthal Oct 29 '16 at 21:29
  • What's happening, are you chained to your job? No one can make me stay on a job if I don't want to. What does your manager have on you, your wife and your kids as hostages in his basement? I just don't get this "my manager won't let me leave" part. – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 29 '16 at 23:40

In general, you can't "make" your manager do anything. You've already expressed your desire to leave this project, and people higher up than you have (at least implicitly) said that's not going to happen.

Hence the way you leave the project is by leaving the company. This may not be what you want to do, but at this point your options are either leaving the company or staying on the project. Weigh up the benefits of each option and make your decision - that's not something we can help you with though.

  • Kudos... this isn't even a bad question, it just has a pretty direct answer that the OP doesn't want to hear. So I'm glad someone gave it instead of grousing in the comments. – user42272 Oct 30 '16 at 0:37
  • Yep OP already tried the usual routes and failed. Only other option is sabotage the project and get moved, but might get moved out the door. – Kilisi Oct 30 '16 at 0:43

You have pretty much tried the usual avenues. Your remaining options are risky.

You can outright refuse to extend for another year. You cannot force your manager to agree to this, but he/she can't force you to extend if you're prepared to leave over it. However you are not viewed as a valuable employee, so this might just get your bluff called.

Cultivate someone higher up the food and try and get something done.

Lastly (and what I would do while job searching), change your attitude, you are allowing this to get to you. Instead focus on getting out and allow anything else to wash over you. You're not job hunting hard enough. In a situation like this I would take any temporary job just to get breathing space, pay my bills, and review where my future is going.


If this is a larger company, check to see if you can apply directly to a position on a different project (preferably one that has a very different upper management chain). If you can sell yourself to a different project such that they will fight to have you, then they might be able to get you out from your current manager.

You state you still want to work at the same company, but if the above does not work, then I would recommend leaving the company, go work somewhere else for a year and then apply back to the original company. Would you rather work a year at a random company or another year on the same project that is destroying you?

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