When It’s Time to Fire Your Boss


“You’re fired!” Those are words most of us hope not to hear, and never really expect to say. But, when you leave a company for another opportunity, that’s essentially what you’re telling your boss.

Here’s a short list of reasons to consider “firing” your boss:

  • You’re not seeing a greater, long-term growth opportunity within the company.
  • Your last 2-3 performance reviews lacked sufficient, growth-focused “meat” or feedback for you to really sink your teeth into.
  • Your boss is always in the way – meaning, he or she lacks an ability to empower you to take on increasing responsibility. You lack opportunities to really run with projects because your boss seems to attend every meeting and prefers to be copied on every email.
  • Your boss makes promotion, job, or compensation promises he or she doesn’t keep.
  • You’ve been in the same position for two or more years, despite feedback from your boss that you’re doing all the right things and you’re on track for more.
  • Each time you bring up the topic of career development within the company, your boss responds with something like, “Let’s keep talking.”
  • Meetings with your boss seem to be more about his or her development than your own.

When this list sounds more familiar than not, it may be time to move on. The key is giving enough time – not years, but some time – and ample room for discussion with your boss so that you can assuredly conclude when it’s time to move on to another opportunity.

If you know the time is right, it’s time to focus your efforts externally. Why not take stock, revamp your resume, and make a few new connections?

Now, what if you’re the boss? What if you suspect you may be “fired” by an employee or two soon?

Be proactive. It’s time to take your meetings with your team members off auto pilot and start dialoging to understand their current satisfaction level with their job and the company, where they see themselves headed in the coming months, what goals they have yet to achieve and how you can play a role in helping them get there. See if there’s a way to help them grow within their role and the company. Waking up your interaction with your team members and getting back onboard as a partner in their growth and development will serve as much as a learning opportunity for you as it will for your employee.


– Jackie Simon

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