When your boss starts to change their behavior towards you, it can be difficult to know what to make of it.
Is your boss wanting you to leave? Are you on the verge of getting fired? Or is it a sign that your boss is testing your readiness for more responsibility?
This article is going to unpack the most common signs your boss is testing you.
To do that, we had a group of experts submit what they think are the most common signs that your boss might be testing you.
Let’s dive in.
- 1 Signs Your Boss Is Testing You
- 1.1 1. They Start Inviting You To Important Meetings
- 1.2 2. You Get Assigned Tasks Outside of Your Normal Responsibility
- 1.3 3. They Start Asking Your Advice On Important Matters
- 1.4 4. You Start Receiving Increasingly Ambiguous And/or Challenging Tasks
- 1.5 5. Your Manager Watches Your Work and Gives Plenty of Feedback
- 1.6 6. You Get More Difficult Assignment With Tighter Deadlines
- 1.7 7. You Start Getting Harsher Feedback
- 2 How To Respond To When Your Boss Is Testing You
- 3 Conclusion
Signs Your Boss Is Testing You
1. They Start Inviting You To Important Meetings
If your boss is inviting you to meetings with senior people in the organization or with significant clients, it may be an indication that they are testing your communication and networking skills. This could be a hint that your supervisor is testing your abilities to network with major clients.
In this circumstance, it is essential to be well-prepared and professional, and you should make the most of the occasion to demonstrate your abilities and expertise.
Your boss may be putting you to the test, but they also want to evaluate whether or not you can effectively represent the company and cultivate relationships with important stakeholders.
Pareen Sehat, Clinic Director, Well Beings Counselling
2. You Get Assigned Tasks Outside of Your Normal Responsibility
One sign that your boss may be testing you is when they assign you a project or task that is outside of your usual responsibilities and skill set. This could mean that your boss wants to see how you handle new challenges and if you have the potential to take on more responsibility in the future.
Matthew Warzel, President, MJW Careers
3. They Start Asking Your Advice On Important Matters
One sign that your boss is testing you is when they seek your advice on important matters. This means they want to see how you think, how you communicate, and how you handle pressure. They also want to gauge your level of confidence, competence, and commitment.
I ask my employees for feedback and suggestions on how to improve the company and the team. I do this because I want to see how they cope with uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. I also want to see how they lead, adapt, and innovate. Many team leads do this to see how the employees align with the company’s vision, values, and culture.
Alex Alexakis, Foudner, Pixel Chiefs
4. You Start Receiving Increasingly Ambiguous And/or Challenging Tasks
If your boss asks you to complete tasks that are either too vague or impossible to achieve, this could be a sign they are testing you. It may be their way of seeing how well you can problem solve and how quickly you can come up with creative solutions.
This could also be their way of examining how much effort you are willing to put into a task and how much initiative you take in completing it. If your boss is setting these kinds of expectations, then they may be testing how well you can handle the pressure or difficult tasks that come with the job.
Georgia Mckenzie, Foudner and CEO, Switch On Business
5. Your Manager Watches Your Work and Gives Plenty of Feedback
If your manager has suddenly taken a much more active role in watching what you do, they may be testing you to see if you’re up to the job. They could give additional feedback on tasks or ask questions more frequently than normal – all as part of an assessment process.
Richard Nolan, Chief People Officer, EPos Now
6. You Get More Difficult Assignment With Tighter Deadlines
This can indicate that the higher-ups want to push boundaries and assess how well employees handle pressure situations before assigning them even bigger tasks – so don’t be afraid of a challenge!
Richard Nolan, Chief People Officer, EPos Now
7. You Start Getting Harsher Feedback
They’re providing feedback or criticism that seems overly harsh or critical. It could be a way to see how you respond to constructive feedback or to test your resilience.
Eric Jones, CEO, Couture Candy
How To Respond To When Your Boss Is Testing You
If you find that some or all of the above signs do apply to you, here are some tips on how to respond if your boss is testing you:
- Stay focused and organized: Prioritize tasks and manage your time efficiently to ensure that you’re effectively handling the additional workload..
- Maintain a positive attitude: Embrace the challenge as an opportunity to learn and demonstrate your skills.
- Ask for assistance or clarification when needed: This shows your willingness to learn and ensures you’re completing tasks correctly.
- Keep communication lines open: Regularly update your boss on your progress, ask questions, or share concerns.
- Reflect and learn: After completion, evaluate the process to identify areas for improvement and implement those learnings in future tasks.
By applying these tips, you can turn your boss’s tests into opportunities for personal and professional growth. Feel free to use what you need from my response.
The above tips were provided by Jo Larsen, Personal Development and Growth Blogger, jolarsen.com
In many cases, your boss testing you is a very good thing.
It often means that they’re evaluating you for more responsibility or a higher position.
So, if you see any of the above signs your boss is testing you, put your best foot forward and good things may come.