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When Your Boss Won't Train You

When Your Boss Won't Train You

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

Because it’s possible that you are indeed a really bad fit for this job. But a good manager would either provide you with training and coaching, and/or would have clear and straightforward conversations with you about what you need to be doing differently (eventually leading to a candid conversation about whether continued tenure in the role makes sense). But just keeping you around and being abusive? That screams “bad manager who doesn’t know how to do her job.”

(By the way, having others check your work and assigning you different tasks than what you were hired to do may be a reasonable response to realizing that you’re not excelling at the work. But certainly not without talking to you about what’s going on and why.)

So what do you do, while you’re looking for another job? It’s tough to say. If your boss were a better manager, the path would be pretty clear — talk with her candidly about her obvious frustration, ask for feedback, and probably take the steps in this post on what to do if you think you’re going to get fired.

But she’s not a good manager, and speaking assertively with her about the situation might lead to her either exacting revenge further or just firing you. My best advice — and it’s not a great option — is to document what’s going on, so that if she does fire you, you have documentation of the fact that you’ve asked repeatedly for training and feedback but were refused and that she behaves abusively toward you. This could come in handy for (a) ensuring that you’re eligible to collect unemployment in case the company contests it and (b) getting the company (someone over her head) to agree not to give you a negative reference.

And last, as you’re looking forward to your next job, look back and ask yourself whether — in retrospect — you could have done anything to have avoided this situation before accepting the job. Were there warning signs? Did you not ask many questions about the training that you’d need? Did you not talk about the manager’s style? Not to blame the victim, of course, and plenty of employers misrepresent things during the hiring process, but it’s worth asking if there are ways to avoid a similar situation in the future.

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this and hope you get out soon. Good luck!

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