Skip to Content

12 Signs Your Boss Is Testing You (And What To Do About It)

12 Signs Your Boss Is Testing You (And What To Do About It)

Are you new to your job? Or are you standing out? Your manager sees this and wants you to take on more responsibility and a higher role. But first, they will have to test you. This is when you will see these signs your boss is testing you.

Of course, not all of these are good signs. Your boss might be micromanaging, and you can be stuck with a challenging assignment. Everything you do, make sure you are ready for the challenge and accept all the constructive criticism you receive.

When your boss tests you, it can be difficult to know what they are looking for. They might be looking for a specific skill or behavior they want from you. Or they might just want to see how well you work with others and how well you handle pressure.

Signs Your Boss Is Testing You: 12 Ways To Know

How do you know if your boss is testing you? Here are the most common signs your boss is testing you:

1. Workload increase

two women working in office

When your workload increases, your boss is trying to find out if you can handle the extra stress. And if it does happen, try to keep your cool and not let them know that they are testing you.

A workload increase can be a sign of increased competition, mentoring, increased responsibility, or just general dissatisfaction with your work.

2. Low work ethic in the work environment

When employers are not satisfied with their employees’ work ethic, there is usually a subtle sign they’re testing them out by giving them tasks that require low effort and little to no creativity.

Your boss might be testing you to see how well you perform at certain tasks. It’s important to know that people make time for what they want.

3. Longer time

Has the number of hours you’re expected to work per week steadily increased? Your work-life must be taking over your personal life. This is a sign that your boss is testing you and your performance on important tasks.

While this may not be good news, it can also be seen as an opportunity to learn and improve your skills. Look on the bright side!

4. Less motivated coworkers

two people working in office

If your coworkers are not motivated, and you don’t know why it might be that your boss is testing you, it might be a sign that they are trying to see if you have the skills to lead a team and be an alpha personality.

You are not the only one feeling frustrated with your coworkers and boss. If you feel like your boss is testing you, it means that either side is not happy with the work you have been doing.

This can signify that it’s time for you to reevaluate your position and maybe even consider looking for a new job.

5. Forming groups

Groups form when someone is trying to find their place in a company by developing work relationships. They also form when someone feels threatened by someone else and wants to have power over them.

When you feel like you are being tested, especially when this is not in the company culture, it’s essential to be aware of your emotions and figure out what the person is trying to test you on.

6. No check-ins

If your boss doesn’t check in with you, it could be for one of two reasons: either they do not trust you, or they don’t like how you work.

In both cases, it’s a sign that they are testing your mettle and trying to see how long they can push you before giving up. At the end of the day, don’t allow anyone to steal your joy and hard work.

7. Not paying attention to important projects

group of people working in office

Your boss is likely trying to see how well you handle the pressure of being responsible for a project, and if you’re not paying attention, they might think that you’re not capable of handling it.

The best way to respond to this situation is by not making any mistakes—be sure to pay attention and do your job right. Of course, help others, especially new employees.

8. Doing work outside of your job description

In reality, working outside of your job description is a sign that your boss is testing you. It can also be a sign that they want you to do more than just what they hired you for.

Some companies might want to see if you are capable of handling different tasks and responsibilities. Other companies might want to see if you are willing to take on new challenges and learn new skillsets.

9. Bad performance review

Are new projects coming along, and do they seem like tough assignments? This is why a bad performance review is catastrophic for you.

It is important to understand the underlying reasons for this behavior and the bad direct report and use it as an opportunity to improve yourself. You should never settle for less, so go and achieve your best results!

10. Old coworkers leaving

packing after quitting

When an old coworker leaves, it can be a sign that your boss is testing you. This happens when your boss is trying to determine how well you will perform in a new role or job.

It’s important to know that this doesn’t mean your boss thinks you are doing a bad job. Instead, they are just trying to see how you’ll perform in a new position and what improvements they need.

11. Not invited to team meetings

Do you see everyone hanging out on their social media posts? Give yourself a break! If you feel like you are not being included in the group or that your boss is testing you, this is a sign that it’s time for a change.

You can’t feel happy or fulfilled if you constantly feel like your work isn’t being appreciated. Being part of a group is essential for everyone, especially when it comes to the workplace.

12. Ignoring you

Ignoring you is a way for them to see how you will react and how much pressure you can handle. This is one of the signs your boss is testing you.

This is a common tactic among bosses to test their employees, especially in a workplace where there are many expectations. If left like this, they may feel that the employee will not be able to handle the job well enough or quit.

My Manager Is Testing Their Employee’s Responsibilities. What Should I Do?

woman making a call in office

You see the clear signs, but what should you do now? Whatever the case may be, here are some tips on how to pass the test:

Be confident: Confidence comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important to be confident in yourself so that you can be confident in your abilities. It will help you believe in yourself, which is one of the best ways to achieve success.

Be open-minded: All of these signs don’t have to mean anything. Maybe you’re doing good work, and your boss trusts you. It is important to remember that people will always disagree with you or may not like you because of your choices.

Don’t take it personally: Don’t take it personally. If you’re being treated poorly, it’s not because you’re a bad person. It’s because they are struggling with their own issues. Maybe their life is a mess, and they need help.

Stay calm and collected: There are many ways to practice staying calm and collected. One way is to focus on your breathing according to the 478 technique and try to slow down your heart rate. Remember, this is just another episode in life.

The main goal is to be honest with yourself. Don’t just try to tell them what they want to hear. If it’s not directly related to your work, be polite and try to say something that will make them happy.

If they ask a question that’s too personal, just give them a vague answer so they can’t get anything out of you. Finally, if you don’t know the answers to their questions, just say that you don’t know and then find out later on.

See also: 14 Sure Signs Your Boss Cares About You

How Do I know If My Boss Is Toxic?

young woman writing something while working

One way to identify if your boss is toxic is by looking at their behavior and reactions when they are under stress or when they get frustrated with others.

If your boss reacts aggressively when they are stressed or frustrated with others, or if they are constantly judging and criticizing the work of others, it is a sign that something may be wrong.

If they snap at people or make them feel like they are not good enough, they’re likely to have toxic tendencies. People often feel intimidated by aggressive people, but there are a few warning signs that can help you recognize if someone is toxic.

If they have a lot of power or authority, have you noticed their behavior towards others? Have they been in the same position for a long time? If so, they’re likely toxic.

Toxic people are a huge problem in the workplace. They can cause a lot of harm to both employees and employers. The first and most important step is identifying what you need to know about your boss.

This includes their personality, their communication style, and how they treat people in the office. Once you have this information, it will be easier for you to recognize whether or not they are toxic.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

woman talking to her boss in hallway

Your boss is testing you. They want to know how well you can take a joke and how quickly you can recover from it. They want to know how much of your work is done on autopilot and what it takes to make you switch gears into hyper-focus mode.

Remember, it’s not a bad thing. It is important to stay positive even when your boss is testing you. No matter how difficult the situation is, you can always find a way to be productive and show your worth.

I hope my article helped you understand how to tell if your boss is testing you and see all the signs your boss is testing you so you don’t miss them and you can carry on with your career growth.