Jealous Boss Wants to Make Me Useless

Dear Not Useless:
My answer to your question can’t be situation specific because you didn’t respond to my request for instances of what caused you to think your boss is jealous and why you attribute that to her not giving you much work and wanting to prove you are useless. Nor did you describe yourself so that our advice would be of help to you.

The possible reasons your boss might be jealous is that you are more attractive, energetic, and/or appear to want her job or to fail. She might feel better by proving you inferior. Who knows why if indeed she is jealous of you. 

Is it to prove you are not useless? Or is it to simply keep your job until you are able to acquire another? 

Which ever you want to do, here are several options: 

  1. Learn the business. Use that time, you say, is available because your boss is not giving you much work. Study the company’s suppliers and markets, its various departments, safety, Human Resources, and quality control efforts. Apply to job postings that would enable you to transfer. Study the individual LinkedIn profiles of those heading different departments and you executives.
  2. Talk with your boss about how well you are doing, what you might do to make a more valuable contribution, and advice she has for your career. Bosses usually have more experience than those they boss and like to think their advice merits being considered.
  3. Think numbers within your boss’s area–ways it could cut wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy, and ways to innovate saving/making money.
  4. Focus on creating a network beyond your workplace. How? By searching the industry–companies and good places to work. Establish and/or polish your profile on LinkedIn. Incidentally, visit my 40 articles posted. 
  5. Study a few of the thousands of Q&As posted on our site Ask the Workplace Doctors. The varied questions from all levels of employees forewarn you of what to expect and our advice forearms you of how to cope.
  6. Work on yourself to become a more healthy, attractive, likable, interesting, and gracious individual. Study The Greater Good Science sources

Do any of these options make sense in your particular situation? Your question indicates you want to feel good about going to work and that you are not wasting your own or others time. I will be interested in what you do. I predict you can and have the will to become a more empowered individual. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.  You don’t have to be a victim. You don’t have to grovel. You can have the guts and grit to make a difference. I hope you will make some big egos where you work as well as your own. –William Gorden