In a fair world, one would assume that a boss has your best interest at heart, but when things become a little dubious and unexpected at work, then you might be right on the money about ulterior motives from your boss. Some people may look at you crazy when you tell them that your boss isn’t really on your side, and dismiss any signs of rejection regarding projects and certain responsibilities. Although there’s a thin line between taking things personally and calling a spade a spade, it’s important to remain vigilant and ready with a boss who you’ve already sensed isn’t looking out for you. Unfortunately, a boss holds a certain amount of power and can make decisions based on personal merit, but charge these hidden intentions to inevitable “business decisions.” 

A shady boss can play you out of a promotion because of favoritism.Photo: GIFSoup

You’ve put time in that associate role for several years, and you've passed your annual review with flying colors, but your bank account and job title remain exactly the same. You’ve openly expressed to your boss interest in being promoted within your department, and your boss seems receptive to the idea. Shortly enough, you find out that your peer, who hasn’t paid their dues, in fact, got that manager position you’ve been eyeing.

Here’s the thing: bosses don’t always like to admit that they play favorites, and because of this very notion, you could be doing all the right things professionally, but may not be into sucking up to higher-ups. Hence, your peer is the one that gets the promotion coupled with a lucrative raise. Favoritism in the workplace is an underrated and concealed requirement for some bosses when it comes to promotion. Understandably, a boss would want to work with someone they like, but sometimes this sentiment is taken too far and can compromise all the hard work you put forth in a company.

A shady boss can present the work and not give you the credit you deserve.Photo: Giphy

This is perhaps one of the most common forms of ulterior motives. You may be assigned to lead and uphold the responsibility to create and execute a project, but your boss offers to present and becomes the face of the whole movement. This kind of action is a tough pill to swallow for any over-worked professional, because when it comes down to it, your name and recognition fly under the radar at the expense of your boss receiving significant credit for the overall vision of the project. Bosses do this all the time in a team setting because they understand that recognition and visibility in the workplace goes a long way, and can be the determining factor in making or breaking your career. Understand the value in receiving credit for your work and ensure that isn't the case at your place of work.

A shady boss may sabotage your reputation internally.Photo: Giphy

Finally, a boss’ perception of you holds importance within the four walls of a company, and often times in the industry as whole. Depending on your relationship with your boss, their reference may halt your upward mobility in your professional career. What’s worse? At times you may not even be aware of the extent of your boss’ personal dislike for you, and then you're blindsided by alleged "executive decisions" put in place in order to kick you to the curb (in the nicest way possible). Before things intensify, beat your boss to the punch and do what’s necessary in order to move to different management, or an overall different company.

Just because some people don't want to see you win at work, it doesn't mean that the success comes to an end. Take ownership for all the good and bad, but also become extremely aware and receptive enough to see when you're being led on at work by your boss. Be your own lookout.