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What Happened When I Was Gaslit By My Boss


I started my new job with the kind of inflated confidence that comes with finally acquiring a fancy title and a salary that would pay off student credit card debts still lingering from 2012. I even bought a blazer with the ASOS voucher given to me as a leaving gift from my old team. I hadn’t worn a blazer since high-school so clearly, I meant serious business at this point in my life.
Like 49% of UK workers who took part in a LinkedIn survey, I consider a good relationship with colleagues as being one of the biggest factors for feeling fulfilled at work – so I was relieved to find that my new boss was a gem to work with. In those first two months, I enjoyed learning the ropes and taking advantage of the office perks. Then, I was moved to work under a different manager.
Six months later, I became part of the 41% of employees who told the same survey that they left a job due to being unsatisfied with the leadership. My days were spent crying in the loos, doubting my abilities, questioning my work ethic, losing all confidence and becoming withdrawn from the team. I felt worthless.
But it wasn’t because I was swamped with deadlines, dealing with a shouting boss or being told I was a failure. Bizarrely, it was the complete opposite.
I constantly asked for work to do but it was always withheld from me, and I became increasingly paranoid trying to work out why. Any work that I did get was either menial or it had already been done, by my boss. I didn’t get clear answers to my questions about the role and I often had my weekly catch-ups – where I would voice these frustrations – pushed back for days.
And yet I was always told that I was performing well, which left me even more confused. The only job I felt I’d been given the chance to perform well in was monitoring the cat memes channel on Slack. It got to the point where I seriously thought I’d only been taken on to up the number of female employees in a predominately male company.
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