4 Uncomfortable Signs You’re Being ‘Quiet Fired’ At Work

It might feel like the end of the world, but you'll get through it.

people in meeting at the office SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock

Some workplaces turn toxic as time goes on, and you may be faced with a difficult decision: Do you stay or go? While some people may do all they can to get fired instead of quitting, sometimes managers will act in ways to force you into quitting, a move called “quiet firing.” They’ll purposefully create a hostile environment to make you leave the job of your own volition, so they don’t have to deal with the financial and legal fall-out of actually firing you.


Here are four uncomfortable signs you’re being ‘quiet fired’ at work.

1. You get mostly negative feedback from your manager. 

When a manager is trying to quiet fire you, they’ll offer negative criticism instead of constructive critique. They’ll often decline to offer examples to back up their criticism, which leaves you treading water, with no way of knowing how to improve. This is a major part of quiet firing, as not providing adequate training or guidance makes workers feel unsupported and unappreciated, so they end up quitting.

Sam DeMase, who calls herself “Your Career Bestie” on TikTok, explained that bosses use quiet firing as a way to avoid paying severance or unemployment benefits.




She advises people in a quiet firing situation not to quit, even if staying feels painful.

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2. You feel left out of projects and meetings.

If you’re being quiet fired, the higher-ups will start edging you out of what’s going on in the workplace. This means you won’t get invites to meetings, you’ll be left out of email chains with other employees and your manager might even cancel your one-on-ones entirely. 


businesswoman holding a coffee mug looking out the windowPhoto: Sora Shimakazi / Pexels 

The point of keeping you out of the loop is to make you feel isolated, like your work and contributions aren’t being valued, so you quit, without your manager having to directly lay you off.

3. Your manager is avoiding you.

If you do try to engage your bosses in conversation about why you seem to be getting pushed out, they’ll do anything to redirect the discussion, so they don’t have to take accountability for their actions. 


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4. You’re required to keep a record of all your activity at work.

Your manager might ask you to fill out an activity tracker, which is a detailed account of everything you’re doing on a daily basis at work. 



They might tell you it’s an avenue for collaboration and improvement or a way to share your work. Being put on a Performance Improvement Plan, or PIP, is an indication that your manager isn’t entirely pleased with your work, and wants to track what you’re doing. 


person typing on a laptopPhoto: Anna Shvets / Pexels 

Micromanaging your work, when they used to leave you up to your own devices, is a sign that they’re trying to quiet fire you.

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If you find yourself being quiet fired, don’t despair.

DeMase advises people in this particular toxic work environment to keep records of what’s going on and approach the situation head-on. She tells people not to quit, no matter how hard it feels, because that’s exactly what they want you to do. If you do quit, you won’t be able to receive severance or unemployment benefits, and you deserve to be compensated for the time and effort you spent while working in that particular position.


It’s important to take care of your mental health in any stressful work situation, especially if your job has become a hostile and isolating place.

Keep in mind that your value is tied to so much more than what job you have. No matter what happens, you’ll land firmly on your feet, and new opportunities will present themselves for the taking. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers workplace culture, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.