I get the distinct impression that I'm being managed out of my job. My boss has started setting me ridiculous targets, which are impossible to meet, and he's being offish with me. What can I do about it? Should I stick it out or make a run for it?
Jeremy Says: There are certain individuals, luckily not that many, who develop irrational and groundless aversions for other human beings. And when the aversion is held by a senior person, there's nothing that the luckless object of that aversion can do about it. Attempting to counter such irrationality with an appeal to reason is doomed to failure.
The danger for you is this. Although you know with an absolute certainty that the targets your boss is setting you are objectively impossible to meet, you'll nonetheless be left with a wholly unjustified feeling of failure. And if this goes on, your self-confidence will take such a battering that it could take you some time to recover.
So please don't see this unpleasant situation as somehow a test of your character. 'Sticking it out' would be pointless - and possibly damaging. But equally, don't feel you're 'making a run for it'. You're not surrendering - you're making a sensible, grown-up decision to find a better job. Take your time.
Don't rush it. But don't waver.
Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. Email him your problems at firstname.lastname@example.org. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.