There were 23 signs in that video that our sorrowful subject was going to be fired. Can you recognize them all? (Hint: if you did you should be job hunting):
- You’ve been excluded from meetings.
- You aren’t getting departmental emails.
- You can’t access data you need to do your work.
- You are being overloaded with assignments to set you up to fail
- There is tension between you and your boss.
- Your colleagues don’t talk to you anymore.
- You are excluded from conferences.
- The boss is micro-managing you.
- Your budget has been cut back.
- You get a poor performance review.
- You get warned about your work performance.
- The boss begins a paper trail between you and her.
- You aren’t getting a raise.
- You have to take a pay cut. My boss’s wife recently had a $30,000.00
pay cut. Ouch. I suspect she is on her way out. Stay tuned for an update.
- Your accomplishments are ignored.
- You are reporting to new people.
- You have to report to your subordinates.
- There is going to be a merger. This is always bad news. Always.
- Your work area is reduced. Did you see the film Office Space where an
undermined employee named Milton is removed from his cubicle and
re-assigned to the basement?
- You find a job posting that matches your job.
- The confidential project you are assigned isn’t relevant. Did you see the
Pixar animation “UP?” There was a short follow-up to the film called
“Doug’s Special Mission.” The adventure was assigned to Doug to keep him out
of everyone’s way. Of course he had no idea.
- You are sent for re-training.
- You need an attitude adjustment. This is especially worrisome for a woman
at work. It’s more acceptable in a man.
I didn’t include you making a major mistake that costs the company a lot of money. Oops.
Whether you actually understand why you are being downsized, fired, or laid off, when dismissal is in the air it’s pointless to fight it. Move as soon as you sense it. Approach management and ask them if you are reading them right. Then get to work on your resume.
It’s unlikely that all of those things would happen to a person or she wouldn’t be employed for too long. It’s easy to miss many of those signs. Some people are downright shocked when they get the dreaded pink slip. That’s also when many employees – especially women – find it difficult to negotiate a good severance package. That’s another blog entirely.
At some point in time you will probably see the signs at a certain company where your job is on the line for any number of reasons. Knowing ahead of time what those signs are might be a chance for you to get an edge on management. As soon as you feel the squeeze it’s time to get your resume together and contact your network for leads.
Even if the signs are few and subtle, it’s best to get moving. It can take up to six months to get a new job. And unless you have a financial safety net, you’ll feel the pinch in a hurry.