It’s never easy getting fired from a job (of course), but sometimes, you can predict the inevitable. It may not be a shock if you know what to look for.
Keep your ears and eyes open at the office. Or if you’re working from home, pay attention during staff meetings and read those emails, especially when they come from upper management. Don’t be caught unaware. Preparation is key.
Be proactive if you notice any of these signs in your workplace.
Sign #1: You’re on a “Performance Improvement Plan”
The stated intention of a PIP is to help improve employee performance through a structured process, but many companies use the PIP after making the decision to fire a staff member. The PIP is used to avoid a lawsuit.
If you find yourself on a PIP, do yourself a favor and get your resume together and start looking for other job opportunities. You’ll be glad that you did.
Sign #2: You’re getting fewer projects assigned to you
If your organization no longer has faith in your ability to do your job, they will probably assign fewer projects to you. They might be hoping that you get bored at work and decide to leave for another job, which would save the company the time and expense (and potential legal trouble) of a layoff.
Sign #3: You’re no longer invited to participate in meetings
If you’re no longer invited to attend meetings that you used to attend, this could be a sign that your contributions are no longer valued.
Pay attention to meetings in the office. Do your coworkers seem actively engaged while you’re twiddling your thumbs? Be proactive and address this with your boss if you believe that you’re being left out of important meetings or office work. At the very least, addressing this with your boss will show them that you care, and that’s always a good thing.
Sign #4: Your performance reviews are less than stellar
Most organizations enforce annual performance reviews. If your reviews consistently show negative reviews, then your days at your current employer might be numbered. One bad performance review may not be enough for your company to fire you, but multiple bad reviews in a row will make it much easier for your organization to replace you.
Sign #5: Your boss has pushed you away
Did your relationship with your boss suddenly change? Maybe your boss is less responsive to your emails or questions? Or avoids you during the day?
If you had a fairly open relationship with your boss that has turned sour, it could be an indication that you’re no longer in favor with your boss, which could also mean he or she is looking to replace you.
Related: Don’t Let a Horrible Boss Destroy You (Like I Almost Did)
Sign #6: You’re asked to provide frequent status updates
A sudden requirement to provide regular status updates, especially when the rest of your team isn’t required to do so, is a clear sign that management doesn’t trust you. Remember that most managers are busy people and reading status reports is typically the last thing that they want to do.
However, if your company forces your entire team to provide frequent status reports, then that’s probably not a sign that your days with your company are coming to a close.
Sign #7: You are being set up for failure
If you are given assignments that are clearly above your pay grade, or your company is enforcing impossible deadlines for your work, then it could mean you’re being set up for failure as an excuse for letting you go. I’ve seen this time and time again. In fact, it’s happened to me.
Note that it’s quite common for deadlines to seem impossible to meet, so this may not mean you’re on the chopping block. It could just be the nature of the business or a sign that management doesn’t understand the work that you are doing and how long it should take to complete it.
Don’t jump to conclusions, but be aware of how the expectations your company has placed on you is impacting your effectiveness at work.
Sign #8: Your boss is micromanaging you
Bosses that closely manage certain employees could be looking for an excuse to fire those individuals. This is especially true if your boss suddenly developed this new management style specifically with you when they were previously hands-off with your work.
If this happens after a negative performance review, then it’s a clear sign that you’re being watched for mistakes that could lead to being laid off or fired.
Sign #9: You’ve been asked to take time off
Asking certain staff members to take time off is a sign that something’s not right. It could be a response to financial struggles of the organizations. But, it could also mean that your company doesn’t want you in the office. Taking your vacation time means your employer won’t have to pay out as many unused vacation days if they lay you off, or fire you.
If you’re seeing any of these signs at the office, update your resume immediately. Then, start looking around at job opportunities to see what’s available in your area. Even if the worst doesn’t happen, it’s still a good idea to survey the market every once in a while.
More Career Articles:
- Get Your Cover Letter Ready With These 18 Easy Do’s and Don’ts
- Quitting Your Job? Here’s How to Write Your Two Weeks Notice Letter
- Why Won’t Anyone Hire Me? 18 Possibilities & How to Easily Fix Them
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.