You’ve heard the rumors in the break room. Layoffs are imminent. Or maybe you just didn’t meet your productivity goals last quarter and you’re nervous. Are you the one who’ll be laid off? Did your mistake cost you your job? How can you tell?
Here are some signs you’re about to get the boot.
Your Level of Responsibility Has Taken a Nosedive
If you used to handle huge projects and now you’re fetching coffee, that’s bad. If you’re typically so busy that you barely have time to blink and now you have to ask for work, tasks have obviously been shifted to others. A Career coach says, “This means your boss is already preparing for your absence and doesn’t want too many of your assignments up in the air when he or she finally tells you you’re getting the pink slip.”
The Boss Is Avoiding You
“One of the biggest signs that you may be on the short list and about to be shown your way to the door is when people, including your boss or manager, begin to avoid you or become less responsive to your calls, emails, etc,”. The human resources author advises seeking feedback in these situations rather than avoiding it. “It may represent an opportunity to turn the situation around.”
You’ve Been Disciplined Recently
Many people participate in their own discipline meetings and then fail to see it coming when they’re let go. Let’s face it, though, you know if you aren’t a good employee. If you’re constantly late, not meeting your sales or production goals, having problems with your co-workers, etc. then this should not be a surprise. The first meeting or write-up is a warning; the second is a gift to let you know you’re on really thin ice. The third is usually the end.
All Hail the Robots!
If your job can be automated, it probably will be automated. “If the type of work that you do can be done by a machine instead of a person, you may need to look for another type of job,” says career coach Cheryl Palmer, owner of Call to Career. “It’s usually just a matter of time before your company decides that a machine can do your job for less money.”
No More Professional Development
if you are no longer permitted to leave for professional association luncheons or your employer withdraws prior approval for a class you wanted to take, this is a bad sign. It may be a “back door” communication strategy, according to Leigh Steere, a management coach. Steere advises an employee in this situation to ask, tactfully, what is going on — and possibly to begin looking for another job.
Your Company was recently acquired
if you work at Small Widget Factory and are bought out by Gigantic Widget Factory; chances are they already have someone there who does your job. You may be asked to remain for a while to get your counterpart at Gigantic Widget Factory up to speed, but then your duplicate position will probably be eliminated.
You’ve been asked to create a Job Description for Your Position
if a company is in financial trouble and cutting costs, eliminating salaries is always a possibility and the company will need to prepare for when you’re gone. “One way they do that is by making a big push to get precise, updated job descriptions for everyone. The company needs to know exactly what you do so they can possibly replace you with a lower paid employee or even a temp,” says Julie Austin, founder of Fun Job Fairs. Of course there are legitimate reasons for getting job descriptions also, so context is key in this regard.