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Job pressures and inertia often hamper employees awareness about an imminent job loss. Many admit later that "'the signs were there. I was too busy trying to get things done". After merger of acquisition the lack of clarity about a post-merger role "could be a sign that you're on the list for outplacement". Prompt recognition of shaky job security might help win better exit packages and start employment searches earlier.
Common signs include but not limited to (5 Signs You are About to Lose Your Job)
Watch for significant shifts in your supervisor's decision-making process. For example it is also common that your boss refuses to discuss any long-term projects. (Six Subtle Signs You're About to Lose Your Job - WSJ)
Last year, the marketing vice president of a small maker of consumer goods wanted to hire a booth designer for a trade show that was eight months away. His employer showcases new items at the annual event. The chief executive balked at approving the show budget for at least 30 days, however. The VP "didn't connect the dots," recalls Laurence J. Stybel, co-founder of Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire, a Boston leadership consultancy who advised the manufacturer. "That should have been a warning sign."
The man lost his job two months later. The lesson? Watch for significant shifts in your supervisor's decision-making process.
In Huffington Post Donna Ballman shared the following advice (What to Know Before You Get Fired or Laid Off). As the author of the newly released book, Stand Up for Yourself Without Getting Fired, hereís my advice:
What to do if you think youíre going to be fired: Signs may include your boss not looking you in the eye; youíre directed to write down everything you do and how you do it; a new person started a week ago and youíve been asked to train him or her. Translation: Youíre on your way out.
Unless you have a contract saying you can only be fired for cause, under federal law, the employer doesnít have to give any reason for letting you go.
While this is a stressful time, itís also an opportunity to prepare.
If you think youíre being singled out due to race, age, sex or national origin, start writing down the ways you believe youíve been treated differently. A discrimination claim might give you leverage to negotiate a better severance package.
No matter why you may lose your job, polish your resume; copy any thank you notes, letters or great reviews youíve received from your boss; take any plaques, certificates and awards home (in case youíll be asked to leave abruptly) and get a copy of your personnel file if you can, as well as the employee handbook and benefits policies.
Be discreet, though. Donít empty out your office in one day. If you do, your employer
may say you quit.
Many people try to use their leftover vacation time as part of their notice period.
But most employers wonít let you do this. If you really need to take that prepaid
vacation, take the time off youíve earned, then come back and give notice. Otherwise,
you might be taking an unpaid vacation.
(MORE: 7 Rules for Quitting Your Job Gracefully)
Keep in mind that potential claims, like age discrimination, may give you leverage to negotiate a severance package if it is not offered, or to negotiate a better package.
If you will receive severance, be careful before signing an agreement. You may wind up agreeing to something costing you more than the amount of your severance, such as a requirement to turn down a job offer from a competitor. If the employer wants you to sign a non-compete clause and the restriction is longer than the number of weeks of severance, itís probably not worth signing unless youíre going into an entirely new field.
If you donít understand everything in your severance agreement, you should have a lawyer review it. Many employment attorneys will work to negotiate a better package for you, although having one could lead your ex-employer to dig in its heels about the company's severance offer.
To find an employment lawyer, ask friends and former colleagues whoíve received
severance agreements and consult the
online directory of the
National Employment Lawyers Association.
Hereís the truth about an exit interview: Your employer canít make you go to one.
Iíd suggest not giving an exit interview unless the firm offers to pay you the equivalent of your salary for the time it takes to do one. The trouble with exit interviews is that anything you say can come back to bite you later. Iíve seen people who were accused of making threats or engaging in inappropriate behavior during their exit interviews.
If you do have the session, avoid the temptation to blast your supervisors or complain about their incompetence or mismanagement. Remember: These are the people who will be giving references to potential employers. So no matter what you think of them, hold your tongue. It could serve you well in the future.
US NewsGetting fired can have lasting repercussions, both financially and professionally. Bills may go unpaid, and having left on such poor terms, securing a reference who will speak fondly of your tenure may be next to impossible. In a worst-case scenario, an employer cuts ties unexpectedly.
Some employees may detect dissatisfaction in their boss, as one-on-one meetings and warning emails send red flags regarding their job security. Others who lack self-awareness may have no clue what's coming. For both the alert and oblivious, here are some signs that you may soon get the professional axe.
Your boss views you as an irritant, not an asset. Having a conflict-ridden relationship with your boss is a leading indicator that your job is in jeopardy, according to Cynthia Shapiro, a former human resources executive and author of "Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn't Want You to Know Ė and What to Do About Them." "If you and your boss are oil and water, you have no job security," she says. "[It] doesn't matter how good you are at your job, doesn't matter how much money you make for the company ... If you're a thorn in your boss's side, [he or she] will get rid of you as soon as possible."
[Read: How to Fire Someone Compassionately.]
You get the universal cold shoulder. Having already made up his or her mind about your ouster, your boss becomes emotionally detached, says Monica Wofford, a leadership development expert and author of "Make Difficult People Disappear." "This is also why they stop being jovial, stop being chatty [and] stop talking about social attributes."
Meanwhile, colleagues privy to your fate and mindful of the drawbacks of being associated with a soon-to-be fired employee, cease making eye contact and offering invites to lunch and happy hour, Shapiro says.
Word about your negativity has spread. Routinely slamming the company, both in written and verbal form, has become one of your favorite pastimes. As a result, your utterances have caused your boss and colleagues to brand you as a Negative Nancy and a drain on company morale. Such employees, Shapiro says, are always prime targets for being fired.
You confirm your boss's worst perceptions. Your recent behavior does little to dispel entrenched notions your boss has developed. "When a boss labels an employee as a non-performer, [it] means that boss will then seek out actions, behaviors and demonstrations that validate the label they've given that employee," Wofford says. For example, if your boss is suspicious about your work ethic, he or she will look for episodes of laziness. If you turn in work late or pass on projects intended to help you grow as an employee, you've vindicated his or her opinion.
[Read: 7 Things Your Boss Should Never Say to You.]
High profile projects no longer come your way. At one point, you were the go-to person for dealing with important clients and finishing major projects. But now your boss delegates prestigious assignments to other employees. "[He or she] is no longer willing to align themselves with you as a highly visible member of the team," Wofford says.
You're given a performance improvement plan. Months of mistakes or having a negative attitude has led your boss to treat you as a grade school student by tracking your performance on a daily or weekly basis. In creating a performance improvement plan, the company may set goals that are unattainable. In that case, it's "no longer invested in [an employee's] success or keeping them," Shapiro says.
Everyone else gets a raise but you. For months, you've stayed late or put in lengthy hours on the weekends. Yet your extra effort isn't being rewarded with a bump in pay. Meanwhile, your colleagues are ecstatic over their recent salary increases. "If you feel like you've been working hard and everyone else on your team is getting a raise, you're in trouble," Shapiro says. "That's the beginning of either being managed out or set up for termination."
1- No longer part of the loopYou used to be in on the latest scoop, whether it was corporate or social in nature. When Jason down the hall had an affair with the new administrative assistant, you were one of the first to hear about it. Now the water cooler or cappuccino machine is deserted when you approach.
Because of your position within the company, you should have access to crucial financial information. That used to be the case. Last year you knew about a pessimistic sales forecast from executive management before most did. But things have changed, and you have reason to be concerned about potential cuts. Now you seldom communicate with executive management, except to offer a lame compliment or make an effort at pleasant banter. If you're no longer in the loop, it may be because you're about to get fired.
9- Bad review & boss has an eye on youTaken another way, a review could be a positive step in your career development. Not when the focus is negative however. From your boss' breath on your neck to the regular scrutiny, his attention is unwanted. You can sense that your future in the company is being evaluated and there is no escape. The fact of the matter is that if you were a prized commodity, you would never be put under the microscope.
Worse yet is a negative review, for the sheer permanence factor alone. A formal corporate review process is the one chance you have to quantify your hard effort and overtime. Or lack thereof. You will reap what you sow and a chicken will come home to roost. You get the point. The chaff has to be separated from the wheat in business. Improve your performance and become an asset to your firm now.
Know Where You Stand & Go From There
You used to get your assignments and handle them on your own without a problem. But now, nothing you do is right and your boss feels the need to tell you that as often as possible.
While every boss is different and circumstances inevitably vary, if your manager is micromanaging you to the point of absurdity it's because he/she doesnít trust you. And before you start getting defensive, it doesn't matter why. For whatever reason -- misguided or deserved -- your boss feels you can't be trusted to perform even the simplest of tasks on your own. Now you're mired in a dysfunctional situation in which your boss feels like he has an inept employee, as you grow more and more resentful and start dreading work every day.
SOLUTION: The easy answer is quit and find another job. But if that's not possible, try talking with your boss openly and honestly. Suggest one weekly meeting to avoid the constant visits to your desk multiple times a day. Without being confrontational, tell your boss you want to do a good job and excel, but need a little more independence to do so.
- Inaccessibility & Indifference
While it's the opposite of the micromanaging problem, being on the receiving end of the cold shoulder is no fun either.
Your boss seems to have no problem making some time for his favorites in the office, but when you try to book some time with him/her it never seems to happen. All of your one-on-ones seem to get canceled or rescheduled at the last minute, or worse -- your boss forgets you had a meeting altogether. The harsh reality is managers will make time for someone whenever they feel it is important enough to do so. So if you can't get an audience with your boss while others can, he/she obviously has a specific problem with you.
SOLUTION: If this has been a recurring problem you can forget email -- you need to manufacture some face-time with your boss. Scope out a time the boss is alone, walk in confidently and immediately stress to him/her you need to discuss something important. Say something along the lines of "I know how busy you are, but we seem to have had some trouble with scheduling recently and I really need to talk to you because I value your input and guidance. So do you have a few minutes?"
- Exclusion. Youíre sitting in your cubicle at 2:59 p.m., when suddenly everyone on your team rises and heads to the conference room. Youíve got nothing scheduled and received no urgent emails, so you ask where everyone is going only to find out your boss called a meeting for a project on which you're working.
That leaves two options, neither of them very good. Either
- your boss genuinely and mistakenly forgot to invite you, or
- you were excluded on purpose.
While the latter is obviously worse, if youíre so forgettable to your boss that you slip his/her mind for a simple meeting invite, thatís not a good sign either.
SOLUTION: At the earliest possibility, approach your boss directly and ask him what happened. It might just have been an honest mistake, so avoid being confrontational or emotional about what happened. But if it was intentional, be firm about your need to hear from your boss what problems exist in his/her eyes. Stress the fact that you canít do your job effectively if youíre not privy to meetings and the most current information.
- Ignored/Insulted During Meetings. Team meetings -- especially gatherings such as brainstorming sessions -- are supposed to be a non-judgmental place to freely express ideas and get the ball rolling. But if all of your contributions are met with derision, scorn and dismissals from your boss then you know something is amiss. If you're being ignored or -- even worse -- "shushed" during the creative process, then that's a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
SOLUTION: We sound like a broken record at this point, but you need to talk to your boss about this. Some bosses just aren't great with people or social skills, and he/she honestly might not even realize it's happening. This is a tough tightrope for an employee to walk because if you come across as a complainer, then you're just going to be viewed as a whiner. So eat some humble pie and try something along the lines of "I feel like I might not be expressing myself in meetings in the most effective way and I definitely have a lot of good ideas I'd like to communicate. Do you have any tips that might help me and, in turn, benefit the team?"
There's room to be smart and savvy without turning into a total pushover. Find that middle ground.
- Lack of Feedback. The only thing worse than constant negative feedback from your boss, is no feedback at all.
At least when your boss is dumping on you, you know he/she still cares enough to say something. But if you're handing in work on a consistent basis and getting zero positive or negative feedback, it could mean your boss doesn't view you as a valued team member and therefore doesn't care what you do. It's possible your time could be limited and you're not being coached up because your boss knows you won't be around much longer.
SOLUTION: If you can find something else thatís a better fit, you might want to pull the trigger. But if you need the job and want to stay, you have to take matters into your own hands. Pull out your dusty copy of your employee handbook and find the section on employee reviews. Is yours way past due? If so, cite that in an email to your boss in which you specifically ask for feedback in the hopes of improving your performance. Couch it in a way that shows youíre ever-eager to evolve and improve. As an added bonus, it serves as written proof that youíre doing your part if it gets to the point of termination or HR getting involved.
- You're Assigned Menial Tasks. You worked hard for that bachelor's degree. Even harder for the master's. You have a sharp mind, a few years of experience under your belt, and you're itching to get ahead. But it's hard to do that when your boss views you as the office intern. Despite your qualifications, your boss has chosen you as his errand-runner, coffee-bringer and bagel-fetcher. Although you're one of the hardest workers on the team, your efforts are being wasted on menial tasks because your boss has -- for reasons known only to him/her -- picked you as a whipping boy and personal slave.
SOLUTION: It all depends on your boss and your specific situation. If this is a highly competitive job that will be a steppingstone to a high salary position in a year or two, maybe you stick it out. But if you don't want to quit yet can't bear the thought of being a glorified intern, take some action. Make yourself a "brag book" and fill it with specific examples of your noteworthy successes while on the job. Then go to your boss and present him/her with it, asking for added responsibilities. Pitch a new project or idea you've been cooking up, and tell your boss you'd like the opportunity to pursue it.
Maybe youíll still have to put up with fetching daily coffees, but if you make a big enough impression you can get promoted and escape to greener pastures sooner
Everyone is different, our bosses are different, and no two situations are the same. The advice in this article will not be applicable to every single person who reads it.
But at the very least, you need to know if any of these things apply to you because workers are often blind to the fact that they've fallen out of favor with their boss. No one wants to admit they're not liked, and sometimes we bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is fine. But the sooner you realize you're in a bad situation with your boss, the faster you can formulate a plan to either quit or confront your boss in the hopes of improving your lot.
If you have other examples of signs your boss hates you we didn't list, please leave them in the comments section below.
Softpanorama hot topic of the month
What to Know Before You Get Fired or Laid Off
Six Subtle Signs You're About to Lose Your Job - WSJ
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