You cannot afford to take chances with the “what ifs” when you depend on your job for your livelihood. You can recognize the changing economic or social undercurrent at your job if you know the signs that your boss wants to fire you. Your proactive outlook can help you land on your feet or walk away from a potentially traumatic event with a plan for the future and your dignity still intact.
Keeping You Out of the Loop
Your boss may be considering your termination if you experience the sudden social withdrawal of others. Not only are you excluded from the water cooler chit-chat, you also seem to be left out when it comes to strategy meetings or important company updates. If employees in subordinate positions are keeping you up to date, your pink slip could be on its way. In the same way, your co-workers or your boss may avoid opportunities to work with you or frequently complain that you are unpleasant. No one enjoys working with someone who is constantly disagreeable.
Changing up the Lineup
If the boss who hired you or the mentor who trained you has recently been laid off, you can reasonably expect a change in your position as well. Some companies will completely restructure when a new CEO takes charge or when another company has bought or merged with your company. Whether the company is downsizing your department or eliminating the old regime, a change in the traditional lineup is not a good sign. Likewise, a change in the lineup also occurs when you find yourself training new personnel that will take over some of your responsibilities at a lower salary. You could be training your more cost-effective replacement.
Missing the Mark
The quickest way to get promoted is to make the boss look good; inversely, the quickest way to get fired is to make the boss look bad. Job termination may be knocking at your door after only a few poor performance reviews marking your lack of productivity. Your company may be particularly sensitive to poor performance if your industry has recently experienced a downturn. A nonchalant attitude also gives the impression of inefficiency. If you are the last one to arrive, your boss may conclude that you should be the first to get the boot.
Receiving Busy Work
Even if you are productive with your assignments, the problem may lie in what those assignments entail. If your boss gradually begins giving you seemingly insignificant or menial tasks, he may be phasing you out. This sign may be particularly telling if you once received fresh and innovative projects. Similarly, a boss contemplating your termination may give you never-ending assignments or assignments in which you cannot succeed. These types of assignments buy the boss time while she plans your termination or finds your replacement.