Don’t wait for the ax to fall. Learn how to read the signs that your job’s on the line.
Even the best employees worry about their job security from time to time. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that only 58 percent of U.S. full- and part-time workers are completely satisfied with their job security. Sadly, this represents the highest level recorded since the Great Recession (2009 ’96 2013) when about 50 percent felt secure in their jobs. While feelings of job security may be on the rise, it’s clear that many professionals across the U.S. are still kept up at night worrying about their jobs.
If your gut is telling you something is off at the office, don’t ignore it. Look for the following signs to determine if your job may be in danger.
People are steering clear of you.
The chatter around the water cooler goes quiet when you walk by. Your colleagues stop inviting you to lunch. If you get the sense that people are avoiding you around the office, they may know something you don’t. Start ramping up your networking activities outside of the office.
Your role is shrinking.
Instead of taking on new assignments, your list of responsibilities continues to shrink. You’re getting passed over for assignments, even after voicing your concerns with your manager. It’s not your imagination; your job is being phased out. Take some time to brainstorm your next career move.
Your manager is shutting you out.
You asked to sit down with your boss but she keeps postponing the conversation and dodging your calls. You requested a salary review but were immediately turned down without any explanation. If your manager seems to be giving you the cold shoulder, don’t ignore it. Your job is likely at jeopardy.
You’ve received a demotion or pay cut.
If your pay is reduced, you’ve officially received a demotion or you’ve been moved to a department with less responsibility or importance, take heed; this is never a good sign. Start scoping out the current market so you know your worth.
You’re frequently receiving negative feedback .
If the tone of your annual review or weekly check-ins with your manager becomes sour, be cautious. This is especially true if you suddenly start receiving emails from your direct manager, citing how you’ve caused the company to lose money or productivity. Managers are encouraged to document an employee’s poor performance to support their case for termination.
There’s a new sheriff in town.
Whenever a management team undergoes changes, there’s sure to be some added stress at the office. However, if your new boss has settled in and the tension persists, remain alert. It’s not uncommon for a new manager to join a company and clean house. If your boss is spending a lot of time behind closed doors with HR, begin to update your resume as a precaution.
In the end.
Trust your gut. If you get the sense that your job is at risk, it probably is. Don’t close your eyes to the situation and hope it disappears. Jumpstart your job-search now so you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.