No one should be fired and be surprised about it. There are always warning signs. The trick is in learning how to recognize the signs and to have a plan of action. Many time subtle hints are given that allude to the ax falling.
Here is a checklist of early warning signs that add up to impending doom:
* You are asked to update management on all your currents projects.
* You no longer get asked to join meetings that you have always attended in the past.
* You are pushed to wrap up longstanding projects.
* You have a general sense of unease at work.
* Your expense reports are closely scrutinized and require explanations.
* Things that were expensed previously are now being questioned.
* Time off for personal reasons is denied or questioned.
* Your office space is downsized or moved to a distant location.
* You are asked to transfer to an out of the way facility.* Your duties are changed to some not critical to the company's success.
* You are asked to prepare a job description and explain your duties.
* You walk into a room and there is silence.
* Performance reviews are either canceled or rescheduled as an emergency.
* Communications that were by mouth about your performance suddenly appear in written form.
* Your income is frozen for no apparent reason.* No one invites you for drinks, lunch or social events. * HR wants to meet with you to update their records.
* Your boss meets with you less frequently with a much shorter duration.
* You are suddenly given a performance review.
* Your boss seems distant and unavailable.
* Someone sees your boss outside the office with what looks like a job candidate.
* Your boss seems inordinately interested in your contacts and resource base.
* Your boss starts making your decisions and directing outcomes.
* Your boss seems particularly interested in your project outcomes.
* Management is conducting interviews for a job that is similar to yours.
* You start reporting to a new boss who is a more junior manager.
* A new committee is formed to restructure the department and you are not on it.
* You are no longer copied on memos and internal communications.
* Other employees seem uncomfortable in your presence.
* You are asked to explain your job to a subordinate.
If you checked one or none of these items then you are probably safe for the time being. If you answered yes to a couple of these, it could be an early warning sign that there are problems ahead, and your boss is laying the ground work.
If you answered yes to five or more, you better begin to update your resume. You are probably fired and just don't know it yet.
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