Before you go further, ask yourself truthfully, would you really be surprised if turn up for work tomorrow and you were laid off? Do you have inkling that things aren’t going as smooth as they seem? Do you sense tension when you are around your seniors or colleagues?
No matter what your answers to the above questions are, it is existentially important to be prepared, if and when, one is going to be terminated from their job. Being discharged from your duties unceremoniously and abruptly can come quite as a shock, so pick up on the hints and clues, which might miss your eye otherwise. If you notice any of the changes mentioned below, make sure you pull your socks up, or prepare yourself for the worst.
The way your immediate senior or boss behaves is a give-away cue most of the times. Bad performance reviews and warnings are a few forms of explicit communication from your boss that you are in danger, but you must look out for other subtle signs as well. Has the nature of your relationship with your boss changed from cordial to cold? Are you being asked to give reports more often than needed? Are your time allocation and expenses under scrutiny? Has your decision power been subtly reduced, and are your tasks being micromanaged? Does your boss surpass the chain of command and seek reports directly from your juniors? If your answer to more than one question is yes, understand whether they were one-off instances or a regular feature. Your boss has a huge role to play in ensuring your future in the organisation, and that also makes him the first to know that you will be gone soon, hence, any of the mentioned abrupt changes might spell trouble.
If you have been suddenly flooded with excess work, and unrealistic deadlines, or simply dropped off hastily from important projects, things don’t look very bright. More so, if your inclusion in regular meetings has decreased and your inputs in presentations and planning are increasingly reducing, it is a clear indication that your future in the organisation is in jeopardy. Watch out for the times when you were not marked in important official communication from your seniors, and realise whether it has become a habit. If your team, resources, budgets, services or space has been continually reduced more than expected lately, you need to be intuitive enough to pick up on the hints that your space and role is no longer needed in the organisation. If the nature of your work has changed drastically, qualitatively or quantitatively, chances are grim again, for you might be set up to fail, or underperform, or worse still, give up yourself.
Other Danger Signs
Apart from signals from your boss and changes in your work, there are several other signs that ring the danger bell. If your organisation has gone through a merger lately, it is not unlikely that a massive lay-off might be on the cards. Sometimes, these lay-offs are huge in numbers and workforces are reduced to less than half. Hence, if a merger has recently taken place, keep an eye out for other jobs in the market. Furthermore, if you notice that your bonus and perks have been far lesser than the company average, there might be a reason to worry. Lastly, if in the recent past, you have committed a mistake that has negatively impacted the organisations, in terms of revenues, profits or public image, you are likely to get the pink slip. Very few organisations give second chances, especially in times when a lot of talent is unemployed and ready to replace you.
Thus if you are likely to be given the boot anytime soon, there are ample opportunities for you to identify and prepare yourself accordingly. Sometimes, these opportunities are clear and unequivocal, whereas sometimes they need identified after a closer second look. Everything said and done, if the reason for such an extreme outcome is your own performance, chances are you already know you are underperforming and not adding value to the organisation. If you have already figured this out, how long do you think your company is going to take?]