Keep Your Eyes Open: Signs You're About to Get Laid Off

Signs You're About to Get Laid Off
There are certain signs which can signify that your job in your organization is in danger. From the work getting outsourced to your boss telling you to cross-train a new employee, these signs are absolutely essential to look out for if you don't want lightning to strike you when you get the pink slip.
There certainly will be signs if you are about to be fired, but the problem is that most of us are oblivious to these omens. The term 'out of the blue' sometimes doesn't fit the description of someone getting fired with immediate effect. In fact, there is a lot more than what meets the eye when it comes to layoffs and pink slips. You have to read between the lines and analyze the discourse of your firm to gauge what the future holds for your career.
Reasons Employees are Laid Off
  • Outsourcing
  • Merger leading to a large overhead
  • Financial crisis in the company
  • Poor performance
10 Signs Pointing Towards a Layoff
You're left out of important meetings.
Woman At Office
There was a time when the boss just wouldn't start a meeting without you. Now, you have been relegated to the sidelines, and realize a meeting was held only when you see a swarm of people leaving the manager's cabin. Remember, no boss will like to share the future plans with an employee whose time is up at the company. This may be the sign that you better brace yourself to the reality that your services are no longer required by the company.
Even minute details are communicated to you through emails.
Formal Communication
What used to be a casual talk with a pat on the back in the coffee room has taken the form of undecipherable emails and memos. Most companies follow a structure wherein a manager or an administrator has to explain to the HR why an employee is deemed expendable. To make their case stronger, managers follow the official process of having everything written down, so that an employee doesn't invoke any legal proceedings against the company. So, if your inbox has been buzzing a lot lately with mails from your boss and the HR department, consider updating your resume.
After the merger, new management is thinking of reorganizing the firm.
Arrow Symbol
While mergers and acquisitions are the norm of the day, your position in the company can be at risk if the new management wants to go in for a leaner structure, and realizes that you don't fit into the scheme of things. If a merger leads to a large overhead, there is the possibility of the company getting rid of those employees whose services don't really make too big a difference to the revenue.
There is talk that the work will be outsourced.
Job Outsourced
Outsourcing has been a contentious issue in the American political and corporate sphere, but the reality is, if the bosses at Wall Street have made up their mind to save some dollars by outsourcing to a country where people are ready to work at one-tenths of what you demand, there is nothing much you can do, apart from looking at the classifieds, and I guess, vowing to vote for a Democrat.
Colleagues gossip about you and give you a cold shoulder.
Employees Gossip
Coworkers who used to give you the dope about everything and anything, have suddenly started to give you a cold shoulder. If the word is out that it is your head what they are calling for behind those closed-door meetings, not many would want to associate themselves with you.
Boss forces you to take a vacation.
Boss Meeting
If your boss has recently told you to take a vacation without you having done anything substantial, chances are he needs time to think about what course of action needs to be taken on your position in the organization. One may say that most employees go on a vacation once a year, or bosses allow their subordinates to take some time off, but if your manager enforces a vacation on you without you complaining of a burnout, it can be another way of keeping you away from an important project, until the higher-ups arrange the hire of your replacement.
Your performance review has been put on hold.
Bad Review
Has your performance review been kept on hold in spite of the company doing well financially? If yes, you may better be thinking about finding a new job, rather than doing the math on how much hike would be good enough for that new car. Apart from being a meeting that decides the increase in your paycheck, performance reviews are also 'intended' to review how an employee has fared in the past, and what goals he can achieve in future. For employees who are on the 'To be Laid Off' list, discussing future goals doesn't mean a thing, and hence, performance reviews are put on hold.
You have been told to cross-train a new joiner or a colleague.
Cross train New joiner
If you recently cross-trained a colleague or a new employee, chances are that you provided a helping hand to the company in making the transition easier. Your organization wants to relieve you of your duties in a systematic manner, so that your replacement finds it convenient to handle the responsibilities that come with the new position. I know it is like 'adding insult to injury', but this is why HR managers quiz you about terms like 'team spirit' and 'putting company above everything else', when you desperately fake everything in order to get hired.
The company has put up a job posting which is similar to your job description.
Job posting
If your performance hasn't been up to the mark, and you see a job posting from your company that matches your job description, prepare yourself for the stark reality that the process to relieve you has already begun.
The boss drops subtle/strong hints that you are about to be fired.
You are fired
Last, but not the least, there is a high possibility that your boss lets one slip through his tongue to tell you about your impending fate, despite all those HR protocols in place. If you have worked closely with your boss for quite some time, chances are that he may drop subtle hints to let you know that you can start looking elsewhere. Nothing better than getting it straight from the horse's mouth, so prepare yourself to receive the pink slip.
Awareness about the changing perspectives in your organization can go a long way in ensuring that you are well prepared for any eventuality. When you have a fair idea about the fact that indeed you could be fired, you can prepare yourself to face the reality, and move on to pursue your career in a new organization.