For some, if not most employees, getting fired from a job they worked hard for, battled sleep and sacrificed time to do their work is a terrible thing to happen. But let’s face the reality that these things do happen and anyone in the office could be the next candidate to go. Although some may think “Yes, Finally! No more work, more sleep for me”, they’re actually lying. The fear of getting fired can sometimes drive one up the wall. Not to mention that fear is also contagious.
Before you get all paranoid and start a scare frenzy among your colleagues, we have outlined 4 obvious signs that you may get fired (just so you know better):
1. You are left off from projects
Let’s admit it, nobody likes to be left out of the loop, especially when you know there will be huge projects coming in soon. If your employer starts reassigning your work, and asks you to explain your responsibilities to a junior staff, get ready for the inevitable soon my friend. You may be getting that termination letter.
You will also start to realise that your responsibilities are shrinking. You’ll notice that your colleagues are busier than you, working on said projects together. Projects that you’ve been working on, or working with other departments are terminated and then you’re just left with hands-off jobs that are not relevant to your department or yourself. Looks like management just wants to keep you ‘busy’ before saying “You’re Fired!”
2. The office is avoiding you
It’s not that one day you come into the office and suddenly you are invisible to everyone (although, the chances of that happening is 1/1,000, there is still a possibility). Let’s break it down; the office consists of the management, your colleagues and your boss. The warning signs won’t appear in one shot because news gradually spreads around like ripple waves. You’ll more likely see these signs gradually happening around you:
First: The management avoids you
First, the management will limit any interaction with you. They’ll stop sending you messages and important memos directly. This is because the burden of keeping an impactful secret (you gonna get fired) from someone you see every day is difficult, especially with employees who the management keeps consistent contact with.
Second: Your boss avoids you
Next, your relationship with your boss is degraded. If you were chummy with your boss before, you’ll notice a sudden change in their behaviour. They might be dismissing your ideas during meetings, showing signs of anger, frustration and disappointment in you, and you just don’t not know why. Or it could even be the opposite.
Your boss might be the ferocious-tiger-type in the office. Then suddenly one day, the angry tiger becomes warm and relaxed around you. This is when you should really consider the longevity of your time in the office. It might end soon.
Granted, some (emphasize on the SOME) bosses just can’t contain their secret and may just avoid you in the office like a school kid avoiding his teacher at the mall.
Third: Your co-workers are avoiding you
Thirdly, your co-workers might just act weird when you are around. This honestly would be the most painful thing that can happen. You trust your co-workers for anything work related. You guys hustled and gossiped together. They went from acquaintances to homies, so the trust you have for them is strong.
But then comes the day that you are “accidently” left out from important chain mails and meetings. You’ll also start noticing ‘pitying looks’ from your colleagues. When this happens, it’s time to lift that warning sign, buddy. Chances are, they already know about your impending career doom before you do, but refuse to be the harbinger of bad news.
3. Your company is getting acquired
If you are in a staff position and the company you work for is getting acquired, bear in mind that they will be terminating employees and you may be in line. It is a practice called ‘trimming the fat’, and as harsh as it sounds, the company is really just thinking about profitability, wants to commit to their own people first, and the people from the acquired company second. Therefore, the acquiring company would only want expertise, service, reach or products from the acquired company as they seem fit. Trimming the fat will allow them to save money by eliminating and streamlining staff functions. No biggie, its just business.
If you have been fired or think that you may be fired because of these reasons, remember it’s not that they don’t see value in what you do, rather the company is going in a different direction that you may not fit in as well anymore.
4. You feel that something isn’t right
While some warning signs are obvious, some of them may be difficult to pin point. If you are experiencing troubles in the pit of your stomach, that is your gut telling you something is up in the office and you should be wary and listen. There is a high probability you’re just paranoid (everyone gets this once in a while) with all the subtle changes in the office.
However, don’t let your gut feelings get you too carried away. The best way to go about is (in a calm manner), start looking into your dusty old CV, prepare your network of people that you could ask for help, and get ready for a job search. With these systems online and slowly warming up, you’ll be mentally prepared for that termination letter if lands on your desk one day.
As scary as losing a job may seem, look at the bright side of things. Probably getting fired is the best thing that can happen to your career. Imagine the stress and workload that you won’t have to bother with anymore. Although financial instablility may be also on it’s way, but hey, keep your chin up. It ain’t the end of the road yet. You probably were meant to be working somewhere else in a job that better fits your current skill sets and personality.
Although this may sound cliché but Oprah wouldn’t be Oprah if she wasn’t fired as a news anchor at the age of 23.