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8 Signs You May Be Losing Your Job Soon

8 Signs You May Be Losing Your Job Soon

There comes a time in a person’s life when a job loss, whether through company layoffs or a self-induced firing, is imminent. When you’re able to recognize that job loss looms on the horizon, there are a few things you can do to try to prevent it, such as working harder, drawing attention to your results, and bringing in revenue through referrals for your company. But how does one know where or when the ax will fall? What are some signs your boss is considering letting you go? Look for these 8 indicators that you may be losing your job soon.

1. You’re Suddenly Being Micromanaged.

You thought you worked at a “cool” company that understood micromanaging was a waste of time and employees could be more productive if left to their own devices. But out of the blue, your boss asks you to keep records of how you spend your day or requests client documents or presentations you’ve prepared in the past. This is a major indicator you’re under close review, and although the reasons could be good (you’re up for a raise? Promotion?) be wary that they could also be bad. Be especially wary if you didn’t ask for a raise or promotion and there are no open positions above you to be filled.

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2. Your Work is Being Redistributed.

If your work is suddenly being redistributed to others, it’s probably not because your boss sympathizes with your schedule and feels you’re being overextended. It doesn’t look good if someone else or several other people can handle your book of business on top of their own, and it’s difficult to justify overworking other people so you can be freed up. This action could be the company’s way of planning ahead.  They don’t want to leave your clients in the dark in the weeks that follow a firing, so they’re preparing by assigning your tasks to someone else.

3. You Don’t Feel the Pressure.

Your boss doesn’t seem to care about the quality or quantity of your work anymore, and on the days of major deadlines, he or she is nowhere to be seen or heard. Normally, they’re breathing down your neck every step of the way and demanding perfection from every nook and cranny of your capability. While it might be a relief that they’ve finally let up and have trusted you with your responsibilities, that might not be the real reason why you’re not feeling the pressure anymore.  Your boss doesn’t just stop caring out of the blue, and unless you’ve previously discussed taking on more independent responsibility, this might be a sign that you’re treading dangerous waters.

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4. You’re Not Sure What You’re Doing Anymore.

You went from managing your own portfolio and book of business to performing menial tasks or doing things that don’t generate results. Instead of working the front lines, you’re asked to step aside and work behind the scenes, and you find yourself abandoning the projects you cared about to help other people get ahead. You’re no longer the idea person and you feel you’re not being heard when you express your opinion. It’s a slippery slope and it’s possible your boss thinks you’re under-performing and testing you out in other areas to see if it’s worth keeping you at the company.

5. You’ve Made a Huge Mistake (Or Several Small Mistakes).

In corporate eyes, mistakes equal money lost. No matter how good of a relationship you have with your co-workers and superiors, a company can’t manage to hold on to someone whose poor performance threatens the profit margin. In your head you secretly blame the company for overworking you until mistakes were unavoidable; you blame your subordinates for not double checking you and your colleagues for distracting you. But in the end, all that matters is what’s on paper: your name, your mistake.

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6. Your Co-workers Treat You Differently.

With a boss holed up in an office down the hall and not always an integral part of the action, your co-workers are often the first indicator you’re not pulling your weight. They certainly wouldn’t know about a firing before you would, but they’re reactions to your work exemplifies the reaction of the company as a whole. With so much emphasis on team building in corporate culture, colleagues tend to keep mental track of who is doing well and who isn’t. They want to know who to go to for advice or assistance and who to avoid. If you’re the one they tend to avoid, it could be because they don’t trust your advice, they don’t consider you a team player, or they’re disappointed with the quality of your work.

7. Everything Has Drastically Changed.

Pulling 180s often signifies something is amiss. If a company is doing tip-top and profits are high, there would be no reason to completely change the way it’s run. But if suddenly every process is altered and the business strategy shifts, it could be a sign your company is in danger and layoffs are imminent. If you consider yourself a valuable employee and you’re hoping to make the cut, start gathering your portfolio of your best work and building a case for them to keep you. Focus on results: what have you done for the company and how can you back it up? If they’re really going under, they’re going to want to keep only the best that can possibly pull them back to the surface.

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8. You Hate Your Job.

And it shows. You don’t get along with anyone in the office, you don’t like your superiors, and you constantly complain about your duties. In this case, getting fired may be the right thing for you. Use it as an opportunity to seek out something you’d enjoy. And in the meantime, develop a sense of what it is you’d like to be doing. Take up hobbies, read, research, search the web for careers that sound interesting, volunteer, and network as much as you can.

Count Your Chickens

The best thing you can do when getting fired or laid off is to be prepared. Instead of crying and screaming in your boss’ office, ask questions. What led to this? What could you have done differently? You also want to leave a professional and positive opinion of your work in case they’re contacted by future prospective employers. Outline what you’ve done for the company that generated positive feedback from your superiors. List any projects you worked on that tracked numerical success. And lastly, thank them for the opportunity.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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