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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 October 8, 2020

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

What do you need to do to learn how to succeed in business? Here’re 10 important skills that entrepreneurs need to become successful.

1. Digital Savviness

As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, whether by utilizing cloud applications, organizing websites using content management systems, or collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

How to Develop This Skill

For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will slowly but surely garner more traffic.

2. Financial Forecasting

Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business, so make this skill a priority when learning how to succeed in business.

Forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done.

However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

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How to Develop This Skill

Generally, it’s easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It’s a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how close your operations are to what you have forecasted.

Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

3. Video Production Skills

The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, after 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5].

With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

How to Develop This Skill

Some ways to get started using videos for your business would be:

  • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
  • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
  • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

As far as you get into achieving endeavors on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place, even when your focus is learning how to succeed in business.

Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout.

How to Develop This Skill

Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly.

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5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

How to Develop This Skill

Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it aimed at consumers tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

Solidify your place with your business’ advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region or unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that is more viable than others.

6. Honing Pitches to Investors

Stand out in a broad mix of entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch. Make this a focus if you want to learn how to succeed in business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression.

How to Develop This Skill

Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition[8].

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Define your personal brand to succeed in business.

    Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned with these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction.  By knowing what makes your target customers tick, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

    8. Automating to Your Advantage

    The need for efficiency is often a general problem new businesses aim to resolve. As you’re learning how to succeed in business, assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to inspire the need for it.

    Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

    9. Managing Millennials

    Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

    In leaner, small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

    Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[9]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised, and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing T-shirts to work.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

    A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

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    Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

    Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates, but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

    Offer Constructive Feedback

    Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

    Being constructive with feedback ensures that you don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

    10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

    When learning how to succeed in business, instead of proposing a model that’s disruptive to an industry, build connections with other companies that serve the same target customers, as long as they provide a different service.

    By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously.

    Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

    As the African proverb goes:

    “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

    Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

    More on How to Succeed in Business

    Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

    Reference

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