Good companies often let employees know when they are on thin ice but not all do. In fact, in some industries, there simply isn’t enough time or capacity for compassion. If you’ve received official warnings or reprimands, you might expect that your company is none too pleased with you. Still, it’s not impossible for unsuspecting employees to be given the boot as well, especially if the company is in a downturn.
So if you’ve been feeling a little insecure at your post, it’s time for a bit of reflection. Have you experienced two or more of these 6 tell-tale signs? If the answer is yes, don’t stress yourself just yet; instead, use this list to shape up before it comes time for you to ship out.
1. You’ve Seen a Job Posting for Your Current Job
This is probably the most telling sign of all. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that something is amiss, particularly if yours is a small company and there isn’t room for more than one in your position.
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Rather than throwing in the towel, request for time with your superiors to discuss and find out if you are indeed part of their plans for the future.
2. Your Co-Workers Are Treating You Differently
Although meant to be confidential, bad news travels fast and perhaps with lighting speed in small-to-medium-sized firms. Your co-workers may know what’s coming for you, especially the ones in HR.
Colleagues being extra nice or unnecessarily mean might have you scratching your head and of course this could mean nothing at all. But if it persists, take the time to find out if there are any issues that need to be resolved and do your best to quickly get in front of them.
3. Your Responsibilities Are Being Diminished
Everyday there’s less for you to do, and you’re feeling redundant. This may happen while the company reshuffles duties so your departure will leave a minimal impact. Initially, it may feel good to have your responsibilities ease up but at the end of the day, your progress is being impeded. Having little to do means that your skills aren’t being sharpened and your growth potential is going to waste.
It’s important to seek out work if none is being handed to you; it’s possible that your supervisor is just too busy to notice you haven’t much on your roster.
Be helpful, supportive and suggest ways in which you may be of service. Demonstrate your talents and give yourself the opportunity to shine.
4. You’re Being Left out of Most Meetings
If the end is nigh, then there isn’t much reason to keep you updated on the company’s current issues, now is there? Moreover, confidential information is not customarily revealed to employees without clearance and that includes those about to be let go.
If you were regularly included in discussions and conferences but are now being shut out, it could be a foreboding sign. Speak with your colleagues or immediate bosses to unearth the reasons why your presence is not needed. If no one can give you an explanation for the abrupt exclusion, it might be time to talk to HR about your concerns.
5. Your Performance Reviews Are Getting Worse
Bad reviews mean that your company isn’t seeing you in the best light. So when it’s time for tough cuts, guess who will most likely end up on the chopping board? If these reviews are true reflections of how you have been conducting yourself at work, then you’ll need to upgrade your performance before you find fault with your company.
As you discuss the review, try to identify specific areas that require improvement and seek advice on how you can fix it. Ask if there are courses you can attend to upgrade your skill set or if a mentor is available to work with you. Do whatever it takes and show your company that you are worth every Ringgit they pay you, if not more!
6. Your Work Environment Has Become Hostile
Your boss is being difficult, your leave is always denied, and your suggestions are never considered. For some this is the norm, but if this is new for you, then do consider the reasons. Some companies will go on the offensive by subtly forcing you to quit rather than firing. This way, they avoid having to deal with the fallout of a costly termination, especially if the employee has rights to a severance package.
Employees who dispute their termination or aren’t entitled to severance money may seek out legal action which causes even more trouble for the employer who has to expend resources to deal with litigation and possible damages. Sadly, it’s just easier for them to get you to leave voluntarily.
Look On the Bright Side
Even if you do notice these signs, don’t immediately assume the worst. It could merely reflect on-going changes within the company. But if your suspicions on an imminent dumping turn out to be true, stay focused on the positive! A bright new career prospect may be on the horizon just waiting for you to grab it by the horns.
You also need to keep your resume ready and in top form, so if opportunity knocks, you’ll be prepared to seize it. Be sure to seek out friends and professional contacts for referrals as this is one of the most effective ways to get hired. And if you know of someone who is facing a similar issue, you can help out (and earn a nice reward too) by referring them to any of Malaysia’s top job search sites out there.