Have you ever been caught off guard by a layoff or a firing? One minute you’re sitting at your desk gainfully employed and the next minute, you’re out on the street with a pink slip. Often, you could have seen it coming if only you had paid attention to the signs around you. If you know you’re going to have to switch jobs soon, at least you can get a leg up on your job search by updating your resume and putting a few feelers out.
You get a new boss.Whether it’s new direct supervisor or a buyout at the top level, changes in upper management can often mean changes in your job status. Sometimes the new boss wants to bring in his own people. Sometimes he’s looking to cut the fat in his department. Either way, anyone who was there before the change-up should prepare for the possibility of being edged out.
Supplies or shifts are suddenly scarce.When a company is having financial problems, you don’t always get a memo from management. What you do get is a few signs around the office. It’s usually the little things, like a lack of paper, coffee, or other common supplies. Sometimes it’s the big things, like a sudden lack of working hours. And if the repo man shows up to take back office equipment and the CEO’s car, you know you’re in trouble.
Your numbers are down. You know you’re not a number and so does your boss. Still, in many industries, your numbers–sales, clients, completed projects, etc–help the company decide how valuable you are to it. If your numbers took a recent dip or have been in the dumps for a while, it’s time to start making backup plans.
You recently had a meeting in HR. One of the many responsibilities of the human resources department is to hand out discipline to employees when they violate company policy. Even if it’s just a warning, a note in your file from HR is never good. So if you end up being sent to HR, it may be time to start looking for another job.