There is a rumour going around in the office that some employees would be laid off soon and each time you hear it, goose bumps dance on your skin and your legs suddenly become wobbly. As the finance officer, you know that for some months now,that there has been a downturn in investments and profit, a fact the management has tried to keep secret from the work force, even though they go about with smiling faces. In fact, the CEO just gave you warm handshake after a little morning chat with him, but deep inside you, a disturbing question keeps bothering you – “Will I be one of the scapegoats?”
Here are 7 ways to know if the pink slip is coming your way:
- You are now out of the “inner circle”. You used to be one of the privileged few to know about the latest office gists before other staff do, but now your boss decides to have your assistant in the board meeting rather than you. He might give you this excuse – “I know you have a lot of work, so I want to relieve you a bit” (not that you have ever complained about your work load). You have the right to be nervous.
- Everything is now extra-formal. Your boss used to discuss issues with you either face to face or on the phone. Sometimes, she even took you out to lunch to discuss a business proposal. But lately, she has been addressing you in writing and keeps giving excuses if you seek audience with her. She tells you “Book an appointment with my secretary” and leaves you standing without even a smile. That should get your heartbeat faster.
- “Take a holiday”, says your boss (even when the Company is in the middle of a merger and needs all the hands it could find). This simply means you have not been performing up to expectation and your input is not required.
- The salary and benefits have just been cut down by half (or more). Just last week, the Management announced that lunch would no longer be free and accommodation allowance would be reduced by 40%. When you checked your mail in the office this morning, you saw a subtle message from the HR department titled “Salary review meeting by 4p.m.”. You do not need a muse to tell you something is wrong.
- Your Company just hired ‘a better brain’. Without prior notice, you just received a mail that a new recruit from Yale University will be taking over the department you have been heading for some months now. This new person resumes and just happens to take the kudos from all board members. All of a sudden, your ideas are considered obsolete and on one or two occasions, you have had disagreements with your ‘rival’, but because the Management believes he is more exposed, they always take his side over yours. Know that your clock has started ticking.
- You are given pointless tasks. Jobs like counting paper pins or going on errands that do not matter only point out that you are no longer valued. You end up feeling unappreciated and feeling of dissatisfaction accompanies you home.
- Lastly and the most obvious is when you see your job advertised (not that the promotion time is near or the Company is looking for more hands). Funny, you might even be asked to train the new employee before the bad news comes.
Now, what’s the real deal?
When you notice these signs, it is not the time to let depression take over. Instead, take action. List out your contributions and achievements and try to point them out when necessary. Be smarter, work harder and contribute more in meetings. Also, it is easier looking for a new job while at one than when the firing comes. Update your resume and start sending our new applications (at least you will be on the safe side if the termination comes up or not). Most importantly, always go the extra mile and never ever give up on yourself! Cheers!
*Your comments are appreciated.