Something’s a little off at work, but you just can’t put your finger on it. From your workload to your interactions with the higher-ups, you notice that you’re being treated differently—and it’s not for the better. Here are seven warning signs to look for around the office. If any of these are familiar, you may be next on the chopping block.
- Your co-workers act unusual around you.
You enter the break room for lunch, and all eyes are on you. Some of your co-workers are a little too nice or sympathetic for no apparent reason; others are being intentionally brief with you, or avoiding conversation altogether. The most concerning red flag? A change in your boss’s behavior. If his or her temperament changes from warm to cold around you, expect the worst.
- You notice a decline in your responsibilities.
Noticing a lack of important assignments on your plate? You used to be trusted with high-profile projects, yet you haven’t seen anything but menial tasks in months. Perhaps you haven’t met your manager’s expectations lately, or they’re biding time before bringing down the axe.
- You feel unimportant.
There are tons of factors that could contribute to this, but let’s focus on a big one: involuntary exclusion. You aren’t invited to anything, be it a crucial meeting or a company-wide excursion. When you aren’t informed about any significant long-term plans or projects, you’re essentially being told you won’t be around to see it happen.
- You think you’re doing well but your performance review says otherwise.
Occasional constructive criticisms are nothing to worry about. A barrage of negative feedback, on the other hand, is troubling. Receiving a dismal evaluation can be foreboding, especially if there is little to no positive commentary.
- You (or your position) has become obsolete.
If a machine or a computer program can do your job, why would your company pay you?
- You seem to be the only one losing your privileges.
This is a more subtle indicator of bad news. You may not think much of it; after all, when everyone has to say goodbye to frills, it could be a sign of budget cuts. However, losing your company-provided cell phone or reserved parking spot is a way to gradually usher you out.
- Unfortunately, you may be fired without warning.
You might be working in an at-will employment state, which allows employers to fire workers without “just cause”or prior warning. There are some state-specific exemptions to this rule, but be aware of federal statues that protect employees who believe they were fired due to discrimination.