4 Signs You’re About to Be Fired–And What to Do About It

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Are you about to be fired?

Sometimes, people have no idea. One day, Bill was summoned to the conference room. There, a woman from Human Resources met with him to let him know he was being let go.

Bill, like a lot of people we’ve worked with, was devastated when this happened. He said there was no warning, but after he thought about it for a while, he recognized signs that should have alerted him to what was coming.

Don’t be taken by surprise.  Read this, recognize the warning signs, and take action.

.1) Sign You Might be Fired: Anger and Lack of Motivation


One of our Kenilworth clients, Dana, was the go-to-person in her department. She loved her job and the heavy responsibility she shouldered, but then a new boss assigned her to work that was well below her capabilities. She was suddenly bored—and upset.

Unfortunately, she chose to go along and pretend that all was well. But people around her weren’t fooled. They knew she was seething about the change in her job. We’ve found that a lot of people who despise their jobs believe—wrongly—that they are successfully hiding their feelings.

2) Sign You Might Be Fired: Stagnant/No Promotions / Maybe Even Demotions

Brian was a close confidant of the COO, and had a lot of clout in his company, located in Winnetka, IL. But that changed after the COO hired a manager named Martha. Suddenly, Martha was being asked for her opinion, rather than Brian. He overruled Brian on three critical matters on which he’d almost always taken Brian’s advice. When the boss delegated some important new responsibilities, Brian expected to get them. Instead, they went to Martha. Brian didn’t realize it yet, but he had effectively been demoted. This made him vulnerable.

Brian likes to be a good guy and went along without making a fuss. He didn’t read the handwriting on the wall and start looking for a new job—until the axe fell.

3) Sign You Might be Fired: Out of the Loop

A Chicago client, Anne, started to notice that she was the last to hear about important goings on in the office. She found out after the fact about a coup

Ann found hefself out of the loop

le of important strategy meetings. When she asked why she wasn’t told about them, she got the rather lame excuse that a low-level secretary had neglected to extend the invitation. She also found it difficult to get face time with her boss, who had nearly always had an open door for her.


4) Sign You Might Be Fired:  Relationship Inexplicably Improves

An Evanston client, Matt, frequently found he wasn’t on the same page with his CFO, Henry. They disagreed on priorities and Matt disliked Henry’s management style. Their conversations were cool and tense. Twice, their discussions exploded into bitter arguments. Working together was a strain—until suddenly, it wasn’t Things were all right. Henry was even pleasant. It was a great relief—until he got the notice he was being cut loose. Matt shouldn’t have been surprised. Knowing that Matt would soon be out of his hair made it easier for Henry to tolerate him.

Beware if you are suddenly treated much better—or worse. Ask yourself: if my boss was aware that I would be let go, would the changed in behavior make sense?

Is this happening to you? Be in action—NOW!

Here are four proactive steps you might take:

1) Put Your Cards on the Table

Depending on your relationship, you might just say, “Look, I can tell things aren’t working with us. Might we talk about how I can move on?” Sometimes, you can either negotiate a severance package and/or get time to find another position without having to sneak around.

2) Prepare for a job search

Get your resume up to date, fix your LinkedIn profile (most people have boring profiles), and figure out what’s next for you. Assistance from a career coach can help you hit the ground running. This is not a time for blundering around in the job market. Make the time and effort you expend count.

3) Get out of the office, if you can

If your job allows, find activities outside the office. You’ll need to have a schedule with some flexibility and freedom to be out of the office for networking meetings and job interviews.

4) Talk to an attorney

If there’s any reason to believe you’ve been discriminated against because of age, race, creed, color, gender, etc., you may have a case for legal action. You may or may not want to actually sue your employer, but the threat of a lawsuit can give you more power in negotiating a way out.

Don’t wait for that pink slip

Be in action today!

If you’re afraid you might be let go—let’s talk. Call us at 847-673-0339.

Lucrative Careers

Lucrative Careers

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Lucrative Careers

Our Career Action Plan Meetings advance healthy careers and heal the wounded. Give us two hours, and we’ll get to the root of your career issues and come up with a plan to fix them. Call today: 847-673-0339.

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