Being fired is a challenging process, even for the strong-hearted. The change that’s about to come may be frightening and confusing, especially because it’s not really your choice to go.
Nevertheless, one of the toughest aspects that some employees struggle with is the uncertainty and the lack of understanding.
When you don’t know why you’re being cut off, your mind starts to seek the answer on its own. Many times, obsessing over the reasons why you were fired (or why you’re getting fired soon) is a negative cycle that’ll bring only disadvantages rather than benefits.
To deal with this tiring process, you should start thinking objectively. You need to be able to embrace the situation as it is and to be honest with yourself. Ideally, when you feel that you’re about to get fired, you should immediately seek solutions.
One of them is to communicate with your boss and ask for transparency. The second option is often necessary, and it involves seeking another job.
Well, in today’s post, I’m presenting 16 signs that may confirm your firing process. Keep in mind that there’s no way to be absolutely sure (unless you ask for it) whether you’ll get fired or not.
You should use your own logic and intuition and keep your calm before you receive enough confirmation. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some firing signs and possibilities.
1. Your Boss begins to communicate in writing only
Let’s say you had an argument with your employer or manager concerning your latest work performance. It was intense, and both of you kept your sides until the end.
Later that day, you receive a written outline that details the conversation between you two. When a higher rank crafts and sends you a written meeting review, that’s not a good sign!
Manly Watson, HR Manager at Essay Writing Land from UK, made a good point:
“Most of the times, when you’re about to get fired, your boss or employee will gather as much written evidence and justification for his decision. There will be less and less direct contact, and when the time is right, he’ll simply use what he’s got to justify the firing.”
2. You’re being involved in fewer and fewer projects
Free time during the work hours is not necessarily a blessing. If got used to working consistently on projects and now your schedule is empty for days now, there’s a chance that your boss has decided to cut you off from any important projects.
When you observe the change and ask your boss or higher ranks about it, finding a straightforward answer might be difficult.
No more projects assigned is a big deal, followed by the lack of communication, even bigger. If this happens to you, you should think about your other options and prepare yourself for the worst.
3. Your boss diminishes your responsibilities
If your boss suddenly decides to take important job responsibilities away from you without properly motivating his decision, that’s a bad sign.
For example, your subordinates might be transferred to another manager. Or, your recent projects have been reassigned to other people in the team. There are many responsibilities that can be taken away for various reasons, so be careful not to become paranoid without reason.
However, in case your most important duties are being cut off and replaced by others, that’s a big sign you might lose your job soon.
4. You’re no longer invited to regular meetings
Lots of meetings represent important events that allow employees to get involved in the leadership of the company.
If you used to be called to these types of meetings to participate and contribute with your solutions and, without notice, you stop getting summoned, chances are that you’re in trouble.
Try to find out whether your colleagues are still getting called and perhaps ask your boss about the change. If there were no heads up before the access to meetings has been restrained, it’s quite clear that someone up (manager or boss) wants you gone.
5. There’s a considerable delay or reduction in your paycheck
There are three good reasons why your salary has been delayed or reduced. The first one is that your company has financial issues (debt, regulations, fines, etc.).
The second one is that you’re being put on probation, meaning that you have to provide results and quality work before you receive the normal salary.
The third one, as you can probably guess, is a bad sign that your company is preparing to let you go. No matter the reason for this happening, you’re still in trouble. You should immediately ask why this happened and hope to receive a transparent answer.
6. The company has been sold off or has merged with another company
In case your company merges or has been sold off and you receive all the necessary details for the transition, then you shouldn’t worry.
However, when such a major event happens, and nobody tells you anything, you’d better recheck your resume and start looking for options.
Most likely, you’re one of the employees who isn’t going to be put up to speed because there’s no reason to!
7. Your Boss has left the company
If your boss leaves your company, getting replaced by another individual, some new changes might occur. One of them would be the replacement of employees with other employees that the new employer trusts. Even if you have a big history with the company, your job position might be in danger.
If the new boss presents no interest to talk to you, assign responsibilities, or call you to meetings, stay sharp and prepare your potential exit.
If everything seems alright and you’re being treated well, leave the assumptions behind until further problems show up.
8. Your assignments become absurd, off-topic, or extremely tough
When your assignments become absurd, extremely hard, or off-topic, something is clearly suspicious. Many bosses that can’t find the necessary justification to fire or replace employees will do their best to set the ones who must leave up for failure rather than success.
Also, if you receive important assignments without any useful indications, resources, and support is just like you’re being sent to battle without weapons.
When and if you fail, you’ll be presented as “incapable” or “not worth keeping” because you can’t bring results. This is a sick move, but it happens.
9. You have received a strong warning after previous milder warnings
Nobody said that your boss might be the one who initiated the firing process. It might have been you, without you even realizing it. When you’re doing a poor job, making mistakes, missing deadlines, and so on, you will be probably warned.
After a few warnings, most employers or managers lose the patience and might start considering a replacement.
If you’ve received a very harsh warning after more previous milder warnings, your days might be numbered, so you should pay very close attention to what’s going on with your responsibilities, assignments, resources, and paycheck in the nearest future.
If there are “bad signs”, prepare to leave!
10. You’re losing necessary resources
As an employee, you’re given resources that are necessary for managing the tasks and responsibilities you’re assigned.
Well, when the tasks or responsibilities remain the same but the resources you’re granted with are being cut off, that’s a clear sign that your boss or manager means to put you in trouble, especially if there’s no palpable reason for this happening.
Remember: the easiest way for someone to get you fired is to show that you are incapable of getting the job done. By withdrawing your tools, your boss is making your job almost impossible.
11. You’re being ignored
Being ignored by your higher ranks is probably the biggest sign that you’re about to be fired. Written communications, the withdrawal of resources, or the lack of project assignments are much subtler signs, and they may be misinterpreted.
However, when the person who you must report to is nowhere to be found, he’s not answering your messages or your calls, then your hopes of getting out of this situation are pretty slim.
What you can do is wait for him to get back to you while you prepare yourself mentally for your next job seeking process.
12. Your work is no longer appreciated
You’ve used to be a valuable employee whose work got consistently praised. But for a while now, the positive remarks and feedback are gone, while the critiques and harsh feedback becomes more frequent.
That’s a general case in which bosses attempt to discourage an employee due to various reasons. These could be personal reasons or professional reasons.
If you have made someone angry, that could be a cause. If your work results are less promising, that could be another.
However, there may be a “hidden agenda” that wants you gone. In this case, you even if your work is brilliant and you’re doing everything possible to impress, your higher leads won’t reward you properly because they would act contrary to what has already been decided.
13. You have been asked to take some time off
When you’re suddenly asked to take some time off, you should start raising questions. One of the reasons for this happening is that your office might be needed by another fresh recruit or potential employee.
You’re being called off because someone else is going to replace you, and they need the time to get accustomed to the office.
Another reason could be the fact that the company’s budget might be in trouble. In this case, some employees have to “sit out” for a while without getting paid.
No matter the reason, being asked to take some time off is a terrible sign that you might be fired any time soon.
14. Your co-workers act weird and you suspect gossip
The strange behavior of your colleagues might be a subtle sign that you’re being left out of the loop. If your team colleagues or higher leads shy away from you consistently, they might know something you don’t.
It may seem odd that some of the people that you’ve built close relationships at work are now avoiding you. Well, if they know you’re about to get fired, they might stay away just to avoid the feelings of “guilt by association”, or simply because they want to stay out of trouble.
This sign is easily interpreted, so make sure you’re not becoming paranoid. Take your time to assess the situation, and, if you truly suspect something, try to get more confirmation by seeking more answers from your colleagues directly.
15. You have to report to less experienced coleagues
When the chain of command is broken and your used-to-be subordinates report to someone else while you must also provide reports to colleagues that are lower in “importance’, something must be going on.
This isn’t necessarily a sign that you’re getting fired. It could be that you might be demoted.
Or, it could mean that your manager has his trust in you and he’s now trying to find an objective solution for the company’s sake. Either way, this sign should put you in an “alert” mode because your future with the company might not be truly safe.
16. You’ve damaged the company’s image or results
If you did something wrong that directly or indirectly affected the company’s reputation and results, you’ll soon be treated differently. Every boss chooses his own ways. However, more often than not, when an employee “screws up” big time, something’s going to be taken away from him.
It could be the responsibilities, the team who’s under, or, in the worst-case scenario, it could be his job.
This must sound like a cliché, but it’s definitely true – Being fired does not represent the end of the world, nor the end of your professional life.
If you’re not too skeptical about this, I would suggest that if you really get fired, you should embrace this change as a necessary shift that’s part of your faith.
If you have responsibilities like a family, a college to pay, or a house to sustain, that should give you the proper motivation to move on and find something else that will sustain you.
Many times, you’re left with no choices anyway, so better keep your mindset strong and your head high. Sooner or later, you’ll understand the lesson(s) that your firing event prompted, and you’ll be thankful for them!