If you’ve ever gotten the pink slip, raise your hand!
Now that we’re all friends and have been there/done that at one time or another, it’s likely there were signs ahead of time. Whether or not we chose to ignore them is another topic but a few indicators were probably alive and well.
Per this piece on BBC, there are a few clues that can give you the heads up as to whether or not a reduction in force is going to happen. Granted, we don’t want to create panic but instead it’s the notion of proceeding rapidly with caution and circulating that resume.
1. Important meetings are occurring without you. Are you being excluded from various meetings? Even if you weren’t really involved in meetings in the first place if you’re noticing a lot of closed doors, your gut may be right.
The piece suggests addressing the signs fast. Why not schedule a meeting with your boss and ask in a non-defensible manner about what’s going on? You can say something like you’ve noticed you’re being excluded from decision-making meetings. Then ask what has changed and what you can do to correct it.
2. Everyone around you is getting the boot. If you’ve survived several rounds of layoffs to remain employed, congrats! Truth of the matter is you may be next on the chopping block. Or you may not be. So, instead of worrying about things you don’t have control over, take charge of the things you do. Call former colleagues and ask to meet up for coffee; connect with those LinkedIn connections for phone calls.
3. You’re asked to train someone else on behalf of your group. This is a major red flag. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. All of the sudden, you’re being asked to train someone on how to do your job as well as your colleague’s jobs.
Of course, this puts you in a precarious situation. It’s not like you can say no and you have to remain professional so keep that chin up. You’re clearly valued enough to share your knowledge so perhaps it’ll buy you time to continue searching so you can leave on your own terms.