An unsuspecting employee walks into work one morning, seemingly happy and secure in his job, only to be handed a pink slip. He’s blindsided. And devastated. He thinks to himself:
“How did I not see this coming?”
At one point or another, you’ve probably heard a story like this. You may have even experienced something similar, yourself. Either way, it’s a reminder that there are no guarantees in life – especially when it comes to employment.
Though you may feel that you have a great future with a great company, financial prospects can change. Marketplaces can dry up. Management may decide to “head in a different direction.” But if you don’t have a crystal ball, how can you tell if 2014 will be great for your career, or if your job may actually be in jeopardy? Today, A.R. Mazzotta shares three telltale signs to help you prepare for – and possibly even prevent – a job loss:
Red flag #1: You’ve been stagnant in your job for two or more years.
As a rule of thumb, something should happen with your career about every two years. You should earn a promotion, receive a pay raise or take on additional responsibilities. If nothing has happened, then there may potentially be a problem with your job.
What should you do? If your career has been at a virtual standstill for at least two years, ask yourself why. Are you consistently doing more than what is being asked of you? What could be holding you back from taking the next step in your career? After you have completed a self-analysis, address the issue with your manager in a professional – yet frank – manner. Discuss your key performance indicators (KPIs) and ask what you can do to improve your job performance (and enhance your job security).
Red flag #2: Your company is in financial distress.
If your employer is struggling financially, staff cutbacks may not be far behind. Layoffs are especially likely when an employer’s costs are heavily weighted toward human resources, because that’s where there’s room to save money.
What should you do? First, determine whether or not your job is worth fighting for. Do you have a real, long-term future with this employer, or are you simply delaying the inevitable? If you decide that it is worth it, work to diversify your skills so that you can perform a variety of different roles at your company. This will make you more valuable to your employer and can keep the spotlight off of you when cutback time occurs.
Red flag #3: Your boss’s behavior towards you changes noticeably.
Paying attention to how your boss interacts with you can tell you a lot about the security of your job. For example, if he used to socialize and has recently stopped, or if he will not make eye contact anymore, there is probably a good reason why.
What should you do? If you sense that something is “off” from your boss, the best thing you can do is to perform to the best of your abilities. Regardless of personal feelings, the number one metric managers use to decide who stays and who goes is job performance.
Think your job may be in jeopardy? Give yourself some peace of mind by registering with A.R. Mazzotta. We can start a confidential search on your behalf or offer you temporary assignments in Connecticut to help you stay working if you get laid off.