Home > Career Life > Are You About to Get Fired? 7 Ways to Help You See It Coming

Are You About to Get Fired? 7 Ways to Help You See It Coming

fired laid off layoff office clean out boss managerOn my way to work this morning, I was listening to Chris Payne on our local alternative radio station.  In between songs, Chris updates his listeners on recent breaking news.  This morning he discussed in detail the University of Nevada, Reno’s proposed $26 million budget cut.  He ironically followed this discussion with the following questions: “Has your boss’s behavior towards you changed recently?  Has your boss stopped praising you for jobs well done?  Does it seem like your boss favors other coworkers now?  Watch out!  You’re probably about to get fired!”

Hearing this made me think of this whole idea of Professional Diversification and preparing for uncertain times.  In order to help you prepare, you have to be aware of the warning signs that you might be weeks or even days away from being laid off.  Some organizations announce layoffs, downsizing, or restructuring, which should immediately perk up your ears.  But other times, the warning signs can be very subtle and are often times overlooked.  Why?  Because we don’t want to believe it could happen to us.  The fact of the matter is it’s better to start preparing for the next step before you get fired, so the amount of time you spend unemployed is minimal.

I looked up the article Chris Payne was referring to during his morning show and I wanted to share the list with you and some questions that might help you decide if you might be next on the list:

    1. There’s been a “change” in your boss’s behavior towards you.

    When you walk by your boss in the morning, does he/she make eye contact or say good morning?  Did he/she do this in the past?

    2. One-on-ones are consistently canceled.

    Is your boss becoming harder and harder to get a hold of?  Does he/she never seem to have time to discuss things with you anymore?

    3. Your boss has a new attention to detail.

    Is your boss all of the sudden interested in the way you do your job?  Does he/she check up on you throughout the day to make sure you’re getting your work done?

    4. No more talks about planning and the future.

    When you first started, did you talk with your boss about your goals and what his/her plans were for you?  Have those conversations ceased?

    5. The “insider” stops talking to you.

    Has “Mr. Know-It-All” stopped talking to you?  You know, the person that knows everything that’s going on with your boss.  Do you feel like office rumors are last to get to you or never get to you at all?

    6. HR doesn’t have time for you.

    Do your requests go unanswered?  Is it hard to get a hold of HR?  Was it any different in the past?

    7. Your complaints get answered with, “You’re right.”

    Have you ever gone into your boss’s office to express distress with a situation?  Maybe your job isn’t challenging enough?  Maybe you’re having trouble with some of your coworkers?  Does your boss try to convince you otherwise or help you out?  Or does he/she agree, hoping you’ll just quit before they have to let you go?

Scary right?  Don’t worry though, by engaging in Professional Diversification, we can overcome the possibility of being fired.  And as someone commented on the original article, “…when one door closes, another one opens.”

Image Credit

Webpage Credit:

Chris Payne (@deftonesfreek) on Twitter

Alternative Radio – 100.9 KRZQ

Facebook – The Biggest Little Morning Show

Related Content:

Signs You’re About to Get Fired

Categories: Career Life
  1. March 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Good post Eric. Although it is a scary reality, it is good to pay attention to these signs to identify if a problem exits. From that point we can either work to improve…or perhaps realize that we need to look for a better opportunity.

  2. March 8, 2011 at 7:38 PM


    Thanks for the comment! I really like what you said about possibly looking for better opportunities. I think I’ll use that idea and blog about it later on.


  3. March 8, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen my boss act this way towards people who have subsequently lost their jobs. Perhaps if someone noticed these signs early, they could start shifting their behavior to see if they can save themselves. Another idea might be to ask your boss for a review, or feedback on the job you’re doing. If your fate isn’t already sealed, you might be able to save yourself! Otherwise, it might be time to start hedging your bets…

  4. March 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM


    I appreciate your comment! I think it’s important to try as hard as possible to converse with your boss if you see these signs. The sooner you can get your boss to admit it, the sooner you can start preparing. Unfortunately, I think once you start seeing these signs, it’s too late to save it. The decision has already been made.


  1. May 10, 2011 at 8:58 PM
  2. May 17, 2011 at 5:47 AM
  3. July 12, 2011 at 8:26 PM

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