By Teena Rose, CPRW, CEIP, CCM, http://www.resumebycprw.com
Getting axed, sacked, canned, or fired hurts. It
does nothing for your self-esteem and it doesn't look great on your
resume. You're always better leaving your position on your own terms.
But how can you tell when your job may be on the line? Here are 10
things to look for.
- There's a path worn in the carpet between
your cubicle and the corner office. If you're always being called
into the principal's office, something is wrong. Either you don't
get it, or your boss doesn't get you. When there's this kind of
communication breakdown, it's time to start looking for a new job.
- They're storing things in your office. When
they start storing anything--from office supplies to janitorial
supplies--in your office, your days are probably numbered. That's
not the way a good employer treats a valued employee. If your work
is truly valuable to your employer, expect compliments, good
reviews, and additional compensation. Most of all, expect respect
for your work area.
- You're asked to share your office or cubicle
with an intern, a guest, a printer, a community workstation,
archived materials, or anyone or anything that isn't directly
related to helping you do your work. Or your cubicle gets moved away
from your group or to a noisy location (such as next to a network
printer or copy machine).
- Your boss keeps calling you Skippy when your
name is Bob. Oh, yeah, you're a goner. When your boss can't remember
your name, or starts calling you by the wrong name, consider the
obvious. Also, when you're no longer asked to join department
meetings, your boss is definitely trying to tell you something about
- Your co-workers start avoiding you--even in
subtle ways. Office gossip spreads like wildfire and, all-too-often,
everybody knows you are "on the list" before you do. So, if your
workplace friends start to shun you, ask people if they've heard
anything. A good friend will tell you. A lousy friend will run
screaming from the room. Either way, it's time to move on.
- 6. The HR director knows the names of your
spouse, kids, and dog. Unless you work in a small office where the
human resources director is also the CEO, custodian, and customer
service rep, you have to wonder why, all of a sudden, the people in
HR have pulled your file. Be suspicious. Very suspicious.
- You read a help wanted ad describing your job
placed by your company. Employers don't like to be left with holes
to fill in the company roster, so many hire replacements before the
hammer falls. If you happen to run across your job description in
the classifieds, in an ad placed by your company, keep looking.
You're probably in the market for a new job--which was why you were
reading the help wanted section in the first place. A related
sign--you're asked to train a new hire on to do your job.
- Your supervisor warns against taking that
second mortgage. S/he's trying to do you a favor. The decision to
let you go may be made at the supervisory level, or by some faceless
bigwig back at HQ. In either case, take the hint when it's offered.
But most often these days, the supervisor has been informed about
mandatory staff cuts, has been agonizing over losing you. feels just
awful about it, and can do nothing to save you. So be alert to
little hints about saving money, cutting back, looking for other
work, and so on. Your supervisor may be banned from directly helping
you, and is looking for ways of doing so without seeming to do so.
- Your boss tells you about a career seminar,
new job search Website, or similar job seeker's tool. This is
another manifestation of the previous sign. It's not as subtle, and
it's a very clear signal that you need to get active about moving
- You've missed work. You may be within the
limits of your sick days, but your absences have caused problems.
Even if you've worked remotely and kept up with your workload, your
coworkers, supervisor, and others may perceive you as a slacker.
Reality and perception don't have to be in agreement for people to
start talking viciously about you behind your back and label you in
ways that undermine you. If you can't help but miss work, be sure to
address this with your supervisor and coworkers--perhaps e-mailing
or calling in for updates even if you are sick. If you've taken a
lot of "mental health" days and that's not normal where you are,
you've probably already poisoned the well.
Getting sacked should not come as a complete
surprise. There are usually signs that things aren't right at work. Keep
your eyes and ears open for signs of trouble. A change in company
ownership, a new supervisor, a new set of company procedures. Any
dramatic change can often lead to layoffs, belt-tightening, and "Good
Get proactive when you see the writing on the
- Have a professional work with you to update
your resume. Most resumes are terrible, and do more to keep you from
getting a job than they do to help you get one. Fact: the people
with the worst resumes are the ones least likely to seek qualified
assistance. Instead, they plod forward with their "masterpiece"
resumes and lose out on one job opportunity after another.
- Locate a recruiter who will work with you to
"bring buyer and seller together." Steer clear of "headhunters" who
simply forward resumes and collect a commission. You want a real
matchmaker who is more interested in making an accurate match than
in making a quick buck.
- Network. The best way to do this is to
volunteer for a committee in your trade group or professional
organization. Getting involved in putting on a conference, seminar,
or other event shows what you're made of, and it gets your name out
there. Offer to speak at an event, write an article for a trade or
professional publication, serve on a panel, and so on. Networking
doesn't mean handing out business cards or resumes at an event in
your industry. It is a long-term proposition that involves building
relationships by doing.
If you can leave on your own terms, with your new
job already in place, the transition from one job to the next may even
benefit your ego and your bank account.
Teena Rose operates a prominent and
professional resume writing service, Resume to Referral.
She’s authored several
career books, including "20-Minute
Cover Letter Fixer",
to Design, Write, and Compile a Quality Brag Book",
and "Cracking the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales."
Teena Rose, CPRW, CEIP, CCM
Resume to Referral
7211 Taylorsville Road, Office 208
Huber Heights, OH 45424
Phone: (937) 236-1360
Fax: (937) 236-1351