As more employers adjust their workforces to meet current and predicted demand, layoffs are on the rise. At the end of the year, employees are more vulnerable to cuts in force as companies try to save money for next year.
Layoffs and terminations usually catch most people off guard. People aren’t prepared for what comes next. It’s important for employees to know warning signs so they can adjust and be ready for a job loss when it happens.
Possible termination warning signs include:
- Your boss is making less eye contact with you than usual.
- You have less face-to-face time with your manager.
- You are included in fewer meetings.
- You received a poor performance review.
- You have been told your skills or knowledge are outdated.
- Your workload or responsibilities have been reduced.
- Your co-workers know more about what’s going on than you do.
- Emails you send seem to have less importance.
- Your comments and suggestions are not considered.
- Cutbacks in your department have been more severe than others.
- Your company’s earnings or stock price have declined dramatically.
- Your employer has announced plans to outsource.
- Speculation about reductions is rampant.
Individual employees typically do not have control over their company’s financial situation and the economy. You may be able to correct performance-related issues if they exist. However, if a number of these signals are present, you should formulate an action plan in case it is needed.
If you are affected by a job loss, ICC offers this advice:
- Find out if you can work as a contract or freelancer for your company.
- Take advantage of outplacement services.
- If it’s not in your severance package, request outplacement help.
- Check out your company’s severance policies, especially if you qualify for enhanced severance formulas based on age and seniority.
- Make sure your family or significant other is prepared for the financial impact of the job loss and adjust your budget.
- Get fully focused before sending resumes or calling networking contacts.
- Think about changing careers or transferring your experience.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and aligned with your goals.
- Find out what state services you can get for free, like training/retraining and job placement.
- Ensure you spend time with friends who know and appreciate you.
- Maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle will help you create the right mindset. Keep a routine, like waking up at the same time, reading the newspaper, having breakfast or coffee, etc.
- Consider starting your own business or becoming a contractor or freelancer.
- Consider going after your “dream job" as well as positions like the ones you’ve held before.
People sometimes don’t start looking for jobs immediately after losing their jobs because they’re too upset and emotional. Take some time (but not too much) to re-evaluate your career and decide what you want. Perform a thorough career check-up and figure out what to do next.
Whether or not the top termination warning signs apply to you, you should always keep updating your resume, building your career network, and staying on top of your professional skills.