Kool Derby

With the unemployment rate going up, many of us want to keep our jobs. I understand that giving the “pink slip” is no fun, but receiving it is even worse. Even if you are doing good work, it’s still possible for your employer to show you the door – literally!

If your performance is below standards, it’s only a matter of time before the manager calls you in to have a “private discussion.” When you get this call, or a meeting invite shows up in your Inbox, you can expect the worst. At this point, there is little you can do to change decision. It’s time to go.

Knowing the signs that you are near termination will help you plan. While your options with the current company might be limited or nonexistent, you can get a head start with your job search. Experience has taught me that finding a new job is much easier when you are currently employed. If you wait until you’re sitting at home without a job, you are more likely to take any job out of desperation. In other words, the dwindling bank account plays a major role in your decision.

#1: You’re manager is apathetic towards you.

You go to meetings, and your manager shows little interest in you, or in what you have to offer. In fact, the manager will purposely avoid giving you assignments. He knows that your days with the company are numbered, and doesn’t want to waste time training someone else down the road. The work you are given now is mostly operational, which means it’s tedious and adds little value to the department.

#2: The only raise seen on your check is the mandatory COLA.

If you are only receiving the mandatory Cost-of-Living Adjustment increases during the past couple years, while others qualify for bonuses, the writing is on the wall. Your manager has determined that you are a low producer, which makes you part of the bottom 10%. You can expect to lose your job in the next round of cuts.

#3: You have this crazy feeling that others know something about you, but they’re not telling you.

Whether right or wrong, your manager will share confidential information with key people in your department. They might have gone out for a drink, and the manager said something like the following: “Sam is not doing too well. I like him, but he’s not right for the company. I think some tough personnel decisions lie ahead for me.” When your manager feels that way about you and your performance, it’s only a matter of time.

Regardless of the circumstances, you can approach your manager when you sense that you might be nearing the chopping block. In some cases, the manager will direct you to the latest performance appraisal, and ask you to focus on the “areas for improvement.” By having a candid conversation with your manager, you can get a better idea of where you stand.

Getting fired is not the end of the world! In some cases, changing environments can make a big difference in your performance. However, you must be prepared for that eventuality. In other words, leave the company on your own terms.