Getting fired is nature’s way of telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place. (Lancaster)
Susan is going to be fired. She appears to be clueless. She is a great person but is not getting the job done. She’s in a genteel company where people are expected to take hints. She has not taken the hints. She has been all but told to find a new job. She refuses to accept that. We’ve even read the tea leaves for her after her boss asked us to help get her out of the company. She refuses to accept it. Susan is going to be fired for not being above average. It just makes no sense to her.
My old friend Larry was at a major computer company. Every year his reviews were stellar. Then one year his review changed from “superior” to “needs improvement”. Larry asked, “Is this a hint?” The reply was, “It is what it is. You’ll need to figure that out.” Two weeks later Larry had a new job with a 25% pay raise. He’s still at that new company and still getting superior performance appraisals. Larry was being pushed out because his salary was too high, even though he was worth every penny of it.
The two main reasons for firing or laying off people are that they are not good enough, or they are too expensive. For either problem, some of the signs are the same, such as:
- Pay raises less than the rate of inflation – particularly NO raise
- A job review with average or lower ratings
- Reduction in responsibilities or some of your duties given to others
- Being on probation (some people actually miss this one!)
- You are asked to relocate to a place you won’t go
- Your company, division or location is losing money
- A competitor just won a big contract you should have won
- A new boss promises to “revitalize” your group, division or company
If you are wondering about your own situation, take the bull by the horns. Ask your boss two questions:
- Are there going to be layoffs?
- Should I start looking for a new job?
If you have the guts to ask, he just might tell you the truth. It’s better to know for sure if your boss will tell you. If your boss lies, you’ll still get a feeling for the truth. Find out. It’s better to look for a job while you are still employed rather than when you are jobless.
Do you have even one of the 8 signs in your job? Go talk to your boss. Do you have three or more of the symptoms? Look for a job no matter what the boss says.