21 signs you're about to be fired

Most people are at least somewhat surprised when they hear the words “you’re fired.” Some are even shocked.

But upon looking back on the situation, almost everyone realises there were signs — they just chose to ignore them, says Robert Dilenschneider, author of “50 Plus!: Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life.”

Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job,” says the savviest professionals always keep an eye out for the classic signs that their job is in danger. This way, if and when they notice red flags popping up, they can attempt to turn the tides before it’s too late.

Here are 21 signs you may be getting the boot:

Your job has become Mission Impossible.

You are suddenly given impossible tasks with unachievable milestones and deadlines. 'In other words, you're being set up to fail,' Taylor explains. 'Sometimes this is due to lousy leadership, but occasionally it can be because a company wants to get rid of you, but they need solid evidence to do so, and setting you up for disaster is one way of getting the 'proof' you longer belong there.'

You're asked to provide detailed reports about time or expenses.


'Increased scrutiny is a phenomenon that is rarely initiated by the accounting department,' says Dilenschneider. 'The boss believes that you have wasted time or inflated expenses. Even if you are 100% innocent, it doesn't matter. Find out if you are the only person being scrutinised.'

Your perks start to evaporate.


'Your colleagues are all sent to a conference in Marrakesh, but you aren't invited. You are told to fly coach after years of flying business class. Suddenly, you lose your corner office and are relocated to the bullpen,' says Dilenschneider. 'Perks are an important part of the job, and if you sense yours are being eroded, you have every right to worry.'

You notice more gossip and strange behaviour from your coworkers.


When people seem to shy away from you, and you notice it most from people with whom you shared a friendship, it probably means something's up. 'Oftentimes when coworkers hear rumours about someone being fired or even reprimanded, they stay away to avoid 'guilt by association,'' Kerr says.

Your access to certain data is limited.


When a company is preparing to let someone go, they sometimes limit or revoke the employees access to certain accounts a bit prematurely.

'Beware if your email password no longer works or you've been locked out of your company's intranet,' says Kerr.

There was a recent merger, but little information.


After a merger, it's not uncommon for a company to make layoffs — sometimes even massive layoffs, Kerr says.

'If you're feeling that your job was at risk already, then a merger could put the nail on the proverbial coffin,' adds Taylor.

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