Top Ways to Tell if Your Employer Is Trying to Get Rid of You

by Melissa King, Demand Media
    Watch for signs your boss may be planning to show you the door.

    Watch for signs your boss may be planning to show you the door.

    Your job may provide you with a great paycheck and the chance to complete interesting projects with co-workers you love. At first glance, the job seems perfect, but you've also got a nagging feeling that something just isn't right. Pay attention to that feeling as it could mean your boss wants to fire you or is trying to get you to quit. If your boss is planning to get rid of you, she'll usually drop a few hints before handing you the pink slip. Look out for these signs so you're not shocked when she does the deed.

    Impossible Tasks or Fewer Responsibilities

    At first, your boss handed you projects and tasks that she knew you could complete. She understood your skills and gave you satisfying projects at which you could excel. If you suddenly start receiving impossible projects, your boss may be hoping you'll quit. If she asks you to research and write a 10-page report in a few hours, and you can't do it, she'll have an excuse to scold you. If you pull it off, you're sure to feel frustrated and bitter. On the other hand, your boss might give you fewer responsibilities than usual. She might exclude you from working on a big project or task you with simple jobs suited for an intern, such as fetching supplies or delivering a memo.

    Pay Cut or Smaller Office

    If your boss suddenly announces that you'll be receiving a pay cut, the company is either low on funds or she is likely planning to fire you. Less severe, but still quite telling, is a pay freeze. This renders you unable to get a raise, so you're stuck with the same pay rate for the foreseeable future. Your boss might also ask you to swap your big corner office for a smaller one or worse yet, switch you to a cubicle. If this happens, your boss's next move might be to show you the door.

    Rumors and Exclusion

    Rumors spread like wildfire in most companies. If your boss is plotting to get rid of you, chances are at least one of your co-workers knows it. Join in conversations at the water cooler and break room. You might learn that your boss has it out for you or that company-wide layoffs are on the way. If your boss wants to fire you, she may start excluding you from company gatherings, such as meetings, luncheons or after-work parties. If your co-workers all seem to know about an upcoming event, but no one's told you about it, your boss may be getting ready to give you some bad news.

    Help Wanted Ads and Poor Reviews

    Job posting websites and classified ads are good resources for finding out about openings in your company. If you see a help wanted ad for your position, your boss might be trying to find your replacement before letting you go. If you've recently received a poor performance review and never had prior complaints, your boss may have all the reason she needs to fire you. Even if you think your performance has been up to par, your boss might fill the review with enough nit-picky complaints to make you look bad. If she does this, get ready to clean out your desk.

    About the Author

    Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

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