How to Ask Your Boss if You're Going to Lose Your Job

Ask for information about potential layoffs, but don't demand an answer.
i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Don't get caught off guard by losing your job without warning; ask your boss about your layoff risk if you are concerned. If times are tough, everyone's one edge; this can seem like a very awkward and imposing conversation, but it need not be. Go to your boss looking for information or advice, not seeking to force a decision.

    Step 1

    Schedule an appointment to sit down and talk with your boss. Your boss may be distracted or not able to talk about potential layoffs in front of everyone. If asked for a reason behind the meeting, say that you have concerns about the position of the company, rather than wondering out loud if you should update your resume and look for other employment.

    Step 2

    Seek information about whether layoffs are coming or a probability that you should be worried about your job. Don't try and get a yes or no answer that your boss cannot give. If you try to press your boss when she's in a difficult position, you may find yourself looking for work regardless of your company's circumstances.

    Step 3

    Express your desire to stay with the company; don't let your boss think that you're looking for permission to jump ship early. If your boss thinks you're already looking for other employment, you may be the first to go when any downsizing starts.

    Step 4

    Empathize with the circumstances your boss may be in: she may be worried about her own job, having to fire employees or under intense pressure from her boss in turn. Be prepared to receive potentially bad news with poise; if your boss is worried about you breaking down and crying in her office, she's much less likely to give you any information.

    Step 5

    Ask if you are free to entertain offers of employment from other companies if your boss admits things look bad. This can give you added time to find other employment, or you may find that you're invaluable to the company and find yourself with a raise or promotion to keep you with the company.

the nest