Something’s just not right and you can sense it. Perhaps there’s been a recent acquisition, or your manager keeps talking to HR. Almost everything you say is now documented. If you notice some or all of the following signs, stay on your guard. You may be shown the door soon.
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1. You are not getting along with your manager.
If you are a new employee and the manager has been there a while, this is a sure sign that things will not go your way. Your manager and team have already proved themselves to the management and it’s up to you to show your worth. But if you start on the wrong foot and have constant disagreements with your manager, your attitude may be viewed as insubordination, and it’s a slippery slope from there. Ego clashes, documented performance records, discarding your ideas, ignoring your presence, communication only via email — all are tell-tale signs that your manager wants you out.
If your manager is new and you are the only subordinate who has issues with her, she may be more comfortable hiring someone she has worked with than try and win your trust. While you could explore different roles, if you have a proven track record in the organization, the only other possibility is moving out, if you are unable to get along with your manager.
2. Your company is being acquired.
This may not always mean that you will be out of a job, but if the acquiring company has a well-established team that does your job predominantly, then they would much rather keep their own team and get rid of your role.
3. You see a decrease in your responsibilities.
Suddenly your work is being split among multiple people; you are given the chance to “relax” or are asked “not to stress.” You end up feeling under-utilized. That’s a sign right there that work is being taken away from you.
4. You are being micromanaged.
Your day-to-day work is monitored, or you are asked to submit your daily schedule. Almost all the work you do is reviewed and analyzed closely. You are asked to explain delays or changes in status, even before the project is due. Your presence and absence from your seat is closely monitored and questioned.
5. You do not deliver on your Performance Improvement Plan.
While I do not think a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is in itself a reason to panic, failure to deliver per the plan surely is. Typical PIPs are designed at the target level of achievement — not higher, and not lower. An average-performing employee should be able to clear a well-intended PIP. HR is generally involved to check on the administration of the process. So if you are not comfortable with the targets, let your HR know, so they can investigate further. However, once you accept the PIP, failure to deliver results can lead to termination.
6. You are kept out of the loop or are not invited to meetings.
You see a lot of buzz, a lot of meetings that your teammates and manager seem to be involved in. You, somehow are not being included in the meetings and aren’t given convincing reasons why you are not involved — “it is confidential,” “you have other important projects to focus on,” etc.
7. You are assigned a mentor to “succeed in your role.”
If you’ve been in the job for a while but are suddenly assigned a mentor, when nobody else in your role is, there’s a problem with your performance and you are not meeting your management’s expectations. This is a support the organization is offering you to see if you will improve.
8. Nobody’s asking for a project update from you.
There are no status update reports or progress charts asked of your work. Your work is nowhere in the radar and all your meeting requests are rejected.
9. You are being given impossible projects and deadlines.
You know the scope of the project is too broad and the deadlines are unrealistic, yet your manager won’t budge and will hold you accountable for it. You obviously will not be able to deliver and that is reason enough to say you are not meeting your goals.
10. HR is marked on most of your manager’s communication with you.
If HR is getting involved in your regular day-to-day work, and you are nowhere close to a promotion or an org-wide recognition, then a complaint has probably been lodged against you and they are being kept in loop. Ideally, you should be aware of the issue, but if this is not the case, then HR’s involvement is not good news.
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