11 Signs You May Be Getting Fired (With Tips To Improve Work Performance)

Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” told Business Insider that 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 its too late.

9 signs you’re about to get fired
  • Sign #1: You’re on a “Performance Improvement Plan” …
  • Sign #2: You’re getting fewer projects assigned to you. …
  • Sign #3: You’re no longer invited to participate in meetings. …
  • Sign #4: Your performance reviews are less than stellar. …
  • Sign #5: Your boss has pushed you away.

Signs You Are Getting Fired (Even if It’s UNFAIR)

11 signs you may be getting fired

Here are some of the most commons signs you may be let go from your job:

1. You receive more than one negative performance review.

Multiple performance reviews with less than ideal feedback could potentially mean your job is at risk. Performance reviews represent a culmination of your work, behavior and attitude as a whole. Be mindful of phrases such as “you may not be a good fit for our culture” or “your personality doesnt seem to mesh well with the team.” Keep in mind though, that one negative performance review does not necessarily mean youll be let go. Normally, a company will allow you to make corrections and improve upon your performance before deciding to terminate your position, as all jobs come with a learning curve.

2. You suddenly start getting left out.

If you are a key team member and suddenly find yourself left out of important conversations or no longer asked for input on crucial team decisions, it may be a sign of termination. While other reasons might explain this, one reason might be that your manager has less confidence in your abilities and opinions. In addition to this, if you oversee employees and your manager goes directly to them about matters instead of through you, there may be a greater issue. Communicate your perception of what is going on with your employer to figure out the cause.

3. Your job seems to get more difficult.

When you first started your job, you could easily follow and complete your tasks accurately and efficiently. Now, the tasks assigned to you seem more difficult to complete by their deadlines or come with little or confusing instructions and less support than usual from management. While this may be a result of mismanagement, its sometimes a way to slowly let someone go. Always express concerns with work to your team leader or manager, so you can develop solutions to balance your work out and promote the most productive environment.

4. Youve received several warnings from your manager.

Both verbal or written formal warnings may mean your job is at risk. Regular messages from your manager pointing out errors, with little to no positive feedback or praise could result in termination. If you suddenly start receiving more criticism, or your manager evaluates your performance at an odd time, it may be a good idea to start thinking about new opportunities. Taking the initiative to set up a meeting with your employer to go over feedback may show them you are willing to improve.

5. The relationship with your boss changes.

The relationship you maintain with your manager is an important indicator of where you stand within the company. If you normally have a friendly relationship and great communication with your boss that seems to slowly or unexpectedly change, you may want to consider the possibility of termination. This may come in the form of difficulty communicating, receiving unfair treatment or a general feeling of tension. If you can determine a specific incident or reason for this behavior change, you can likely make amends and get back in sync with your manager. Schedule a meeting with your boss and bring up your concerns.

6. You are asked to provide detailed expense or time reports.

Normally, inquiries about time or expense reports come straight from managers rather than the accounting department. Your manager may be concerned about overspending or poor time management if they ask for receipts or proof of what you accomplished during your hours. Its a good idea to discuss this with your manager and determine if you are the only concern, or if all employees must submit reports. It could be a company- or team-wide request for the manager to assess productivity as a whole.

7. Fewer projects are assigned to you.

If you find yourself with much less work than normal and it seems difficult to secure your normal workload, there may be an underlying problem. A clear trend in decreasing responsibilities could mean your manager is getting ready to terminate your position and is assigning your work to others. Mention your workload concerns with your boss and express your desire for more responsibilities, but prepare yourself if you do get let go.

8. You experience a more critical eye or no feedback at all.

If your manager is all of a sudden watching and questioning everything you do, they may be evaluating you for termination. Conversely, if they are completely ignoring you and your efforts at work, they may no longer assign value to your work and be thinking of termination. Keep in mind, though, that sometimes managers get busy and might not show their normal attentiveness to the team. Pay attention to see if their behavior is directed at everyone or you alone. If you feel singled out, schedule a meeting with your manager to determine the cause and discuss improvements you can make.

9. Youve been asked to take time off or receive a demotion.

If an employer asks you to take a leave of absence, they may be feeling out how the team works without you. A demotion is also a possible sign of termination. Moving into a less crucial role reduces your authority and value in the company, which could result in getting fired. Always communicate concerns with your boss to understand why things have changed.

10. You get placed on a performance improvement plan.

Managers may place employees on an improvement plan because they need to see a great improvement in their work before deciding to terminate their position. However, If you find yourself in this position, pay close attention to the details of the goals you need to reach. Control what you can by producing your best work going forward. Focus, double-check your work and meet your deadlines.

11. A merger is taking place.

Mergers notoriously result in staff reductions because one company only needs one person in a role. If your company participates in a merger, pay attention to any overlap in your specific job duties with what other employees do. If overlap exists, that doesnt necessarily indicate termination but stay aware and prepared for potential changes that may affect you. You may not have control over who is laid-off during a merger, but you can control how much effort you put into your work to show you are the best candidate to stay.

Why recognizing signs you’re getting fired is important

Recognizing signs of potential termination is important because you want the opportunity to improve your performance and fix any underlying issues that may be the cause. Its also ideal to have time to figure out a plan and prepare for your future if you do find yourself without a job.

Tips for improving your work performance

Try out these tips to help improve your work performance if you feel your job may be at risk:

Show exceptional work ethic

Put more effort into your daily tasks and strive to go beyond expectations with projects. Get to work a few minutes earlier each day, offer to help with special events or participate in extra on-the-job training. Be honest with yourself and look for major areas you can improve, and then take the necessary steps to do so.

Engage more with your boss

Find opportunities to engage in straightforward and genuine conversations with your manager about your performance. Also, ask them about any special projects and show interest in helping. Positioning yourself as a resource could help strengthen your value in the company and provide you with better job security. Pay more attention to the mission of senior management and align your work ethic and behavior with it.

Make yourself more visible in a positive way

If you believe your job is at risk, you want to make yourself more visible and memorable. Take small, but noticeable actions to improve your standing, and show more passion for your job and how you benefit the company. Find out more about client needs and figure out ways to fulfill them. Find key articles that could interest managers and email them or offer to help others in related departments. Even small but consistent actions will show your employer your drive and leadership abilities.

Remain professional

Despite the possibility of getting let go, its important to remain professional and confident in your abilities. Demonstrating your poise shows strength and professionalism. If you discuss problems with your boss, approach them directly and diplomatically with the intent to learn and grow as a professional.


How can you tell if your going to get fired?

The main signs you’re about to get fired

You screwed up big-time recently. Your boss wants to meet you one-on-one suspiciously often. You feel your boss has become strangely distant. Your coworkers seem to avoid you.

What do you do if you think you are going to get fired?

7 Things to Do Immediately if You Get Fired
  1. Ask The Right Questions.
  2. Negotiate The Terms Of Your Departure.
  3. Check if You Qualify for Unemployment Benefits.
  4. Reach Out to Your Network.
  5. Start Brushing Up Your Resume.
  6. Set Job Alerts.
  7. Have Faith In Yourself.

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