With the high unemployment we have today in the United States, it is more important than ever to prepare financially should you be laid off from your job. You should make sure you have a fresh copy of your resume prepared in case of this unforeseen event. We normally don’t wake up in the morning thinking that our job will be eliminated at our company, but here are four signs you should keep on your radar that your job may be on the cut line.
Your Last Performance Review Was Lower Than Normal
Most large companies will rate and rank their employees against a set of individual and corporate goals. They will have measures such as a G1 which equals far exceeds expectations, G2 above expectations, G3 meets expectations, G4 below expectations, and G5 far below expectations. Although many of think the last time we saw a bell curve being used was in our 9th grade chemistry class, large companies use bell curves each and every year. This allows them to create forced distributions for bonus, stock, merit increases, etc.Even if you were normally a high performer, if you find in your latest review that your boss says you are performing below expectations and you are going to be put on a performance improvement plan your hair should begin to stand on your skin. 9 out of 10 times, a performance improvement plan is your manager’s way of saying you are on the way out. More importantly, if you company has to do job cuts, the person who gets cut first in a department is usually based on last year’s performance review.
You Are Being Asked To Document What You Do Out Of The Blue
The easiest way to get a replacement for you is to have you train someone. This works well and can get you excited when you are up for a promotion to the next level.However, one way your boss might be able to get a lot of the information ready for the next person in your job is for you to document what you do every day. You may also be asked to create a manual of processes and procedures which your company now magically wants to make the department run better, but this is definitely a warning signal that the company plans to replace you with somebody new.
There Are Lots Of Behind Closed Door Meetings And You Are Not In The Loop
Have you noticed as of late that the managers in your department are meeting lots of times behind closed doors in the office? Or, is your boss taking one on one meetings with others besides you in their office. When you see lots of commotion within the office circulated with rumors that cuts may be coming, this can be imminent danger that your job might be ready to walk the plank. I recommend getting a proactive meeting with your boss to find out what’s what, and to see who around you has been playing a game of political football as of late. When the environment in the cubes seems very quiet along with the closed door meaning can be a sure sign that cuts are coming.
Your Goals Are Unattainable
If a boss really wants to get rid of you, one way to approach this is to give you work and goals that they know you will not be able to reach. This is a more slow and painful approach and requires a ton of documentation on the part of your company, but if next year’s goals seem truly ridiculous than this could be a sign that the end is near. The real key to watch out for here is if your boss adds even more responsibilities on to your list or makes you completely document all the tasks that are involved in your job on top of the lofty goals.
Surely if you are asked to take a pay cut, reduce the number of days you are working, or job share, these are all signs as well that your job can be in danger. Looking for both subjective and objective signs will help you be proactive versus reactive when it comes to these types of situations. It is important to get a good financial strategy in place for a job loss so you aren’t stuck in the rain using credit cards and other means to put you in a financial hole. Use these four signs to help you make smart money moves to keep your job!
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc
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