10 signs your job is at risk

Understanding where things are going wrong can give you a chance to find a great new job before the axe falls.

10 signs your job is at risk

10 signs your job is at risk

Watch for these red flags that suggest it’s time to start looking for a new gig.

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer
There are lots of reasons your job may be at risk -- some you can control, and some you can’t. Knowing the signals things are going wrong can give you a chance to find a great new job before the axe falls.
Here are 10 signs your job may be at risk.

1. You’re not hitting your numbers.
If you or your department, division or entire company is not consistently meeting sales or production targets, pink slips may be on their way, says Susan Bender Phelps, CEO of Odyssey Mentoring and Leadership. Whether your performance is to blame or not, no company can stay in business under such circumstances and will have to make changes.

2. You receive a bad review.
Keep track of your performance reviews and watch for signs that your manager is unhappy with your performance, says Wanda Sealy, a career and life coach. If you’ve gotten a lower-than-usual rating on your regular performance review, look into the reasons and assess whether there’s a clear, realistic path to improvement — or if you’re being maneuvered out.

3. You lose your projects.
It’s a bad sign when a manager takes away one of your pet projects or if a team you had been assigned to gets less work, Sealy says. It shows managers no longer trust your work, or your team’s efforts.

4. You’re denied a transfer or promotion with no explanation.
Another bad sign, says Sealy, is when you request a promotion or internal transfer and are denied with no explanation. There’s no reason for an employer to nurture your career development and offer you advice on how to get where you want to go if you’re going to be gone soon.

5. The office atmosphere is negative.
Some workplaces have poor communications, and co-workers are nasty to each other. That kind of environment often thrives on blame and scapegoating, and it makes it hard for people to make an honest effort. “You cannot shine or be a contributing member of the team if you cannot communicate with your colleagues,” Phelps says.

6. Leaders are meeting behind closed doors.
While managers and other leaders sometimes need to have private conversations, “frequent closed-door meetings with executives from headquarters can be an ominous sign,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of Call to Career. “Usually these closed-door meetings mean that management has decided to make some changes at your local office, and your job could be vulnerable.”

7. A machine can do your work just as well.
“If the type of work that you do can be done by a machine instead of a person, you may need to look for another type of job,” Palmer says. “It's usually just a matter of time before your company decides that a machine can do your job for less money.”

8. Your company merges or gets taken over.
If your company is sold or merges with another, layoffs are probable. “There is bound to be redundancy, meaning some people will lose their jobs regardless of obligatory company meeting/video/email with the executives talking about how great a move it is and the company will grow,” says Katie Donovan, owner of Equal Pay Negotiations. “Before growth will be some layoffs.”

9. Your boss becomes vague.
If your formerly open manager starts to clam up, watch out. “If your boss has suddenly become distant or difficult to communicate with, if they are giving you less work and less responsibility, or if they seem to be looking the other way when you make mistakes, it could be time to start searching for a new job,” says Carina Chivulescu, director of human capital at the Expert Institute. “Firing someone is never pleasant, and your boss's new found ambivalence to you could be a sign that they are mentally preparing to cut you loose."

10. Your stock drops.
Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, there may come a time when you get fewer assignments, are asked to join fewer meetings, or your opinion doesn’t seem to carry the weight it once did. “These are signs that you are not as valued as highly as you were before,” Donovan says. “With decreasing value comes potential job loss.”