4 Signs You’re Being Pushed Out of Your Company

How do you know when the end of your job is near — when the company you used to love, and may still, is pushing you out the door? Every case is different, of course, but experts say there are some common signs to look out for.

Being ExcludedThe most-cited is when you find yourself shunted away from critical path projects. While it may not be happening because someone’s trying to point you to the door, if it goes on too long, you might find yourself labeled expendable the next time your company’s looking for jobs to eliminate.

Another sign: When your relationship with management changes. For example, “the relationship moves to less cordial and more professional. Workload increases and timelines are pushed up,” says a former Apple executive. “They’re getting your desk cleared. Or workload goes away, depending on the situation. You’ll feel it and you’ll know.”

Still another one, from a self-described “turnaround CEO”: “When your boss, who works in another city, flies in for meetings and walks by your office without looking at you… repeatedly. This was an inexperienced boss who I knew was gonna fire me on Tuesday at 10.”

The boss arrived in town at noon on Monday.

HQ visitors shared a conference room next to my office. I said ‘hi’ as he walked by the first time, and he mumbled something unintelligible instead of his usual hearty greeting.

So I kept getting louder and more demonstrative every time he walked by. By Tuesday morning people could hear me across the floor.

Tech job counselor Gerald Corbett warns about when “you notice an unusual change in behavior from either your boss or co-workers, including not being invited to meetings, lunch partners fall way and there is an eerie silence in the hallways as you pass.”

These things suggest that co-workers may be more aware of your fate than you. You can inquire of those you are close to, but be aware that even friends might be unwilling to share the truth. “What if you don’t end up leaving?” some may worry.

Some workers are actually told they are on the way out, perhaps as a way for the company to avoid an expensive and potentially nasty firing.

A somewhat cynical view comes from author and executive coach Michael Jay Moon. He says the reason people may be concerned about getting pushed out is because sooner or later many people indeed are or will be. “Of course you’re being edged out of your job,” he says. “It’s only a matter of how soon and how little advance notice you will get.”

Comments

  1. BY Shantal says:

    I have experienced this on more than one occasion. In one of those instances, since I could see the ‘writing on the wall’, I just quit. I spoke to my manager and after I spoke my peace it was as though they regretted their treatment of me but by then it was too late. I found a better paying job in less than a week.

  2. BY Greg says:

    Interesting article, but sort of thin on strategy or ways to approach this situation. I’m inclined to be much more direct now than I was at the beginning of my career. One time, I was in my office, working on debugging some code on a Sunday morning, and my boss walked by and didn’t even acknowledge me. I should have recognized this clue given the circumstances. Anyhow, I was fired a few months later for taking a much needed vacation.

    I suspect that other professions, especially lawyers and human resources types, get much more training with regard to the more squishy and less well defined human resource issues that always happen in organizations. Engineers are at a real disadvantage when it comes to these issues unless they pursue their own training or somehow get enlightened. Perhaps its just easier to quit and get a new job.

  3. BY Dave says:

    Being Pushed Out: Men in prime working ages don’t have jobs

    More than one in six men ages 25 to 54, prime working years, don’t have jobs—a total of 10.4 million. Having so many men out of work is partly a symptom of a U.S. economy slow to recover from the worst recession in 75 years. It is also a chronic condition that shows how technology and globalization are transforming jobs faster than many workers can adapt, economists say.

    The trend has been building for decades, according to government data. In the early 1970s, just 6 percent of American men ages 25 to 54 were without jobs. By late 2007, it was 13 percent. In 2009, during the worst of the recession, nearly 20 percent didn’t have jobs.

    Men without jobs stand apart in a society that has long celebrated work and hailed the breadwinners who support their families. “Our culture is one that venerates work, that views work as good for its own sake,” said David Autor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist.

  4. BY oregon111 says:

    some truth to this, but watch out for ‘false positives’…
    when I first started, I heard rumors that I was out…

    and 10 years later, it finally happened — so it was all BS in the beginning,
    and when it did happen, all was fine with the sheeple

    best bet, do your job and stay out of all the gossip

  5. BY Don says:

    At one really terrible small company I found my current job advertised online! It was clearly to replace me, so I gave my two weeks notice the next day.

    At previous firm, my boss retired. They brought in a new guy who replaced many people with people from his prior company. I made it through that round. A year later he was promoted to a larger division, and a year after that he was fired. The next new boss was a woman who had worked at our company before, been demoted, left, and came back. In her prior role she disliked me, so I knew my days were numbered. Three months later my position was “eliminated”. I did get a year of severance pay though.

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