7 subtle hints your job is at risk

by May 13, 2017


Research from Catalyst indicates that  “women are less focused on opportunities outside their organisations than men.”  This means that they can be blissfully unaware of some of the less obvious signs that their job is at risk.  They can even be oblivious to firm indications that there is a problem on the horizon. During the global pandemic it is also becoming obvious that women have been impacted by lay offs and redundancies because they are employed in these sector most badly impacted by the pandemic.

Research on the difference between men and women leaving jobs from Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Work, suggests:

“in the initial months of a new job, men and women quit in almost equal numbers — with women slightly likelier to leave than men (this is often related to a sudden change in family responsibilities). However, as women stay in a job for a longer period of time they are less likely than their male counterparts to leave.”

There are some in your face signs that your job is at risk which under no circumstances should be ignored and there are other more subtle hints you are about to be fired which many women are slow to understand or decipher adn then take follow up action.

Read: Job loss – how to stay confident

Let’s  start with the glaringly obvious:

6 blazing red flags your job is at risk

  • If your organisation or the part you work for is undergoing a merger, takeover or is for sale or has been impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. Some sectors are unable to operate as before either fully or in part. Aviation, travel, airports, hospitality, ecommerce, real estate, culture and arts are being badly hit.
  • Your company is in a period of economic uncertainty – significant losses reported for maybe more than one financial year. This is definitely going on today. Even companies who are making profits, but at a lower level, are looking at headcount.
  • Your company is automating processes you are involved in.
  • You have received a negative performance review.
  • Your company or division is suspending a product/service you are involved in or it is doing badly on the market.
  • Your organisation is relocating.

These are blazing red flags that looking beyond a current employer is a must.

However, there are more subtle messages which sometimes are not treated seriously enough by many women. Bouyed by optimism or just to busy to notice, this is not about spilling over into paranoia, but more about being in tune with the politics of your environment.

Read: Unemployed? Here Are 5 Things You Should Do After Job Loss

 7 subtle hints your job is at risk

Your own business

Watch out for the subtle signs

  • You have a new boss or CEO. They may want to change their teams and bring in their own people.
  • You don’t get on with your boss.
  • You are cut out of meetings and email communication (this is called constructive dismissal.)
  • Your product/service or activity is being assessed or audited by external consultants. Even though the results are unclear it is still best to test the market.
  • You are underemployed.
  • The higher end elements of your job have been creamed off and assigned to a colleague.
  • You are training a hi-po subordinate.
  • Your colleagues seem uncomfortable around you.

Read: How to manage your career in times of uncertainty

Key messages

  • Always be prepared
  • Keep your CV and online profiles up to date
  • Stay in regular touch with your network
  • Have a financial reserve
  • If you suspect you are being forced to resign (constructive dismissal) then start keeping records in case you need these for any negotiations or even legal situation.

In today’s climate it is hard to keep your finger on the pulse of your organisation, especially when you, your colleagues and bosses are working remotely. If you have a company culture where you don’t use video then it can be even more challenging to assess a situation, when you can’t see visual signs like shifts in body language.

It is always difficult if you are blindsided  and unprepared for being let go. It’s important to always be prepared for a professional emergency landing.  Today job search can take as long as 9 months. It is more important to be aware, without being paranoid, for those tell-tale signs that may mean your job is at risk. No harm can be done by staying in touch with the market.

Best motto: Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.

Listen to this FREE podcast 10 ways to create a post pandemic career safety net


Facing a career change? Contact 3Plus now!

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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