Between mergers, downsizings and restructurings, fear of losing their jobs looms large among workers. According to Business Week the average employee has a one in three chance of getting fired – and the odds increase as you move up the corporate ladder!!! How can you spot the axe before it falls on you? Here are some common warning signs: 1. You’re Losing Your Influence. It used to be no decision was made without your input. Now you’re rarely consulted. Losing your voice in organizational matters is a signal that management is getting closer to running affairs without you. 2. You’re Being Scrutinized More Closely. You feel as if you’re not trusted. Your boss is putting new controls in place so that you no longer have the latitude to work independently, and you’re getting subtle warnings that your work is not up up-to-snuff. 3. Co-workers Are Avoiding You. Colleagues who were once friendly are giving you the cold shoulder, and you’re being left out of meetings you’ve usually been part of. Come to think of it, it’s been awhile since anyone’s discussed a future project with you. 4. You Got a Poor Performance Rating. You received a disproportionate amount of negative feedback at your last performance review. You barely got a raise and may even have been given a warning. 5. You’ve Had Frequent Run-ins With Your Boss. Though they claim it’s not personal, it all comes down to relationships. Performance is a subjective judgment and managers are more likely to let go people they don’t like. Eventually the clashes stop, and you’ll find yourself ignored entirely. 6. New-Hires Are the Wave of the Future. New folks are being hired who can do no wrong with the higher ups, and who treat you veterans with disdain. 7. Rumors. You can’t always trust the rumor-mill, but many times, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.8. Business Is Bad. The economy is working against you, and your company is continuing to lose money. Worse yet, you work for a public company and its stock is doing poorly. 9. A Lot of Talk About “Transition.” Your company is likely to merge, be acquired or “reorganize” and your company leader suddenly disappears. 10. Your New Boss From The Opposite Coast Isn’t House Hunting. Your old boss was suddenly replaced by an executive on loan from another area or region of the company, which could easily absorb your function. It’s even worse if the boss is staying in a hotel without her family and there is no talk of house hunting.Get Fired Up! Of course you could just be having a bad week, but if you recognize one or more of these warning signs and think the end is near, don’t panic. Develop a game plan. First, check written company policy to see what measures “must” or “shall” take place. This will give you more clout in demanding the steps be followed. If you’ve received disciplinary notice and disagree with the allegation, carefully document the circumstances so that you’ll be in a better position to enforce all of your workplace rights – including securing your ability to collect unemployment. If you think you may be the victim of discrimination, you may want to consult with a lawyer. Make sure you take full advantage of your current benefits. Schedule your medical and dental appointments; submit your claims for tuition reimbursement. In addition, prepare to negotiate some final benefits such as severance pay and outplacement services. Then, focus on the positive. This could be your chance to get out and do something better! Assess you skills, expand your network, update your resume, line up references and check the job postings. Regardless of whether the other shoe drops, examining your career options and taking charge of your future is good practice and will reap its own rewards.Are any of these warning signals more important than the others? What would you do if confronted with any of these signs?

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