17 Signs You May Be Out Of A Job Soon

If you’re still on the fence about whether to spend your stimulus check, pay off debt with it, or stock up on ramen noodles, this checklist may help you decide. Some of the tips are pretty unnecessary—”your job duties are marginalized” and “your company plans to move to a smaller building” shouldn’t be hard to decipher. It never hurts to remind yourself about some of the signs of an impending downsize, however.

Here are a few more signs from the list:

4. The suits begin holding frequent “secret” meetings.
Confidential meetings among executives are commonplace at most companies, but more closed doors and hushed voices than normal should serve as a warning. For instance, if most of your department suddenly disappears for an impromptu two-hour meeting that you weren’t invited to, you should at least ask questions — and be prepared to hear lies.
10. The email deluge suddenly dries up.
A sudden, pronounced and prolonged drop in the volume of email you receive may be a welcome respite from communication overload, but it also might mean that key projects that would have normally been assigned to you are being handled by employees that the company sees as key to its future. Meaning, not you.
13. You notice unfamiliar security guards around the premises.
Companies often hire extra security personnel on days that employees are let go, ostensibly so that those who blow a gasket can be manhandled off the premises before they cause a ruckus and that those with access to important company data don’t walk out the door with state secrets. If a couple of 275-pound bruisers start hanging around the break room, you or one of your colleagues may have a shorter-than-expected work week.


Heads Will Roll: 17 Signs of Impending Layoffs”
[HR World] (Thanks to Paul!)
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. dragonfire81 says:

    It’s funny that companies have become so secretive and dodgy about letting people go. If I’m being terminated, just let me know so I can leave and start looking for work elsewhere rather than lead me on for days or weeks.

  2. dragonfire81 says:

    And don’t give me any of that “corporate restructuring” or “downsizing” crap either, call a spade a spade and just tell me I’m gone.

  3. And what about those buzzards that have been circling over my cubicle for the past week?

  4. Oh, and you forgot tip #7:
    Your boss begins referring to you by your Gawker commenting alias.

  5. Silversmok3 says:

    The forgot one: The employee mass-meeting where everyone is in the dark until all are deep-sixed in the same room.

  6. mtarget says:

    Been there, done that.

  7. bohemian says:

    Offsite meetings! If management starts holding meetings somewhere other than the office and this isn’t a common long standing practice something is up.
    This happened twice before everyone got let go at two different jobs.

  8. Pro-Pain says:

    I’ve come to realize the more money you make, the more in danger your job is. Period. Everytime I’m hired and offered pay of $70k or more I start saving immediately, and ultimately, the job lasts less than two years. I should just apply at the local gas and go, better job security. USA USA USA!!

  9. Parting says:

    @bohemian: At a company I work for, secret meeting were due to expansion and a new division created. Thankfully, that means they need more employees, not less.

  10. Parting says:

    I love this one :
    ”17. The CEO is indicted by a grand jury. The shady exploits of white-collar criminals might make good fodder for late-night talk-show hosts and comedians, but if the CEO is facing a long stretch in Sing Sing, there’s nothing funny about your company’s future.”

  11. RandomHookup says:

    “A new company policy about handguns in the work place is announced.”

  12. Channing says:

    Yes, that’s a great idea.

  13. thewriteguy says:

    This list reads like an episode guide to The Office.

  14. Shutaro says:

    @RandomHookup: *new* company policy? o.o

  15. TechnoDestructo says:

    If this is the standard how corporate America treats employees now, the first priority of any new employee should be gathering as much personal information about managers, as high as they can, as quickly as they can.

    If you’re going to blow a gasket, do it in their living room. Or just give the information to identity thieves.

  16. t-r0y says:

    #18: Your computer access is disabled. IT says it was a glitch. In reality — they disabled your account on the wrong day.

  17. Erwos says:

    When the conference rooms are all reserved for “special use”, be very afraid.

    Still, you should always have your resume at least semi-up-to-date – you never know when you’ll need it!

  18. purplesun says:

    My current employer let go of a stack of relatively newly hired employees in a simple, yet effective, manner : They came to work on Monday and their security cards no longer worked to get them into the building.

    It was so classy.

    I’m always looking for new work.

  19. Manok says:

    Email: Team, John has left our company to accomplish personal goals and to spend more time with his family, we wish him the best of luck.

    Translation:John was fuc_ing fired.

  20. Trai_Dep says:

    “The mailboy doesn’t even bother to pretend to not open the triple-x porn mags you get sent to your work address.”

  21. Trai_Dep says:

    “They stop restocking the office freezer with ice cubes, causing you to bitterly drink your breakfast neat.”

  22. Trai_Dep says:

    “You subordinates say, This time, really, ‘no’ means ‘NO!'”

  23. Trai_Dep says:

    You = Your

  24. TechnoDestructo says:


    just in case anyone can’t figure out what you’re trying to say:


  25. Trai_Dep says:

    I thought fucking was “f*cking”, not “fuc_ing”. Is Manok Irish or something?

  26. parabola101 says:

    Forgot some: Your boss asks “Not including tomorrow, how long have you been with this company” . . .

    20. Normally friendly Manager’s stop talking to you.
    21. At “team” meetings you are made fun of.
    22. Your manager starts writing down everything you say or do
    23. You get invited to a meeting & show up, but no one is there. Apparently they “forgot” to send you the update.
    24. Your manager starts sharing with you all of the “FEEDBACK” about you.
    25. You suddenly have to “train” someone for your job.
    26. Your boss or supervisors start going through your desk.
    27. Your performance review which has been exceeded all expectations for the last 7 or 8 years SUDDENLY is ranked very very low.
    28. You are taken to the conference room where “secret” camera’s are hidden and you are asked unusual questions or are provoked.
    29. Somehow your comments in your electronic review are mysteriously removed.

  27. parabola101 says:

    Forgot one:

    Your boss asks you “Not including tomorrow, how long have you been with this company? . . .

  28. You really know you’re in trouble when they start playing Talking Heads over the P.A.:

  29. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Manok: Our director recently transferred to a different position because he “wanted a position that better met his life goals… and the company agreed”. Translation: “I was told to either take this other position where I can do less damage or get my ass kicked to the curb”.

    Around here you can always tell when someone just got fired with prejudice – i.e. one of those arguments that a boss ends by yelling “Get the fuck out and never come back!”. They send out an e-mail to everyone saying “This is notice the PERSON_WE_JUST_FIRED is no longer working for this company. Do not share any company info with PERSON_WE_JUST_FIRED”. It’s funny when they send out an e-mail like that. You can hear people up and down the cubicle rows yelling like a 3rd grader “ooooooo someone just got fiiiiiiirreeed”

  30. Ilovemygeek says:

    Sadly enough I was fired on Monday. I’m sorry “laid off”, they decided to eliminate my position to cut costs. This was a company that decided to fully staff their marketing department based on a book they read and then read a new book and decided to go with a completely new strategy.

  31. dirk1965 says:

    Yeaaaah… about that TPS report?

  32. aka Cat says:

    @Silversmok3: I was once in an employee mass meeting where we were the only ones *not* let go. They corralled us in the conference room with one manager, while the other managers escorted the folks who’d been laid off out the door. Meanwhile, we were fidgeting and fretting because the manager with us wasn’t the one who’d called the meeting and wouldn’t tell us why we were there.

  33. bostonguy says:


    The same thing happened to me, back in late 2000!

    It was my 3rd week on the job, after being laid off from my previous job, and being on severance/unemployment for 10 weeks. I spent the forst hour+ of that morning trying to get a hold of my boss to resolve a problem, to no avail.

    We got called to a meeting, IN A CONF ROOM AT A HOTEL ACROSS THE STREET! They told us about what was happening, and it turns out that all of the unlucky ones were back at the office packing and being escorted out.

    It felt vrey odd, and scary, to be in a job 2-3 weeks, and find out that your boss was just booted! On top of that, I was hired to support some advanced new products that were coming out, and those products were canned as part of the cost cutting. I ended up getting paid my higher salary to do level 1 support until I left… (Oh, is that the phone ringing? I think I need to go to the bathroom!)

  34. bobblack555 says:

    Jeez. Way to play up paranoia with this post.

    I hope its followed up with “10 ways to tell if your stuffed animals are plotting against you”

  35. mmcnary says:

    The real tipoff is when you get a call from a recruiter trying to find someone with your exact skill set for this great opportunity, that just happens to be at your company…

  36. parabola101 says:

    mmcnary… lol LOL on the recruiter call. That’s a funny one! & I know it true!!!

  37. parabola101 says:

    i think i worked in HR for waaaaayyy to long! =:-)