These are the words that business tycoon Donald Trump was known for in his TV reality show “The Apprentice”. However in the real world getting fired can even be more subtle or ruthless depending on who is concerned. It is something that happens every day in the corporate world so just how does one read the hand writing on the wall and know ahead of time that the end may be near?
Here are five signs you could be fired from your current workplace. If you notice any of them you might want to find ways to stop your
imminent departure from the organization.
- You are Cut out of the Loop
In the past, you were always involved in all the issues arising in your department. You were kept abreast of policies and development, but you’ve noticed some changes now. Perhaps you are a senior account officer who is privy to all sensitive financial information from management to senior officials such as yourself and then suddenly you get nothing. No briefings, no memos …. nothing of the level of importance you used to get. You get cut out of crucial meetings where you were vital.
What to do?
You should take the initiative and approach your superiors. Respectfully point out your concerns on the recent turn of events and make it clear you do not begrudge anyone because of the change in the way things are being run. In this kind of situation, it is better to confront issues and make it clear you are not on a warpath with anyone. This could ease some tension and even secure your job
- You Blow it Big Time
Mistakes are often made in business and your case is not different. However there are limits to mistakes some management can take. When you lose a huge client under your watch, through a fault or incompetence of yours, the management could come out of its next meeting with your sack letter. Nothing causes angst among senior management as an employee making a mistake that costs the business a ton of money.
Apologies can go a long way
When you find yourself making such costly mistakes or losing business you need to quickly send in your apology and meet with your management. Promise to make up your mistakes with better performances. Respectfully show your remorse at the bad decision but never appear desperate. A quick written and oral apology to the decision makers may save you from further sanctions they may have been considering.
- New Hot Blooded Takeover of Your Department
Many times we have seen it happen where a new guy, straight from an MBA at Harvard or Lagos Business School, gets hired as the new General Manager or head of your division. You come to work one morning and discover everybody huddled in disquiet and some even cleaning away their desks.
The new guy in charge probably decided that the company was losing so much money paying all of you fat lazy snobs/ the company needed to get more competitive and the best way to do that is to sack half the staff gradually/ he doesn’t need so many hands in running the place/ he just doesn’t like the faces of some people in the division.
Then when you try as hard as possible to get in good terms with the new guy he seems not to have such high regard for you. He, however, seems to like your deputy or second and gives him far more responsibilities and duties. It could be a bad sign and you must not ignore the signs.
To try and turn things around when you find yourself in this situation, here are things you can do; be as civil and respectful as possible when dealing with the new boss, find out what he likes and how he likes his tasks to be carried out, volunteer to do things that will show him your experience is still important for the team.
He may not like you but if he thinks you are an asset to the firm you have a chance at keeping your place.
- Mergers and Takeovers
People who work in the banking and financial services sector know the effects of mergers and acquisitions well enough by now. When your company gets sold or merges with another, there many dynamics that come into play and no matter how secure you thought your job was , you genuinely need to start making new plans.
Secure your place
During mergers and takeovers there may not be much you can do since certain decisions on who gets sacked after the merger may be taken in the board room. The only way to come out unscathed in this sort of situation is to be an A-star performer from the start. The real human assets rarely get sacked as a result of mergers. So when you hear rumours of mergers involving your company it’s time to buckle up and create top quality work if you have not been doing so. Make sure your accomplishments and tasks are completed within schedule. Outstanding duties should be documented in your weekly report to your supervisor. Mergers and acquisitions do take some time to complete so you can build up evidence that you are a quality resource to have.
When mergers are completed the experts who are called in to recommend cost cutting strategies will look at files, recommendation letters and briefs of employees to help determine who gets sacked. Having a quality track record of efficient and stellar work will help impress your value on the troubleshooters when they make their list of staff no longer needed.
- Sexual harassment
A few months ago a disengaged banker was lamenting about his sack for refusing sex offers from his manager (a fellow male). Stories as this incidentally form a sizeable number of the reasons why some people lose their jobs. Most times those who get sacked do not find it useful to disclose the reasons for the dismissal.
Looking handsome or beautiful certainly can be a hindrance. When you get advances from your superior (especially if she wields many powers) the clouds are certainly getting darker. When you do the right thing and turn down her advances she would most likely feel humiliated and come after you.
Talk to the right people about your situation
This situation can be very tricky for most people. If she has superiors it will be a wise thing to try and get your compliant across to them. Many times victims of sexual harassment in the office are afraid to speak out thinking they will worsen their situation by doing so. They get sacked despite their silence.
Getting your concerns about your job to your boss’ superiors is a better way to minimize your chances of getting the sack letter. Respectfully inform higher superiors that while you do not bear any grudges you feel she may be out to get you because of your refusal and state that you just want to be able to do your best work for the organization. Never squeal to your co-workers or juniors in the office. Since they are not in a situation to affect the outcome it is useless or even dangerous to talk to them about it.
If you notice you are in any of the situations above follow the tips suggested for each situation. The key here is to take your destiny in your own hands and move to forestall any ugly decisions that may put you out of work. Be proactive with the steps suggested rather than stay at your desk and just hope things do not get worse.
Photo credit: myjobthoughts.com
Paul Eze is the Co-founder and Vice President at www.ngcareers.com a top job search and recruitment website in Nigeria. He tweets via @paulemekaeze