3 Signs That You’re About to Get Fired

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The BLS reports that there were 54.5 million total employment separations from October 2013 to October 2014. Some of these workers quit, and some of them were laid off or fired.

Each of these losses costs businesses money. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, the median cost of turnover for all positions — except for physicians and executives — is 21% of the terminated employee’s annual salary. For jobs that require specialized skills and education, the cost of employee turnover can be much higher — up to 213% of the employee’s salary.

With turnover costs being so high, it often takes a lot for a business to fire an employee.  Most terminations occur for a reason. According to an About.com publication, these are the top reasons that employees get fired:

  • Damaging company property
  • Drug or alcohol possession at work
  • Falsifying company records
  • Insubordination
  • Misconduct
  • Poor performance
  • Stealing
  • Using company property for personal business
  • Taking too much time off
  • Violating company policy

Generally, the long-term financial and practical benefits of a termination have to outweigh the costs, just like with most business decisions. Although employers in the United States are at-will (they can terminate at their own discretion for the most part), it’s unlikely for a business to terminate an employee out of nowhere. Are you worried you may lose your job? Here are a few signs to look for.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1.  You’re suddenly under a microscope

So, all of the sudden, after your last performance review, your boss watches your every move. You don’t feel trusted to complete your work properly, and your boss wants a report or update every step of the way. He or she may even seek documentation when he or she didn’t require documentation before, and tell you that certain portions of your work are incorrect.

You may just be under a microscope because your boss is trying to change his or her management style. Or, maybe he or she is getting some flack from upper management. But, in the worst-case scenario, your employer could be preparing to terminate you.

Terminations generally don’t happen on a whim, and your employer will usually have rhyme and reason before handing you a pink slip. Most employers spell out expectations, and explain which expectations are not being met before they issue any sort of disciplinary action. So, if your boss is over your shoulder, telling you that you need to fix A, B, and C, this may be a sign of trouble.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Your boss or HR seems uncomfortable around you

Are you getting a strange vibe from HR or your superiors? If you feel like management or HR is uncomfortable around you, this alone is generally not something to worry about. But, if you know your work leaves something to be desired, you frequently miss work or arrive late, or if you have other performance issues, then you may have a pink slip in your future.

3. Major changes are occurring within the business (think merger, acquisition, or layoffs)

Businesses go through changes all of the time. But, certain changes, like mergers, acquisitions, and financial troubles, are associated with employee layoffs and terminations. From pharmaceutical firms like Pfizer to retailers like Sears/Kmart, to technology companies like HP, these types of layoffs have occurred across many industries over the past decade.

So, if you notice people from other departments hitting the road, or it seems like the company is moving forward with a plan and you’re not “in the loop,” you may just be on the list of employees who will not be a part of the new organization.

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