15 Surprising Signs Your Employer is Trying to Get Rid of You

Employers profoundly impact our lives both financially and emotionally. And one of the worst things to face is no longer feeling valued at work. Sometimes, it’s not all in your head. These are 15 surprising signs that your employer is trying to get rid of you. One red flag is a telling sign that the end is near for your career (page 10).

1. Giving away your work

Seniors with manager

A light workload may not be a good thing. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Unfortunately, when a boss or manager decides they no longer need your services, work you’ve typically handled in the past will get reassigned elsewhere. According to Monster, “Whenever a boss starts giving away tasks that you always do—or that they know you enjoy—without some type of explanation, they’re communicating that they either don’t value you or don’t trust you to do it anymore.” Usually, this results in a ton of busy work.

Next: Have you been stuck in the same position for years?

2. No room for growth

Businessmen arguing

No room to grow may mean it’s time for you to go. | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Many of us hope to reach certain positions, so we work hard and study our crafts. After all, more responsibility often means high salaries or pay. Unfortunately, if an employer plans to cut you lose, they won’t make it easy for you to ascend the corporate ladder. Even if they do change your title, a salary bump usually doesn’t occur, which can make employees frustrated and resentful.

Ketan Kapoor, CEO, and co-founder of Mettl, an HR technology company and leading talent measurement firm explained, “Higher remuneration and position is one of the biggest factors that an employer provides an employee as an incentive to stay and continue growing.”

Next: Are your coworkers meeting without you?

3. No communication

Man working in call center or customer service

If you’re constantly the last to know everything, speak up. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re suddenly iced out of emails, meetings, and phone calls — and other co-workers are still in the loop — your employer may be planning to get rid of you. It could get even more personal. Speak up if your boss is blatantly avoiding you in general. Nothing is worse than going to an office each day where you feel you aren’t wanted.

Next: Have different roles been merged or consolidated?

4. Moving your position to another department

Headache In Office

Don’t become a victim of redundancy. | millann/iStock/Getty Images

If you’ve been working in a specific position or sector of the company for a while and then suddenly you are shoved into another department, your boss might hope you take a hint and begin looking for other employment opportunities. Kapoor revealed, “Many a time, your employer can try to merge your role with a different department or even make it obsolete.”

Next: Worse than a helicoptor parent

5. Your boss has become a micromanager

Being a micro-manager is one of the worst boss traits possible

No one likes a micromanager, but if the behavior is new it’s definitely a bad sign. | Bojan89/iStock/Getty Images

Any good supervisor knows they need to trust their employees to do their job. Therefore, it’s alarming when your boss suddenly hovers over you every day, analyzing your actions and decisions.

If your boss has been confident in your work in the past, they might be hovering with the hopes that they will find something they can terminate you for.  Dele Lowman Smith, an executive coach in Atlanta explained, “If the criticism is nonspecific, excessive or focused on issues that have little importance, they may be more interested in seeing you leave.

Next: A hostile work environment 

6. Rude comments

Anger, embarassment at work

Pettiness may be out of line, but not out of the question. | fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Even though there are acts in place to protect workers, if an employer really wants you gone they may resort to making sly, offhanded comments. These remarks may seem like lighthearted “jokes,” but they really showcase resentment and doubt.

Next: No redemption for mistakes 

7. No disciplinary process

stressed woman sits with her bills on the table

If your employer ignores your mistakes, it’s probably not because they’re laid back. | JackF/iStock/Getty Images

We hate to admit it, but we all make mistakes. Whether it’s flubbing a pitch or missing a deadline, every now and again, we don’t put our best foot forward. However, if you’re valued at a company, and you don’t make tons of mistakes, most employers will have a disciplinary process in place to make sure you get back on track.

However, if a company no longer wants you, they will make you feel horrified and ashamed of your error. They might even stress you out to the point where you think you’ll never be at the top of your game again. Lowman Smith explained, “[It’s] a form of intimidation to make you feel insecure or stressed enough to start looking for a new job.”

Next: Getting the ugly stepsister status 

8. You’re being treated differently than your colleagues

Coworkers at bar

Making you feel excluded is cause for concern. | iStock

We aren’t going to pretend that people don’t have favorites, but any good boss knows that however they may feel, they cannot play favorites in the workplace. Therefore, if you start to notice that a colleague on the same level as you is suddenly getting all of the advantages while you’re being left out in the cold, then you should be concerned.

A better assignment here and there shouldn’t be anything too concerning. However, if you’re always getting the short end of the stick and you are a quality employee, you should start keeping your eyes open.

Next: All the company cares about is cutting costs  

9. Cutting-costs becomes the new office motto

office work

Don’t let cutbacks surprise you. | iStock

Most employers don’t like making their employees jittery and nervous. Therefore, if there is sudden talk about budget cutbacks, and the cost of employee salaries and benefits, this could be a way of trying to push you out the door. No one likes to feel like their job is on shaky ground, so if your employer is trying to make you feel uncertain, they might be pushing you out.

Next: Massive amounts of red tape 

10. Increasing your paperwork

Senior working

Extra paperwork could be grooming you for an exit. | DGLimages/iStock/Getty Images

No one likes to wade through a ton of red tape, so if your company suddenly makes you document every single thing you do, from your lunch break to the number of staples you use, they may be grooming you for a hasty exit. Are you on a performance plan? This is a huge red flag — and another form of documentation — that indicates you’re on your last leg.

Next: Less hours and less money 

11. Your work hours are being reduced

Very busy young architect working at home

Less hours is a serious problem for hourly employees. | iStock

If you’re paid by the hour, then you depend on working a certain amount of hours each week to bring home a certain amount of money. If your employer is suddenly slashing your hours for no apparent reason, you should probably be pretty concerned.

It might be a way of merely wearing you down in the hopes that you will find other employment and get out of their hair. No one can stay at a job that isn’t covering their bills.

Next: No tools to do your job 

12. Your resources have dried up

Real office worker on meeting

If you’re suddenly without things you used to have, it may be a plan to make you fail at your job. | iStock

Even if you’re a rock star at your job, you still need resources to make sure that you are as effective as possible. If your boss can’t even make sure that you have the proper equipment or tools to get your work done, they might be setting you up for failure.

A lack of resources can certainly cause you to begin floundering at your job. If you’re not fired outright, it might be an opportunity for your boss to demote you or put you on probation. It’s a rather sneaky approach, but if an employer wants you out, they might not be above it.

Next: A boss who won’t manage 

13. Your boss claims they don’t know what you’re working on

Business people at work

A disinterested boss is a bad sign. | iStock

If your manager claims you haven’t updated them with your work and they have no idea what you’re doing, it might be a sign that your boss wants you out. A manager’s role, in essence, is to make sure they know what their subordinates are doing. If your manager isn’t taking the time to check in with you, especially if you’ve requested it then they might be trying to lay you off.

Always be sure to keep a written record of your work.

Next: Isolated into “special project” land 

14. You’re only getting “special projects”

Teamwork at office

Just how special are your special projects. | iStock

Special projects might seem significant and magical, especially if they take you out of the daily grind of your regular workflow, However, if they don’t produce tangible results for the company overall, you should be mindful if these are the only projects that you’re being asked to work on.

Often, special projects aren’t necessary, and they can just be another way that your manager is trying to squeeze you out without throwing you to the wolves. At the end of the day, if you aren’t producing results that directly affect your department, it’s making the company’s job easier when it comes to getting rid of you.

Next: A boss who wants to be your BFF

15. Your boss is overly friendly

work, lunch, office

A friendly boss could be a blessing or a curse. | iStock/Getty Images

Who doesn’t like a happy and jovial work environment? It’s nothing better than going to work and being greeted by a cheery boss. However, just like bosses who freeze you out, overly friendly employers can be a cause for alarm. These bosses are tricky because sometimes they generally mean well, but other times, they are just trying to make you feel comfortable before pulling the rug from beneath you.

If your boss suddenly wants to be your best friend, is it because they generally like you and your work? Or, are they filling your conversations with fluff. If you feel something isn’t quite right, go with your gut.

Follow Aramide Tinubu on Twitter @midnightrami.

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