Four situations to watch out for.
Is your job in danger?
One week you're writing up memos, the next you're packing up your desk. What clues might tell you you're on the firing line? "Ask yourself, 'If I were a boss looking to get rid of someone, why would I keep me?'" says Anne Fisher, author of If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map? (William Morrow, 2001). Check out these situations for pink-slip potential:
- Your company is being acquired. Despite corporate pronouncements of "a combination of equals," if your company is being bought, it's not an equal partner -- and employees of the acquiree tend to get the shaft. Hint: If the new deal changes your company's name or your title, but the new corporation is slow to issue you new business cards, start reviewing your resume.
- You're under new management and the person who's become your boss hasn't made an effort to elicit your ideas. New brooms often make a clean sweep of old staff. You may be dust if your supervisor is supercritical of everything you do -- or, worse, if she completely ignores you. "If your boss won't look you in the eye, that's a bad sign," says Fisher.
- You feel out of the loop. Are you no longer being invited to crucial meetings or getting important memos? Does your supervisor hem and haw when you ask for long-term assignments? Is your performance review delayed indefinitely? If you sense that something's not right, it probably isn't.
- The economy has gotten the better of your department. "View your business the way management does," advises Fisher. Look at the revenue breakdowns in the company's quarterly financial statement. If your division's profit outlook is bleak, so may be your future with the company.
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