It can be tempting for some senior executives to think that because of their tenure and position in the corporate hierarchy they are immune to company layoffs. Not only is this a fallacy but this false sense of security will only add to a senior manager or executive feeling especially blindsided when he or she loses their job.
And, yet, says an article in The Wall Street Journal, there are often indicators that, if read correctly, signal to a high-level executive that their position is in jeopardy.
Shields Meneley Partners, a Chicago-based career-transition firm, claims about 70 percent of the unemployed managers they advise either “overlooked or ignored cumulative clues about the falling ax.”
One circumstance making some executives oblivious to the clues is the improved economy. Having a jam-packed schedule also can prevent executives from seeing the ominous clouds forming. However, as Dee Soder, a manager partner of New York executive coaching firm CEO Perspective Group, says to WSJ, many downsized executives do admit that “the signs were there.” They were just “too busy trying to get things done.”
Following are six “warning signs” according to nearly 20 experts interviewed by the WSJ, that your job might soon be a memory:
Your boss refuses to discuss long-term projects. If your boss is inexplicably delaying approving a budget that you need for a project or to hire additional staff, you might want to start cleaning out your desk.
Rumors fly about a hunt for your successor. This is an obvious clue. And if you find out that your firm has indeed enlisted the help of recruiters for your replacement — and you’re still on the job — start polishing your résumé.
Colleagues shun you. This is another sign that even the most myopic could pick up on. If you find you’re being ostracized at meetings, lunches or trips, run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.
You’re assigned an executive coach to fix your flaws. If the brass is bringing in a so-called expert to help you hone your leadership skills, ask your network of contacts for job leads.
You must justify your job. If you have switched roles recently and your boss is ignorant about your job responsibilities, get thee to a recruiter.
Your supervisor suddenly interferes with your employees. Micromanaging is never a good sign. It’s even worse when your boss starts leading your own staff meetings and asks for everyone’s feedback … save yours.