Nine Common Signs You Will Be Laid Off in the Near Future

May 16, 2019


You finally land your dream job and you have a great career. Everything is going well in your life, and then out of the blue, you get a letter from your employer that you are laid off.

Even if you didn’t see it coming, there are always some signs you will be laid off.

Nevertheless, no one is ever prepared for such news. It’s devastating, and no one wishes to go through such a process.

Companies are usually forced into such situations when the economy or business environment is not good. Spotting the following signs will allow you to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

You may also want to take a look at this guide on what makes employees feel valued.


1. The Quarterly Results of your Firm are Poor

Every company goes through rough patches, and you should not panic when you see poor financial results. However, if the results don’t improve over time, it’s safe to predict that the ax is not far behind.

It’s common for an organization to scrap a department that is not vital to its performance. Sometimes, only a few positions suffer. However, if your organization is thinking of restructuring, it means that some people have to go. This is a vital sign, and you should start polishing your resume right away.

2. The Organization Just Hired Junior Staff

A business needs new ideas and energy to survive. That’s why the recruitment team is always on the lookout for fresh energy in the market. However, if you notice a high number of junior staff being recruited, it’s highly likely that some more senior staff members will be laid off.

Investigate the people who are being hired, and if they have skills that fit in your department, you should also consider searching for new positions elsewhere.

downsizing at work

3. You are Asked to Train New Hire

Training takes place all the time in an organization. However, if you are asked to train someone new, it might be because they are preparing to take your position.

Sometimes, you may not be at risk of being laid off, but instead in line for a promotion. So get the facts right before you decide to leave.

4. You are Getting Cold Shoulders From Your Colleagues

Workplace rivalry is typical in every organization. There is always competition for higher offices since employees’ competence is measured by their performance.

Even with this said, you should be concerned when the majority of your colleagues are not interacting with you as usual. They may have heard about the rumors of your imminent termination and don’t want to be associated with you.

When you start to experience this, it’s better to start searching for greener pastures elsewhere. Because even if you’re not being laid off, the negative energy circulating around you will derail your performance eventually. We are all human after all.

5. The Project You are Working On Gets Reassigned

Most employees in an organization are tasked with specific responsibilities. If you were overseeing a project and without notice, it’s given to someone else, it’s high time for you to search for a job elsewhere.

The main reason for such a switch is that your project is not performing as it should.

Signs You Will Be Laid Off

There is usually a belief that someone else can take up your duties and get better results with your project. Project oversight is a complex process, and if your organization doesn’t have any trust in your abilities, it would be better if you left.

6. Your Boss is Fired or Resigns

Whenever the head of a department resigns or is fired, the people under him/her are usually at risk of following suit.

If a department is not functioning as it should, the first person to go is the head of that department. The firing is usually followed by inquisitions regarding the abilities of the people who worked under the fired boss.

Nine out of ten times such an inquisition is carried out, the majority of the staff in the affected department lose their jobs.

Keep an eye on the progress of your department. If there is bad blood between upper management and your boss, you should start preparing for the inevitable as it may come sooner than you expect.

7. Strategic Alliances or M&A Activities

People should be wary of strategic alliances or mergers and acquisitions. It may be healthy for the business’ progress, but it will affect people in the long run.

The costs of sustaining a large staff may be too much for the organization to bear, which will force the management to seek methods of reducing it.

The result is usually a massive lay off, and no one is typically safe. If you suspect that your position is not secured in an organization that has undergone strategic alliances, make sure you find an alternative source of income.

8. Your last Presentation Went Sour

If you are a member of the back-office and you suspect that your opinion is no longer valued, it’s probably time to search for another job. Every member of the organization is expected to contribute in one way or another.

Signs You Will Be Laid Off

If your contribution is always overlooked, it’s because there is a feeling that you shouldn’t be there in the first place. This is usually a red flag, and you should not wait for the ax to fall on you. Leave when you still can.

9. Your Recent Performance Review

Every employee gets a performance review, and experts advise people to be on the lookout for bad reviews.

If your employer is happy with your performance, they will tell you in your review. If your performance has not been improving even after you have been warned, there are chances that you will be laid off soon.


Losing a job is not an easy thing. However, when you understand the common signs you will be laid off, you can spot any changes in your organization and prepare an exit plan in advance.

Being aware of what is happening in your organization will allow you ample time to prepare for the worst. However, you must be sure of the impending decisions from your employer before you make your own.

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