Signs You’re About to Be Fired (Or Laid Off)

Managers and peers show signs that you’re about to be fired. They are both direct and indirect indications that your time with the company might be drawing near. Knowing what these signs are can help you redeem faith in your manager, superior or peers. Or to simply know that it’s time to start your revitalizing your resume and being your next job search.

Termination, Dismissal, and Being “Laid Off”

Layoffs are when a company is deciding to downsize. This can be from the poor financial performance or a shift in company direction on behalf of the executive leadership team.

Layoffs are different than being terminated or dismissed. Layoffs often happen to departments or groups of employees. When dismissals and terminations are targeted to one particular employee, usually surrounding insubordination or performance-related issues.

Terminations and layoffs have different indicators within the workplace. And are often confused between one another on behalf of the employee.

Before deciding which steps to take, you should measure the work environment and decide whether you feel you are at risk of being laid off or at risk of being terminated.

Signs You’re About to Be Fired

Here are the sure-fire signs that you might be dismissed or terminated:

1. Your manager has been meeting with you frequently.
2. Your manager has given you a performance notice.
3. Your colleagues don’t seem to communicate with you as much.
4. You are left feeling unheard in meetings.
5. You aren’t asked by your superior or by management what your opinion of work in progress might be.
6. Your colleagues seem to avoid you.
7. A member of the Human Resources team has met with you regarding performance issues, misconduct, or insubordination.
8. You get removed from group emails.
9. Your manager, superior, or colleagues avoid eye contact with you during meetings.
10. You aren’t being assigned as much work from your manager, superior or from other colleagues.
11. Your work is being reassigned to another colleague more frequently.
12. If you’re a manager, your superior might skip you and go directly to those team members that you manage; removing you from the process.

Signs You’re About to Be Laid Off

When it comes to knowing whether or not you might be laid off, here are some indicators:

1. Your executive staff members are meeting with your department less.
2. Your department isn’t included in company vision statements or all-hands meetings.
3. Your executive staff members are indicating that there are issues with the overall performance of the company, causing financial issues.
4. You’ve seen colleagues meet with executive staff members or Human Resource professionals more frequently.
5. You’ve been told there’s a chance of overall company downsizing.

How to Save Your Job If You’re About to Be Fired

If you want to improve your chances of not being terminated or dismissed, here are a few steps you can take to try and redeem yourself and earn faith back from your managers, superiors, and peers.

1. Communicate with your manager and team, ask for forgiveness and make a plan to correct your actions.
2. Take a more selfless approach to your work.
3. Put the companies priorities as your own.
4. Make a change when your manager or team members ask you to make a change.
5. Follow-up with your manager and team members in a few weeks and ask them what you can be doing to continue to improve.

Before you consider taking these measures, understand that most times employee’s who have been employed by the business for less than 6-months may have a hard time redeeming faith from their managers.

There is lesser of a chance that your managers, superiors, and colleagues will trust that you are able to produce “good” performance in their eyes. It is not uncommon for employees to be terminated because managers or superiors felt as though the hire “didn’t work out.”

How to Start Planning for Your Job Search

When there’s a risk of layoffs or risk of being terminated, it is important not to be irrational until you’re absolutely sure those events are near.

Job seekers will start their job search, start conversations with other management teams, and even get to the interview stage. Only to find out that both the dismissal and the layoffs were not taking place.

The best way to ensure your financial security is to revitalize your resume with your most recent employment history, plan for the types of jobs you might want to apply to, and collect open positions in an Excel Spreadsheet.

This will give you a jump start with your job search if and when the layoffs or termination happen.

It is a frequent case that layoffs and terminations are overturned. This can happen when either an employee decides to correct their poor performance or companies overall performance overturns itself.

As a job seeker, the more you can prevent yourself from making irrational, emotional decisions, the better your chances will be of staying employed and being in a happy work setting.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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