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What to Do About Your Job When the Writing's on the Wall



Have you been getting vibes that not all is well with your job? Maybe you're no longer included in team emails, your boss is giving you less work or you just have a feeling deep down in your gut. Or there may be rumors that your company will be cutting down on staff. Most business professionals try to ignore the signs and push through the awkwardness. But instead of shoving that creeping feeling aside that your job may be on the line and hoping the situation clears up on its own, do what you can to take charge of the situation. The following questions can help you determine what your next career move should be.


Are you sure your job is on the line?

Are you just being paranoid or is your job actually in danger? There is a difference between needing to step up your performance after one bad project outcome and regularly performing poorly. There is also a difference between a few office cutbacks and being told that the company is going to merge with another one. In either case, don't just go on hearsay from people on your team. The easiest way to find out facts is to ask your superiors. Schedule a meeting with your boss and ask him directly if your job is in danger. If he doesn't give you an answer that makes you feel confident, it's time to ask yourself the next question.


Is this your dream job or is it just paying the bills?

How you feel about your job will help you to decide what your next steps will be. If you aren't in love with your job or career, this may provide an opportunity you have been avoiding or putting off. In simple terms, it is time to move on. It will be much better for your job search to say you left your last position than to say you were fired from your last position. Saying you were fired usually raises red flags for hiring managers. So if the signs are clear that your job is coming to an end, update your resume, put some feelers out with your professional network and start the job hunt. Most managers will appreciate that an employee leaves willingly instead of having to be fired. And in most cases, the hardship that comes with being fired isn't worth any small benefits you may get from it.


Are you willing to fight for your career?

On the other hand, if this is your dream job, this is your chance to fight for it. If your superior didn't give you an answer to make you feel that your job is safe due to your performance, ask them what you can do to improve the situation. If needed, schedule a separate meeting with your boss and go in willing to accept feedback and suggestions. Decide on a reasonable time frame for implementing improvements and set a follow-up appointment. Do your best to fit into the office culture and show you want to be a part of the company. This may include staying after hours, going to work early or being more dedicated and positive about your work. Ask a trusted co-worker for their honest opinion as to how you currently fit in with the office culture and what changes you could make.


Is the situation out of your hands?

Sometimes, however, the situation is beyond your control. If the business is merging or closing, you may not be able to keep your position no matter how much you love it. And your superiors may not be able to offer any clear answers even when asked. In this case, learn as much information as you can. Read any articles available online about the company, talk with experienced co-workers and your mentor and then prepare yourself for how you'll transition if you are on the cut list. Take time to update your resume, stay active with your professional network and look into similar positions at other companies. In this case, you could schedule some informational interviews to get an idea about what they are like without committing to a job interview. Then, if the worst happens, you aren't left reeling. And if it doesn't, you will have some great new networking connections for the future.



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