3 Signs Your Job May Be At Risk (And What To Do Next)

For better or for worse, 2023 and the years before it have changed the way we approach work and our careers altogether. The COVID-19 pandemic normalized remote work, made people reevaluate their work-life balance, and accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in the workplace.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in particular, has changed workplaces by automating routine tasks, enabling more efficient decision-making processes, and paving the way for innovation in various fields. With hundreds of AI tools being made everyday, it’s hard to imagine a future where AI is not embedded in some way.

To say that the changes have been coming at a record speed is not an exaggeration. Unfortunately, sometimes rapid change can mean a little instability, which is not what you want to hear about your job.

That being said, change is constant in any industry that isn’t dead. To thrive in such a dynamic environment, it’s best to respond to it with a positive mindset and a proactive attitude. It all starts with awareness, so here are the signs that your job could be at risk, and what you can do about it.

It’s All Over The News

Finding out your job is in jeopardy from the news and media outlets can be gut-wrenching. While not everything you read on the news is fact, there is a good likelihood that changes are coming for your industry. If you are in one of these situations, it’s important for you to speak to the right people in your company who can confirm the reports. On your end, try not to panic and do what you can to get the answers to your questions.

The Layoffs Have Already Started In Your Company

Every company will be different in how they operate layoffs. The best companies will do their best to have private conversations with the affected employees but not everyone gets the same treatment. It seems like it’s now the standard to get fired during a group Zoom call and be left to fend for yourself.

If you hear the rumbling about some teams being let go at your company, it is a good chance it won’t just end there. During these times, try to keep your files and projects organized amidst all the chaos. If you are unfortunately part of the impact group, hopefully you are able to hear the news directly from your manager and not someone they hired to have these difficult conversations.

Your Manager Is Expanding Your Role

Your manager giving you more tasks is not a direct sign that your job is at risk. In fact, the reverse could be true: you might have escaped the cutting block as you’ve been considered to be the more capable worker.

However, this could also be a sign that your company is in rough waters. When companies encounter financial difficulties, they will often talk about working with “leaner” teams or “streamlining” their operations, which is just corporate speak for reducing headcount and making people juggle more responsibilities. 

Fortunately, not all is lost and there are definitely ways to make navigating layoffs and unstable economic conditions a little easier. Here are three things you can do if you feel that your job is at risk.

Showcase Your Value 

There’s no harm in going the extra mile, especially if it means allowing you to keep your job. I don’t mean taking over other people’s projects or sleeping at the office to show your dedication. But if you were going to step up and show off your skills, now is the time to do that. 

Show yourself to be proactive by taking the initiative in crucial projects. Volunteer yourself when you can, even if it means putting in a few extra hours each week. In times of uncertainty, demonstrating your value becomes increasingly important, and seizing opportunities to shine can be the difference maker during the challenging times.

Have Open Conversations With Management 

Sometimes it pays to be upfront about your concerns, especially if you’re concerned about your job security. I understand that it can be awkward, but there is value in being transparent and open about your feelings.

Begin by expressing your dedication to your role and the company, highlighting your achievements and contributions. This sets the tone for a productive conversation focused on finding resolutions rather than dwelling solely on concerns. 

It’s also productive to ask for feedback and show a willingness to improve. Engaging in this kind of conversation will highlight you as a productive worker with a growth mindset and excellent communication skills — all transferable skills that an employer would be a fool to let go.

Get Your Resume And Job Search Toolkit Ready

It always pays to be ready for the worst-case scenario. Even if you feel like your job is safe, it’s not a bad idea to kickstart your job-hunting process. Depending on how long it’s been since you applied for a job, it may be worthwhile to revisit your resume and ensure that it works well with applicant tracking systems. To save time, you can grab one of our resume templates, along with other helpful stuff like our cover letter templates and interview kit. 

The best time to job hunt is when you don’t need one because your value is the highest. I recommend my clients to meet different companies at least once a year to grow your professional network and stay connected in the industry. The earlier you do this, the better your chances will be for the future. Good luck out there! 

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