You go to work every day. You put in long hours. You get your tasks done. Everyone is happy.
You think you’re doing a great job — your position is safe — your expecting that promotion or raise.
A lot of people are in this mindset right now. Just keep your head down, do your work, don’t make waves, and good things will be coming your way. It’s the mistake many people are making.
All is well and good until there’s a knock on your door or you’re asked to a conference room at 7 AM. Oh look! It’s your boss with someone from HR!
What happened? What did I do? OMG — I’m let go?
Here are the three most prevalent clues one received when things start to get “hinky” at work:
1. Communication is severely restricted.
Suddenly, the people you rely on the most are suddenly not available. You set up meetings, they cancel. That crucial status update meeting you scheduled? Postponed. It seems many things around you are starting to circle and enclose you.
What to do: Start prodding and poking the communication bubble. Look for a way to ‘pop’ it. Sometimes people find they just need to alter the way they communicate and instantly everyone notices your message or concerns. Maybe other people are yelling and screaming — so they get the attention. You need to get it back.
2. Projects and initiatives you are spearheading are suddenly downgraded.
You’re at the top — everything is going fine and then, over a period of weeks or months, some of your projects are cancelled, you might lose a key resource, or the regular interest paid towards your work is moved from critical to on-hold.
What to do: Step back and take a broad view of your situation. Are all projects and initiative on hold? Maybe it’s just not you. But if it is, try to understand the WHY of the downgrade — maybe it was too expensive, moving too slow, or your project was too strategic, too out there. Maybe you really didn’t get the right buy-in from the important people at the top. Make that happen . . . today.
3. You get a ‘different’ vibe or tonality from your superiors.
Your great relationship with your boss suddenly changes. He/She speaks and directs you from email rather than meetings. Everything suddenly is in writing. His or her peers are standoffish or act weird around you.
What to do: I always start out by turning the mirror on myself. Is there anything I’m doing differently? Did I change anything? Sometimes, it could be as simple as a clothes-change or style modification. Second, check out if something personal is happening to your boss. Ask around or more importantly, ask them politely. You might find out their spouse is ill or their child was just diagnosed. Sometimes it’s not you.
Then again — It’s YOU.
If these things are happening and some of the suggestions don’t work, your name might be on a short list somewhere. If two or all three of these things are happening — start taking steps to secure possible new digs somewhere else. Get your resume in order, start reaching out to key influencers, and start getting out and meeting recruiters.
You’ve received a message — take action!
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P.S. The alarm bells are ringing at work — and you don’t know what to do next. Don’t worry – you and I can work on it together so you instantly develop a plan of attack - Let’s talk. I’ve worked with thousands of people who wanted to take assertive steps in this area — call or email me to schedule a complimentary session.