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10 Signs You're About To Be Fired: Insider HR Tips And What To Look Out For

It's becoming increasingly common that employees have, at some point in their career, gone through a termination. Through personality clashes, layoffs or ‘right sizing’ (a ridiculous term if there ever was one), there are few people who have not experienced job loss in some fashion. There is (with reputable companies) a good deal of advance thought and planning that goes into firing an employee, and there are things to look for that could indicate there is discontentment brewing.


  1. You stop being invited to meetings you normally would be included in or stop being CC'd on emails you should be getting.

  2. Your responsibilities are shrinking. If projects and assignments that you once managed are being handed off to other employees or eliminated entirely, don’t get too excited about all the extra free time you suddenly have. Gradually making you a less essential part of the team could be a sign that your company is preparing to let you go.

  3. You hear a new piece of information about a client or project that you work on- from someone who isn't involved or should not have this info before you.

  4. Your relationship with your boss has changed. Your once friendly supervisor has stopped inviting you out to lunch, is less communicative in meetings, or acts distant when you stop to chat.

  5. There are more closed office doors than usual in your department.

  6. The company higher ups won’t say hello or make eye contact if they see you- or pretend not to notice if you pass by. Conversations may halt when you walk in to a room.

  7. Your manager asks for any of your computer or work account passwords (excluding a department/ company- wide IT initiative). This sign usually means a termination is imminent. If this happens, be on the safe side and immediately remove your personal photos from your computer and your phone- and anything else you would not want other people to go through.(Don’t delete or destroy company files, it reflects badly on you and can also come back to bite you.)

  8. It’s the week after you’ve had a third disciplinary conversation/warning (could be a legitimate issue or out of your control). While a somewhat arbitrary ‘rule’, many companies still follow the out dated logic of providing 3 warnings as a lead up to letting the employee go.

  9. You email your boss a question about an upcoming event or project, or make a future vacation request, and she does not reply to you (when she’s normally very responsive).

  • this is a flashing red light if she replies to your emails about anything else not future date related- you know she's not just busy.

  1. You have a feeling. Yep that’s right, good old fashioned gut instinct. There are many physiological explanations behind intuition that we will not delve into here, but the gist is, if something doesn't seem right, while easy to dismiss as being paranoid or just having a bad day, you also might be picking up on what's actually going on.

If you're experiencing several of the signs above, it would be a good time to check in with your manager and ask for some performance feedback and tips for improvement. It just might save your job.

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