If you’re starting to feel like you’re being pushed out of your job or that you’re going to be fired, it’s a horrible feeling.
You’ve got bills to pay, career goals, maybe you even love your job – you don’t want to be looking over your shoulder.
The question is, are you going to get fired, or are you just paranoid?
To help put your mind at ease (even if it’s bad news) here are 15 signs that you’re going to get fired and aren’t just paranoid:
Am I Getting Fired or Just Paranoid? (15 Signs You Might Get Fired)
1. You’re Being Frozen Out Of Internal Communications
Communication is everything in the workplace.
It’s often the first sign that you’re being targeted in some way if you’re being excluded from important communications.
This can mean being left out of key emails or meetings, not being given information that you need to do your job, or generally feeling like people are just not talking to you.
If this is the case it’s a sign that you’re going to be fired or forced out of your role in some way if it’s not legal to outright fire you.
2. You Didn’t Get a Pay Rise or Bonus As Your Colleagues Did
This is a huge sign that your future is in trouble as most people use the size of a pay rise or bonus as a direct reflection on how they’re valued.
If you didn’t get a rise or bonus and your colleagues did, it’s time to start looking for another job.
Even if you’re not given an explicit reason, this is a sign that you’re not valued as much as your colleagues and confirms you’re not being paranoid about it!
3. Your Superiors No Longer Acknowledge Your Achievements
Taking notice of coworkers’ achievements is an important part of creating a productive working culture.
It gives you a sense of pride and satisfaction, as well as being great for your motivation.
If your superiors have stopped acknowledging your achievements, this is a sign that they’re trying to make you feel unvalued and being push you out of the company.
It’s not paranoia, it’s a very clear sign that something is up.
4. You See Your Peers Having Meetings Without You
Along the same lines as being left out of important communication within your workplace, being left out of meetings is a huge red flag.
If you see your peers having regular meetings without you, this is a sign that you’re being left out of the loop on purpose.
I don’t want to make you more paranoid, but it’s also a possibility that they’re discussing you which doesn’t feel good.
5. Your Boss Has Told You They’re Not Happy with Your Work
This is a more direct sign that you’re going to be fired or pushed out.
If your boss has told you outright that they’re not happy with your work, it’s a sign that they’re looking for a way to get rid of you.
It’s a horrible feeling, but it’s better to be prepared than to be blindsided by getting fired without any warning.
If you’re absolutely sure that there are no grounds to what they’re saying, this is also a sign that there are some other motivations for getting rid of you.
6. Your Responsibilities Keep Getting Reduced
If you feel like you’re being given less and less to do, this is a sign that you’re being frozen out.
This is a way for your boss to make it appear like you’re not doing your job well, or that you’re not needed any longer.
It’s their way of setting you up to fail so that they can justify firing you.
Or, depending on the labor laws where you are, they might be trying to make you leave so they can avoid any kind of unlawful dismissal suits.
7. Your Boss Asks if You’re Happy at Work
There are two very different ways your boss can ask if you’re happy at work and within your role.
One way is because they’re genuinely interested and looking for ways to help succeed.
The other way is to make you doubt yourself and act like you’re struggling and need help.
This is usually a lead up to them firing you because they want to make it look like it’s your own fault and you’re not able to do your job to a high standard.
8. You Recently Had a Major Incident at Work
If you’ve had a major incident at work, and you’ve seen other employees fired for something similar or less, the writing might be on the wall.
This is especially true if you’re not given any kind of support to help you through the incident, or if you’re made to feel like it’s all your fault.
No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes but if you’re being made to feel like yours are unforgivable it’s a sign that they want you gone.
9. There Is a Job Opening for A Similar Position to Yours
I’ve seen this play out before, and it’s a pretty clear sign that they’re looking to replace you.
If there’s a job opening for a role that’s similar to yours, but with slightly different duties, it’s a sign that they want someone to come in and replace you.
This is especially true if you know there just isn’t the work there for two people to do the role, it’s a huge red flag.
10. Your Boss Tells You About Other Jobs You Might Be Interested in
This is another sign that’s very similar to your boss asking if you’re happy in your role.
If they start talking about other jobs that they think you might be interested in, this is their way of basically telling you that you should leave.
It’s a way for them to push you out without having to fire you, and they can even make it look like they’re helping you!
11. Your Boss Undermines You by Going to Your Subordinates
If your boss starts going to your subordinates instead of coming to you with questions or problems, this is a sign that they’re trying to undermine you and make you feel unvalued.
They might be doing this because they want to get rid of you and are looking for reasons, or because they’re trying to make you quit.
Either way, it’s not a good sign and you should be on the lookout for other signs that you might be getting fired.
12. Your Manager Has Been Nitpicking Your Work
Nitpicking, micromanaging, anything to do with bearing down on someone and making them uncomfortable is a sign that you don’t trust them or want to push them out.
This is usually done in the lead up to firing someone so that they can have a paper trail of “problems” with an employee.
If your boss is ‘finding’ lots of issues with your work while making you hate being there, this is a way to justify firing you or make you want to leave.
13. Your Coworkers Have Told You They Think Something Is Up
If your coworkers are approaching you and telling you that they think something is up, or that they think you’re going to get fired, it’s probably true.
Your coworkers are able to see how you’re being treated, and they may have seen similar situations before
They may be trying to cause a stir, so you should also look for other signs – but it’s a huge sign that you’re being mistreated.
14. You’re Being Given Impossible Deadlines or Tasks
If you’re being set up to fail by being given impossible deadlines or tasks, this is a sign that your boss wants you gone.
It’s another horrible, toxic situation to find yourself in, but unfortunately, it’s all too common a practice when someone is being bullied to leave their role.
I’m sure you’re not enjoying the position you’re being put in, and to make matters worse it’s a sign you’re being lined up to be fired for not meeting impossible deadlines.
15. You Just Feel It!
While there is a fine line between being paranoid and actually being set up to be fired in some situations, if you can feel like you’re going to be fired there is a chance that you’re right.
If everything on this list is making you feel uncomfortable and like you’re being set up to fail, there’s a good chance that you are.
Sometimes we have to listen to what our gut is telling us, and combined with physical signs that you’re right there is no denying it.
These are just a few signs that you might be getting fired, but if you’re feeling paranoid it’s always best to speak with close friends or coworkers and ask them for their unbiased opinion.
They might be able to set your mind at ease, or they might give you a heads up that something is going on.
If it looks like you’re being pushed out or lined up to be fired, it’s time to start being proactive and looking for a new job.
Even if you don’t think you’ll be fired or don’t want to believe it, you need to accept that you’re not being treated fairly.
This alone should be enough for you to do something about your situation. You deserve to be respected, valued, and fairly treated at work.
Image credits – Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.