Are you about to lose your job? More importantly, is there anything you can do to save yourself?
Kendra Wheeler, 27, was about a year out of college when her first job as a PR professional started going south, through no fault of her own.
"The workload started to change. It was starting to get very light," she told FOX 8 Call For Action Reporter Lorrie Taylor, as she looked back on her career.
Wheeler did not know it at the time, but her company was going out of business.
According to hiring professionals, getting fewer assignments is one of the first signs you're about to lose your job because it can also signal the boss is losing confidence in your performance.
"It was scary and it made for long days," she said.
According to hiring professionals, the five signs you’re about to lose your job are:
1. Being given fewer assignments.
2. The company has been sold.
3. Getting called on the carpet.
4. The boss is ignoring you.
5. Someone else has been hired to do the same job you’re doing.
Regina Olbinsky, founder of The Career Group, told Taylor it’s important for employees to recognize when their employment is at risk.
"When they stop seeking you out, when they stop calling you in meetings, asking for your opinions, for feedback," she said, ticking off some of the more troubling cues.
Olbinsky spent more than 15 years in human resources management before opening her own career counseling firm. She coaches troubled professionals who find themselves on the firing line. he said what puts them at risk in most instances, is their own attitudes.
"People don't get fired because they lack technical skills,” said Olbinsky. “They get fired because they lack all those sort of soft skills that we don't take the time to develop and work on."
The career coach said soft skills can be anything from how a person treats colleagues to how they conduct themselves in meetings.
"It would be everything from emotional intelligence, communication skills, how easy are you to work with? Are you generous with your time and your knowledge?" she said, while citing a few examples.
"It's more than just knowing your job?" asked Taylor.
"That's right," Olbinsky responded.
Olbinsky said topping the list of workplace offenses is complacency.
"Not really seeking to improve oneself and to just coast," she said.
Olbinsky said anyone who recognizes one of the five warning signs should begin working on building their personal brand.
She recommended employees take stock of their strengths and weaknesses, make an appointment to speak with the boss, and share any plans for self-improvement.
She said it’s important to be open to advice and any constructive criticism that’s offered.
She also told Taylor it’s important to keep a file of personal accomplishments. That way if the job ends, as it did for Wheeler, an employee can be ready for a new beginning.
"I looked at it as an opportunity to do something else that I really wanted to do," Wheeler said.
She grew her skill set by pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Relations. Today, she’s employed by a major non-profit and loving her new experience.