Collage of different ethnics young people over colorful stripes isolated background confuse and wonder about question. Uncertain with doubt, thinking with hand on head. Pensive concept.

Are you about to be laid off?

The short answer is possibly. Job security is a luxury and an illusion. Economic fluctuations, industry downturns, and company restructurings are contributing to the uncertainty, making it critical for every professional to be aware of potential warning signs of a layoff. It’s not a pleasant topic to think about, but understanding these indicators can give you the time to prepare, reassess, and plan your career trajectory.


Here are some signs that might suggest that you’re potentially facing a layoff:

Consultants have invaded: New faces in the office and unfamiliar names in meetings can sometimes signify impending organizational changes.

Random requests roll in: Being asked to produce seemingly meaningless reports that your boss finds suddenly important can be a red flag.

Your boss or HR is unusually interested in what you do: If you’re asked to document your processes, train colleagues on your tasks, or create a role manual, take note.

PTO is scrutinized: Increased scrutiny over your time off could indicate impending layoffs.

Your workload expands: Increased chatter about productivity and efficiency could mean the company is trying to do more with less.

Your workload decreases: If your tasks have been reduced or reassigned, it might indicate your role is being phased out.

Lack of clear future projects: A potential red flag is not having future projects lined up or planned projects being put on hold.

Exclusion from meetings and decision-making processes: Being excluded from important meetings or email threads could mean you’re being phased out.

Unusual performance reviews: Increased negative feedback or a less-than-stellar annual review could signal trouble despite your consistent performance.

Changes in the company’s financial health: If the company is reporting losses, poor earnings, or industry downturns, layoffs could be looming.

Merger or acquisition chatter: Mergers and acquisitions often lead to redundancy of roles, which can signal layoffs.

Sudden cost-cutting measures: Cutbacks on supplies, benefits, perks, and cancellation or downscaling of company events could indicate financial stress.

While none of these signs alone definitively mean you’re about to be laid off, they do suggest change is afoot. It’s better to be prepared and proactive in case of such events.


Job security can be unpredictable, especially in challenging economic times. However, by understanding potential warning signs of a layoff, you can use the extra time to prepare, strategize, and plan your next career move effectively.

Now’s the time to put yourself first and expand your professional network within your industry. Participate in industry groups, attend virtual events, engage in online forums, and reconnect with former colleagues. Don’t shy away from seeking mentorship or even considering a career coach. Building and nurturing your network is crucial, as it often paves the way for unforeseen opportunities. 

After all, as the saying goes, “It’s not just what you know, but who you know.”

You know me, and I’m telling you the time to prepare is now.