Tell-Tale Signs You Need to Find a New Job

The other day, a friend forwarded me a job posting he saw that offered mediocre pay and no benefits, and we both expressed our disbelief at what some companies expected people to do for very little in return.

I went back to work, and then after thinking about it for another moment, sent my friend another email: “Wait, are you thinking about quitting your job?”

He replied that, indeed, he was. There are tell-tale signs that the company might be going under, he said. He was looking to jump ship before the ship actually sunk.

Getting ahead before you’re forced out and left scrambling for a new job and unemployment benefits is, obviously, a smart thing to do. The only problem is, how do you know if your company is going under if you’re not in a high enough position to have all the facts in front of you?

My friend’s tell-tale sign: He was working without a supervisor, and was told that a temporary supervisor would fill the position in the coming weeks. Reorganization and restructuring is one of many signs that it might be time to leave, according to an article by U.S. News & World Report. Others include paying service providers late, hiring freezes, high turnover, too many closed-door meetings, and a toxic work environment.

At a previous job I had, the tell-tale sign that I needed to start looking for a new job was an obvious one: The company brought in two efficiency experts into the office to figure out exactly who was doing what, or, more importantly, who wasn’t really doing much of anything and should be let go.

We weren’t actually told that the man and woman who visited the office over the course of a week were efficiency experts. Instead, we were simply told they were consultants, and not to question it. It was hard not to question it, though, because the consultants asked a few random employees to meet in the conference room with them, and we interrogated these coworkers during lunch, or at the bar after work, about what they had discussed. It became instantly clear to us that the consultants were actually efficiency experts, and that something was going to happen soon. Most of us had seen Office Space, so we knew what was up. A few us starting looking for new jobs. About a month or so later, 70 percent of the staff was let go.

This was during the recession, so it didn’t really come as much of a surprise. We were another story on top of a stack of other stories about the economic downturn. Everyone went on to do better things, and we learned that severance is an important thing to ask for when negotiating salary and benefits.


8 Comments / Post A Comment

cmcm (#267)

I was SO lucky in the way my last job handled job cuts… we were a small non-profit and we were told in January that by April we would have 0 funding unless something came through, and then everything was 100% transparent from then on about how much funding was coming in. So I already knew four months ahead of time that I might be losing my job, but didn’t start looking until March, because I got my 1 month notice on April 1st which entitled me to redundancy pay (severance I guess?)

In the end, I got a job offer on my very last day of work, got my redundancy package, and started my new job right after going on holiday. Soooo lucky.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@cmcm Dream situation, right there! If my workplace was offering voluntary redundancy, I’d take it, I think.

cmcm (#267)

@TARDIStime Oh I know. The best part is actually that my new job is a great next step in my career, and I probably wouldn’t have started looking otherwise because I was generally happy at my last job.

The funny thing is that at the last minute, some funding came through and everyone but one person still kept their job. I was glad I got out though. That ship is still slowly, pathetically sinking.

Megano! (#124)

Wow, 70%. I don’t know why they bother with the whole cloak and dagger though. It doesn’t do any good because people are going to gossip and find out anyway, and it’s not particularly good for morale either, because you’re basically throwing your employees under the bus by not giving them time to look for something else.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

My current job has all of these signs. Fortunately I’m freelancing on the side and I’ve been shopping my resume. I tried to make this exact argument to my coworker at lunch recently but he’s totally sold on the line management has been putting out about “preparing to expand.” Seems unlikely since we’ve gone three years without a bonus or any sort of appreciable raises.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

Another sign it’s time to leave your job: When mentioning someone who has recently left to your boos, he replies with “Her? She’s history”. Good to know every member of the ream is appreciated. Good. To. Know.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@TARDIStime *boos = boss. Caboos = Caboss? That would be more fun, but… nope.

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