If you're being set up to fail.
âIf there was someone we no longer wanted at the company, weâd give him all the worst assignments on impossible deadlines, set him up to fail, and document that. After a few months, we could safely terminate him.â—Cynthia Shapiro, former human resources executive and author of Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesnât Want You to Know
If you aren't a team player.
âIf we ask you to travel for your job or attend a conference, itâs not really a question. Say no, and it can be career-ending.â—Laurie Ruettimann, HR consultant and speaker in Raleigh, North Carolina
If you're on a performance review.
âIf youâre put on a performance-improvement plan, youâre cooked. I might look you in the eye and say weâre going to do everything possible to make this work, but thatâs just total BS.â—HR director at financial services firm
If you've ticked off the executives.
âI once had to fire someone with four kids right before Christmas. When he asked me why, I couldnât tell him it was because he said something in an all-company meeting that the CEO took as an insult.â—Cynthia Shapiro
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If your job got smaller.
âIf youâre a high-level employee and they put you on a special assignment and take away other responsibilities so you can focus on that âspecial assignment,â start fixing up your rÃ©sumÃ©, because youâre on your way out the door.â—Suzanne Lucas, a former HR executive and the Evil HR Lady on bnet.com
If you see HR managers behaving oddly.
âThe worst feeling in the world? Going into the ladiesâ room and seeing nine people you know who wonât have a job in a week and having to act normal.â —HR professional at a midsize firm in North Carolina
If you do lose your job:
âWhen you get laid off, youâll probably get a separation agreement in which you agree not to sue. That document is what allows you to negotiate, so before you sign it, ask for more severance money, ask for more COBRA, something. The worst thing they can do is say no.â —Cynthia Shapiro
If you can't find new work immediately:
âAlways apply for unemployment, because the state makes the decision, not the company, and often the company wonât bother to fight it.â âSuzanne Lucas