7 Warning Signs You Could Lose Your Job

In this guide, I’ll share the seven key warning signs you could lose your job, along with tips from my personal experience to help you stay prepared and take proactive steps.

Key Takeaways

  • Declining Performance Reviews: Consistent negative feedback is a red flag.
  • Reduced Responsibilities: Losing key tasks and projects might indicate a loss of trust.
  • Exclusion from Meetings: Being left out of important discussions can be a precursor to job loss.
  • Increased Documentation: An uptick in documentation of your work could signal trouble.
  • Changes in Leadership: New management might bring restructuring and layoffs.
  • Financial Instability in Company: Budget cuts and financial issues often lead to layoffs.
  • Gut Feeling: Trust your instincts if you feel something is off.

1. Declining Performance Reviews

One of the most telling signs that you might be on the verge of losing your job is receiving poor performance reviews. These reviews often reflect your supervisor’s assessment of your work quality, reliability, and overall contribution to the company.

Tips from Personal Experience:

When I coached a client named Jane, she noticed a sudden shift in her performance reviews from excellent to mediocre. We worked together to identify specific areas of improvement, set measurable goals, and she initiated regular check-ins with her manager to track progress. This proactive approach helped her turn things around.

2. Reduced Responsibilities

Another warning sign is when your responsibilities are gradually reduced. If you find that key projects or tasks are being reassigned to your colleagues, it could be an indication that your role is being diminished.

Tips from Personal Experience:

I once had a client who experienced this issue. We discussed strategies to demonstrate his value, such as taking the initiative on new projects, volunteering for cross-functional teams, and consistently communicating his achievements to his manager.

Table: Action Steps for Reduced Responsibilities

Action StepDescription
Take InitiativeVolunteer for new projects and tasks.
Demonstrate ValueRegularly communicate your achievements.
Seek FeedbackAsk for input on how to improve and expand your role.
Cross-Functional CollaborationEngage with other teams to show versatility.

3. Exclusion from Meetings

Being excluded from meetings, especially those where strategic decisions are made, can be a red flag. It may indicate that your input is no longer valued or needed.

Tips from Personal Experience:

A client named Mark faced this issue when he was consistently left out of important meetings. I advised him to request one-on-one meetings with his manager to stay informed and express his willingness to contribute to key projects. This helped him regain visibility and involvement.

4. Increased Documentation

If you notice that your manager or HR is documenting your work more frequently, it might be a sign that they are building a case against you.

Tips from Personal Experience:

One of my clients, Sarah, noticed increased scrutiny and documentation. We developed a plan for her to meticulously document her own work, including accomplishments and positive feedback from colleagues, which she could use to counter any negative claims.

5. Changes in Leadership

New leadership often brings changes, which can include restructuring and layoffs. If your company has recently hired new executives or managers, be prepared for potential shifts in your job security.

Tips from Personal Experience:

During a leadership change at my previous company, I advised my clients to stay adaptable, demonstrate their alignment with the new leadership’s vision, and showcase their flexibility and willingness to embrace change.

List: How to Adapt to Leadership Changes

  • Understand new goals and priorities.
  • Align your work with the new vision.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability.
  • Communicate your willingness to support new initiatives.

6. Financial Instability in Company

Budget cuts, hiring freezes, and other signs of financial instability can be precursors to layoffs. Keep an eye on your company’s financial health and listen for any hints of trouble.

Tips from Personal Experience:

I had a client whose company was facing financial difficulties. We worked on updating his resume, expanding his professional network, and exploring job opportunities before the situation worsened.

7. Gut Feeling

Sometimes, your intuition can be your best guide. If you have a gut feeling that something is off, trust it and start preparing for potential changes.

Tips from Personal Experience:

Several of my clients have trusted their instincts and started job searching proactively. This early action often resulted in a smoother transition when job loss eventually occurred.


Recognizing these warning signs early can give you the advantage of time to prepare and take action. By staying proactive, seeking feedback, and continuously demonstrating your value, you can improve your job security or be ready to transition smoothly to a new opportunity. Remember, it’s better to be prepared and not need it than to be caught off guard.

Real-Life Example: One of my clients, LeBron, noticed multiple warning signs and took action early. He updated his skills, networked extensively, and eventually secured a new job before he was officially laid off. His proactive approach made the transition seamless and less stressful.