In today’s dynamic global economy, the ever changing macro-economic climate and intensely competitive environment compel businesses to take tough decisions. During tough times, optimizing costs and improving revenues is critical for businesses to stay competitive. With employees typically accounting for a large portion of a company’s costs, layoffs help employers reduce costs. In addition, the emergence and rapid adoption of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) across the globe is enabling businesses to replace humans, dramatically changing the job market conditions. The result: no job is really secure.


here are 5 clear signs that signal that your job may be at risk.

#1 - You are no longer in the loop – Imagine a scenario when you were copied on several important mails and part of core team meetings. If this stops either gradually or abruptly, it could mean that you are on your way out. Decisions taken on current initiatives or projects without you or the lack of information on some important aspects of projects could be signs that you are being considered obsolete in your role. You can reach out to your seniors or colleagues to ascertain if the situation is unique to you or if it applies to others in the company as well. While the reasons could be varied, you may need to start preparing for a layoff by evaluating your options.

#2 – Your company is on automation overdrive – Most companies do not reduce employees willingly. However, with the extensive benefits that technologies such as automation and robotics provide, reducing headcount is inevitable. A study by McKinsey Global Institute has found that with automation, 30% of activities in at least 60% of occupations can be automated. The study further revealed that by 2030, about 3 to 14% of the global workforce will need to change occupations as a result of automation. While automation is a reality, it does not mean that you will be singled out. Chances are that several jobs may be at risk. It’s always a good idea to consider upgrading or adding key skills to your repertoire to stay relevant.

#3 – You are asked to document all your work and processes – If you are being asked to turn your work into a training manual, there is a strong chance that your job is being offered to a cheaper and/or different resource. The company is trying to ensure that there is no loss of knowledge and is preparing for a knowledge transfer. If this happens regroup, brush up your resume and start a job search.

#4 – You have been told there is a salary freeze and you won’t get a raise – While this scenario is common in a tough economic climate or when the company is not doing well, a red flag should nevertheless go up. Try and ascertain if you are the only one or if there is a freeze across the board. Obviously, if your colleagues are not losing sleep over lack of increment, you need to be worried. You can reach out to your boss and understand the reasons behind the salary freeze. If it’s a performance issue, you know where to start. However, if it’s due to other reasons beyond your control, you will need to prepare accordingly.

#5 – You receive a bad performance review – Most companies review performance annually. But as an employee, it’s never a bad idea to review your own performance more frequently. Document your achievements in a project as well as your shortcomings. List out skills that are business critical and the ones you need to upgrade. It’s also important to watch if your manager is happy. Proactively reach out to your manager and ask for more frequent reviews. A good manager will never refuse a request for quarterly or mid-year review of your performance.


be the change you want to see

Change is inevitable. Organizations and people change according to the business demands. As an employee, you need to be aware of your organization’s dynamic goals and align your skills according to the needs of the organization as well as the market. Remember, opportunities are available to those who are willing to try new things and stay relevant through reskilling or upskilling.