Consulting

Is it ok to ask your manager if you’re about to be fired or if you should be looking for a new role?

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No you don't have to ask your manager. But if you are wondering about this, you should be searching for a new job.

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Your gut instinct is probably right. Start looking.

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Totally OK to set up a routine 1:1 and check with your manager if they have been seeing any “red flags”.

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Years ago, I knew for 2 months prior that things weren’t right. I was junior, it was my first adult job, and couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It was the intangibles; the way my boss looked at me, body language, and subconscious “tells” as they walked by my desk -all these things had changed. Frequent secretive closed door meetings which were unusual. 2 months later I walked into the office and was greeted by my older colleagues who were exiting the building, crying. I went upstairs and received my lay-off notice. ALWAYS trust your gut. If you have to ask then you probably already know.

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Years ago, my boss left in a “you can’t quit, you’re fired” blowout. I asked her superiors if I should be concerned, looking for a new role. (Anyone associated with her was on the CEO’s $h!t list.) They looked me in the eye and said no. Within two weeks I was “laid off.” So, go ahead and ask, but don’t expect them to be forthcoming.

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Like McK1 says, you should check in regularly to see if there are red flags and for your own growth, etc, but also keep in mind two things: 1. (for many companies) at the end of the day, management is there to protect the organization, not the employees (yes employees make up the organization but that’s fairly small minded thinking) and 2: your manager may not know if something big is about to happen; your manager may, for example, get a directive from above that says, “hey anyone with more than X hours on the bench is gone - make it so”. Your manager’s heart might be in the right place by being transparent to you, but someone may not be transparent to them.

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