9 Signs You're About To Get Fired

Know when the pink slip is coming — look out for these top 9 signs you're about to get fired.

Woman leaving office after being fired
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

No one likes to be caught unaware, especially when it comes to your career. Thanks to Monica Wofford, an expert in leadership development, you don't have to be. After chatting with Wofford, we've rounded up the top nine signs you're about to get the axe at work.

1. Distance: When things get bad, they can get awkward. And when things get awkward, people tend to run in the other direction. An impending termination is no different. If your boss seems aloof and stand-offish, it could be because they aren't sure how to deliver the news. Take to heart that if they didn't care about you, they'd fire you without a second thought.

2. More Work, Less Play: Laughs less common around the office? The jokes you once shared with your superior now few and far between? This could be a sign that a serious discussion is on its way.

3. The Dreaded Call: Getting an unexpected call from Human Resources is a sure-fire sign that big news is coming. Brace yourself, because it may not be good.

4. Attention to Detail: For a boss, it's a lot easier to think of you as simply being a job, rather than a person with a family, friends, and bills to pay. If your boss is focusing on every minute detail, it could be because they're focusing on the job at hand, and not on you as an individual.

5. Frequent Visitor: Your boss paying more attention to you than usual? Always seems to be hovering around your desk or looking over your shoulder? Be on your best behavior — they could be trying to find the material needed to give you the pink slip.

6. Work Drops Off: From an employer's perspective, what's the point of giving you new tasks and teaching you new skills when you're leaving soon anyway? If you're finding yourself with more and more idle time at the office, that could be a sign of a lot more free time to come.

7. Hush Hush: Superiors speaking in whispers? Doors closing when they normally were wide open? Keep your ears open for what they can get, as this could signal the discussion of a future termination.

8: Your John Hancock: Pay close attention to paperwork and what you're signing. It may be dry to look through all the documents, but keeping an eye on what you're putting in writing could help you out in the long run.

9. Trust Your Gut: Even if you haven't been in tune to all the signs listed above, sometimes you just know when something's up. If you feel like a firing is around the corner, reevaluate your priorities and your position at the company. Do you feel that the situation is salvageable? And more importantly, is this a job you really want to stay in? Consider your options and decide whether or not it's worth it to keep your job.

Diana Pearl

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.