• There are several red flags that point to potential layoffs
  • Companies cut expenses and/or change strategies to survive
  • Keep your eyes and ear open for the warning signs and get ready
There’s something going on at work and not in a good way. You can sense that things aren’t as hunky-dory as usual. The usual fun banter that takes place is now replaced with more somber attitudes.

The company is cutting back on expenses. There aren’t as many team celebrations or company-sponsored social events. Hell, even the free donuts at work have stopped. It may not be long until the free shitty office coffee is eliminated too.

Your well-tuned corporate senses are telling you that the company isn’t doing that great and that there is a growing possibility that cutbacks will continue. It’s not doom and gloom, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows either.

Even though you have a job right now, there’s a part of you that thinks that the growing cutbacks aren’t going to be limited to perks at work. It just might get to the point where the cutbacks may extend to eliminating jobs.

The fear of the unknown is what’s driving you nuts and it’s making it hard to manage work stress. You want to know what’s happening, but none of the empty suits are saying shit. They’re leaving everyone in the dark.

This is when you’ve gotta sharpen your awareness and keep your eyes and ears open for red flags. You gotta be prepared.

Big Warning Signs that Layoffs Are Coming

It’d be ideal if you worked in the corporate finance department and had direct visibility and knowledge of the company’s financial health. But, you don’t and you have yet to form alliances at work that would get you the info you need.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’re totally in the dark. There are ways that you can get clues and hints as to how the company is doing and if there’s a chance that layoffs are looming.

It’s all about being hyper-aware of what’s happening in and around the office. The more you pay attention to things, the more you can piece together the overall picture and how things may progress.

Here are just a few of the big red flags that you should keep your eyes and ears open for.

Reduction Or Elimination Of Perks And Bennies

If the team outings, lunches, happy hours and social events are not happening as much, this is a key sign that the company is starting to tighten its belt. These small expenses are usually the first things to get cut.

If it gets to the point where the company stops matching contributions to your 401k, then it’s at a dire stage. This is the “canary in the coal mine” early warning sign. Companies don’t want to cut matching contributions, but if they do, they’re in a bad situation.

Not Hitting Profit Or Earnings Targets

If you work at a publicly traded company, then it’s straightforward to get a feel for how things are financially at your company. Most all publicly traded companies have to report quarterly earnings and provide a forecast of future earnings. Listen in on these earnings calls even if they are boring as fuck.

If you work at a privately held company, it’s much harder to get a sense of how things are financially. The only way to do so is to be part of any monthly sales and financial reporting meeting or get a copy of the deck. The best option is to build a relationship with a coworker peer in finance who has visibility.

External Consultants Are Brought In

There are a variety of consultants out there. If your company has hired cost optimization, change management, outsource planning or any of the other terms related to driving profitability, then you can almost certainly bet on the fact that organizational cutbacks will be part of the solution. It pretty much always is.

Peter Gibbons of Office Space knows the drill all too well.

VIDEO: Peter Kills Interview With Bobs
YOUTUBE: Chaos Clips
LENGTH: 3:01
You gotta hand it to Peter on this one because he just does not give a fuck anymore.

When you have to explain your job and responsibilities and re-interview for your own position, that’s when you know layoffs are about to happen.

Executive Leadership Is Changing Plans Abruptly

You’ve heard of the saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” and it applies to corporate strategies too. When the top brass is suddenly implementing wholesale changes to the business, that’s when you know that things aren’t going well.

A lot of the time, these sudden changes are like last ditch efforts to save the sinking ship. The executives in charge are trying anything and everything to see what works to turn things around. And if you’ve got fucking clueless executives, it’s almost a given that layoffs are around the corner.

Freezes On Hiring, Promotions And Bonuses

This is an obvious one. If the company has made announcements that there is a hiring freeze and/or that there will not be any promotions or bonuses for the remainder of the year, that’s when you know the finances aren’t healthy.

This is a clear sign that the company is having money problems or more specifically cash flow struggles. If you hear about this, you might want to start up that lunchtime side hustle too.

Senior Management Leaving For Other Opportunities

Most everyone knows that being in middle management sucks ass but in some cases, it does offer some benefits, like visibility to what’s happening at the top. For those of us at the working levels of the company, we’re focused on getting critical grunt work done. Working level peeps don’t have time to get involved with ivory tower bullshit.

However, because senior management has to operate with the executive levels, they know when shit is about to go downhill. So, if you see or hear about several senior managers leaving the company, it could be a sign that things will get worse.

Upcoming or Pending Merger Or Acquisition

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that duplicate functions are inefficient and a waste of money. With mergers and acquisitions, there are almost always layoffs. The company doesn’t need two accounting departments when one can suffice.

The layoffs may not happen right away, but once the merger or acquisition closes, it will only be a matter of time and shit will hit the fan. After a period of transition, duplicate departments and functions will be merged together with the excess cut out.

Watch For Red Flags & Be Prepared For Layoffs

The possibility of layoffs is never a good thing. All of the uncertainty and feelings of not knowing what the fuck is going on are not helping either. One thing is for sure. If you were to lose your job, it’d turn your world upside down.

But you’re not in that situation right now. You have a job, at least for the time being. Now, it’s time to get in the zone and get your shit in order. Here are the 3 must-do’s for preparing for layoffs.

It’s far better to plan on getting laid off and not have it happen versus not being ready and being blindsided by it. So, don’t sit on your ass on this one. You gotta stop fucking around and start taking action - today.

Keep your eyes and ears open to spot the warning signs of layoffs and have a plan. So, when the company announces layoffs, you won’t be totally knocked out by it. You’ll be able to stay on your feet.

Feel Better,

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