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July 15, 2008, Last Updated March 10, 2011
By: Editors, MangoBoss

These days, you don't have to look far to find the
unemployed. In fact, not to be cynical, but your chances
of being unemployed are about as high as they have
been in more than a generation.  The latest jobs figures
for February 2011 from the US Labor Department  put
the unemployment rate at 8.9% in the U.S.  The broader
unemployment rate is 15.9%, once you count the people
who are working part-time because they can't find
full-time jobs and those who have just plain given up.

And the news is just as bad or even worse in many other
countries around the world. France has a chronic 10%
unemployment rate, Spain's unemployment rate is near
20% and even the U.K.'s unemployment rate is 7.9%.  
So, if you are one of the fortunate ones who still has a
job, how do know whether your employer is planning to
lay you off? Ever wonder whether you are about to be
fired? You talk to your buddy at work about your fears.
But what does he know? He may be fired too.

Here then are 10 signs you are about to be  fired, culled
from people who have been or are in positions to hire
and fire people.

No New Assignments.  This is the Number One sign
that you are about to be fired. Business is a matter of
money in and money out.  To your boss, you either
represent money-in or money-out.  New assignments are
money-in.  If you are an employer, you never give new
assignments to a person who is on the way out.  Never
give money-in to a source that is money-out.

Left Out of Meetings. You're no longer being called to
attend essential meetings. It's not a mistake that you
were left off. The meeting was about you or your

Hours Are Cut Back. Any cut back in your hours is bad
news. Employers cut hours as a friendly signal to nudge
you out the door. Killing you softly, so to speak.

Left Out of Training and Development. There's a
conference the job pays for that pertains to your job and
budget is no longer available. It means the job is no
longer investing in you. You are viewed as Money-out.

Managers Don't Look You Straight In the Eye. This is a
dead giveaway. After the decision has been made to let
you go, those who know will avert their eyes when they
see you coming because they have been instructed not to
divulge the information to you.

Left Out of After-Work Hangouts or Socializing. If the
managers have a custom of drinking or hanging out after
hours and somehow somebody forgets to tell you, it's a
sign.  They want to relax in this setting and they know
you're out, which makes them tense. So they avoid you
to avoid bringing the mood down.

Your Rabbi Gets Axed.  Everybody who is successful
has a "rabbi" at work, someone who looks out for them,
puts in a good word. A protector. If your rabbi is canned,
you will be next.

Secretarial Re-assignments. You used to have a
secretary to yourself and now they've decided to make
you share. Or, they add a third  person to share the
secretary you are already sharing with another person.  
Message-- you can't bring enough money to justify your

You Make Too Much.  Usually, chopping starts not at
the top --no one ever fired themselves at the top-- and
not at the bottom. Why? The people at the bottom don't
cost much. It's the middle that gets chopped. And who in
the middle? The higher-earners among the middle swath.

You Are Over 40.  Sad truth, older workers are
viewed as more expendable and more expensive,
especially in jobs that match 401(k) plans. Older workers
are nearer retirement so they sock away money in the
401(k)s, which have to be matched if your employer has
a "matching" plan.  

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Sources:; Time Magazine; Congressional
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