4 Signs You’re Being Pushed Out of Your Company

Being Excluded

How do you know when the end of your job is near — when the company you used to love, and may still, is pushing you out the door? Every case is different, of course, but experts say there are some common signs to look out for.

Being ExcludedThe most-cited is when you find yourself shunted away from critical path projects. While it may not be happening because someone’s trying to point you to the door, if it goes on too long, you might find yourself labeled expendable the next time your company’s looking for jobs to eliminate.

Another sign: When your relationship with management changes. For example, “the relationship moves to less cordial and more professional. Workload increases and timelines are pushed up,” says a former Apple executive. “They’re getting your desk cleared. Or workload goes away, depending on the situation. You’ll feel it and you’ll know.”

Still another one, from a self-described “turnaround CEO”: “When your boss, who works in another city, flies in for meetings and walks by your office without looking at you… repeatedly. This was an inexperienced boss who I knew was gonna fire me on Tuesday at 10.”

The boss arrived in town at noon on Monday.

HQ visitors shared a conference room next to my office. I said ‘hi’ as he walked by the first time, and he mumbled something unintelligible instead of his usual hearty greeting.

So I kept getting louder and more demonstrative every time he walked by. By Tuesday morning people could hear me across the floor.

Tech job counselor Gerald Corbett warns about when “you notice an unusual change in behavior from either your boss or co-workers, including not being invited to meetings, lunch partners fall way and there is an eerie silence in the hallways as you pass.”

These things suggest that co-workers may be more aware of your fate than you. You can inquire of those you are close to, but be aware that even friends might be unwilling to share the truth. “What if you don’t end up leaving?” some may worry.

Some workers are actually told they are on the way out, perhaps as a way for the company to avoid an expensive and potentially nasty firing.

A somewhat cynical view comes from author and executive coach Michael Jay Moon. He says the reason people may be concerned about getting pushed out is because sooner or later many people indeed are or will be. “Of course you’re being edged out of your job,” he says. “It’s only a matter of how soon and how little advance notice you will get.”


12 Responses to “4 Signs You’re Being Pushed Out of Your Company”

February 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm, Shantal said:

I have experienced this on more than one occasion. In one of those instances, since I could see the ‘writing on the wall’, I just quit. I spoke to my manager and after I spoke my peace it was as though they regretted their treatment of me but by then it was too late. I found a better paying job in less than a week.


February 10, 2014 at 2:17 pm, Greg said:

Interesting article, but sort of thin on strategy or ways to approach this situation. I’m inclined to be much more direct now than I was at the beginning of my career. One time, I was in my office, working on debugging some code on a Sunday morning, and my boss walked by and didn’t even acknowledge me. I should have recognized this clue given the circumstances. Anyhow, I was fired a few months later for taking a much needed vacation.

I suspect that other professions, especially lawyers and human resources types, get much more training with regard to the more squishy and less well defined human resource issues that always happen in organizations. Engineers are at a real disadvantage when it comes to these issues unless they pursue their own training or somehow get enlightened. Perhaps its just easier to quit and get a new job.


February 11, 2014 at 10:03 am, Dave said:

Being Pushed Out: Men in prime working ages don’t have jobs

More than one in six men ages 25 to 54, prime working years, don’t have jobs—a total of 10.4 million. Having so many men out of work is partly a symptom of a U.S. economy slow to recover from the worst recession in 75 years. It is also a chronic condition that shows how technology and globalization are transforming jobs faster than many workers can adapt, economists say.

The trend has been building for decades, according to government data. In the early 1970s, just 6 percent of American men ages 25 to 54 were without jobs. By late 2007, it was 13 percent. In 2009, during the worst of the recession, nearly 20 percent didn’t have jobs.

Men without jobs stand apart in a society that has long celebrated work and hailed the breadwinners who support their families. “Our culture is one that venerates work, that views work as good for its own sake,” said David Autor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist.


February 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm, oregon111 said:

some truth to this, but watch out for ‘false positives’…
when I first started, I heard rumors that I was out…

and 10 years later, it finally happened — so it was all BS in the beginning,
and when it did happen, all was fine with the sheeple

best bet, do your job and stay out of all the gossip


February 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm, Don said:

At one really terrible small company I found my current job advertised online! It was clearly to replace me, so I gave my two weeks notice the next day.

At previous firm, my boss retired. They brought in a new guy who replaced many people with people from his prior company. I made it through that round. A year later he was promoted to a larger division, and a year after that he was fired. The next new boss was a woman who had worked at our company before, been demoted, left, and came back. In her prior role she disliked me, so I knew my days were numbered. Three months later my position was “eliminated”. I did get a year of severance pay though.


November 01, 2014 at 7:54 pm, Ashley said:

I am going through that right now. I am not sure how to handle it though.


December 14, 2014 at 6:55 am, Nichole said:

I’m going through what feels like “being pushed out”… Been used to get others trained to do the job I’m assigned to then get thrown on an another assignment nobody wants only to have the new hire show up and say ” are you the one that is training me, I was told to come here for my training. ” I’m so hurt and embarrassed because my loyalty means nothing and I guess I don’t deserve the respect to have knowledge of my job security. While taking FMLA due to family surgeries, I came back to no hours on my job for the month. I’m surviving off my paid time off but its not enough forcing me to take a part-time job and waiting to see if another full time position will become available. I’m truly tired of waiting but I am.


December 12, 2015 at 7:41 am, Sarah said:

I wish I had read this earlier. I have been pushed out of a position that I really like. When my boss and I talked about moving me to another department, she said, all of our clients love me and think I am very smart and easy to work with, but know one in my area likes me. I knew it was getting bad at the office, but I didn’t know it was that bad!


August 01, 2016 at 2:38 pm, Being pushed said:

Yeah, started feeling like my department was expecting me to leave a few months ago. It all started with a few bad personal jokes. When I brought it to management attention was told to take it as a compliment. Then I was given amount of work 1/2 my workload.. In addition only to my failure to be called into the office and embarrassed so the whole office could here. It was not until racial asked started coming up that I realized the didn’t want to proceed with me in the position. I asked for a meeting with my supervise and asked if o want a good fit for then to just tell me and I could move on. Which is if course what she told me.. after I gave me resignation, everything went back to m normal. I only regret not looking for other employment ahead of time..


August 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm, Cindy said:

This also happen in human resources and what’s worse is because the HR people know all the laws, they know right where to step without worrying about reprocussions. It’s very sad because it seems like everyone bands together and you are the odd man or woman out. I realize that most states are at-will states but how about just some decent conmon curtosey? If it’s performance based I understand but sometimes it’s just nothing more that your manage doesn’t like you and wants you out of the way. I wish there was some law that protected employees from that and it was defined very clearly


February 23, 2017 at 1:24 pm, Jennifer said:

Since this happens frequently to me (no, it isn’t my fault and I’m not imagining this.) I will talk of my last position. Well, to put it lightly I was in a small room with three lovely people. (yeah right). One was very berate to me like she had a lot of personel issues and was prejudiced against me. A spit fire person, next a younger gal whom thought she. was. the. [expletive]. Acted like a gang member and a [expletive] no it all. Third was the [expletive] manager. A real gem. Always judging me based on nothing other than her I’ve been here 12 years and her “race card”. STOP HIRING THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE THEY ARE THE CANCER OF YOUR WORKFORCE!!!!!!! Ahhhhhh I’m so tired of it!!!!!!!!!! and yes. I came in everyday, on time and was friendly and happy at the job.


March 11, 2017 at 1:08 am, Deborah said:

why are so many people being pushed out of their jobs these days? It seems like workplaces have babies working there who can’t learn to cooperate or get along with other types of people. I
am having a hard time wrapping my head around the lack of maturity and integrity out there. You should see the people I’ve put up with and still been kind to, and even came to understand their viewpoint, even though they were awful to deal with! Come on people, it’s not that hard to develop your own personality to be more tolerant!


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