Have you suddenly looked up from your desk and noticed that your company changed all of a sudden?

Maybe the office rumour mill is in overdrive, or you are not invited to the meetings where new information is introduced?

Perhaps you have lost passion and drive for your job, and as a result, are turning in less and less work?

These are just some of the clues that you could be heading for redundancy.

In some cases, there are steps you can take to avoid that outcome, but in others, you have no bearing on the eventual outcome, even though it affects you directly. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the things you should watch out for so that you will be prepared if the worst actually happens.

Redundant Red Flags to Watch Out

Red Flags Related to the Company or Industry

As technology advances, the way that companies do business also evolves. If your industry is undergoing massive changes to its standard way of operating, it’s very common for that to affect a company’s employment needs as well.

Things to look out for:

  • Business has dropped. When an industry is dying or becoming less relevant, it will lose customers. Employees are often laid off to save money. Business may also slow down temporarily as a company works to re-launch itself in a new way.
  • A merger is on the horizon. Mergers can be healthy as they allow a business to grow. However, a merger can make your job redundant if the other company has its own employees that do your same job, or if that staff runs their business in a way that doesn’t require your services.
  • The business is being sold. If your business is going to be simply taken over, rather than merged, chances are high that the new company already has the staff they need and plans to change the fundamental way the business is run. You may not be out of a job, but you will likely need to re-interview to keep your position.
  • The company moves offices. Companies don’t like to up and move their operations unless there is a compelling reason, whether something is lacking in the current space or there are better opportunities to be had elsewhere. Because moving offices is a big deal, it is also often coupled with staffing changes or other shifts that may make your job redundant.

What to do:

  • Look for ways to stay relevant and contribute to the company’s evolution.
  • Strive to understand and articulate the changing needs of the company/industry.
  • Demonstrate your willingness to be flexible.

Red Flags Related to You or Your Role

Whether or not you have slipped in your performance lately, you may find increased scrutiny on your performance when a company is deciding whether or not to make your job redundant.

Things to look out for:

  • You are out of the loop. If you have started missing meetings that you feel directly concern your position, it could be a sign that the company is preparing to carry on without you.
  • Increased supervision. Trusted and valued workers are often given plenty of freedom to handle their job day-to-day. If management is suddenly breathing down your neck, they may be losing faith in your performance or are looking to see if what you do is truly vital.
  • You have lost your passion. It’s totally normal for everyone to have days or weeks where they just don’t feel like being at work. But if this becomes an ongoing experience, take a deeper look at why that might be. Maybe you don’t feel like your work is as valued anymore. Perhaps you’ve lost job responsibilities that you used to have. Whether the source of your discomfort is internal or external, it’s a sign that something needs to change in order to keep you relevant at work.

What to do:

  • Ask if there are new responsibilities you could tackle for your employer.
  • Look into continuing education courses that might keep you more relevant.
  • Offer an innovative solution to a known problem at the company.

If the signs all point to your job becoming redundant and there’s nothing you can do, it’s smart to get prepared by asking HR for a copy of your employment records, including performance reviews, letters of recommendation, and any warnings received. Start thinking about potential references to support your next job, and ask for personal contact details of co-workers who could help you network even when you don’t work together anymore.