Redundancy is when your role at work is no longer needed. This can be because of changes in technology, ownership, or direction at the workplace. When this becomes the case, all or some members of staff may get laid off.
Gone are the days when redundancy was associated with job security and good pay. Redundancy is now a fact of life for many people, especially in tough economic times, but it doesn't have to be negative. In fact, it can be positive if you think about it as an opportunity for change, building on your skills and even furthering your career.
Even then, job security is still a big factor in overall satisfaction at work. When you feel secure in your role, it's easier to be happy and motivated. If you're worried about a potential redundancy, however, there may be some signs that your job is at risk.
Here are some indicators that your job might be at risk of redundancy
1. Significant decrease in your workload without any notice
You will know it is time to leave your job when your workload decreases. But that's not the only thing to look for. You must also see the decrease in your workload as a sign of something permanent. It may be that there is less work available because of a short-term change (a client has left, or the company needs to save money). If that's the case, you want to know about it. If it's not, you want to leave so you can start working on something more important.
Sometimes decreases in workload are subtle and hard to notice. If you work on a team with other people and they're all assigned more work while you are assigned less, you should be looking for a new job.
2. You have been overlooked for a promotion (especially if you feel that this is based on discrimination)
Picture this: You have been with the company for some time, and have summarized your achievements to date. You feel that you have more potential than your current role allows, and should be rewarded with a promotion, but the promotion never suffices.
Your role has expanded over time, but you feel it is still not commensurate with the experience you bring to the job. You want to move up in the company, and take on new challenges. You feel there is more scope for development outside your department, and want to see what opportunities there are elsewhere within the business. You are keen to broaden your skill-set and contribute to the success of other teams as well as your own, but despite feeling like this, you never seem to get that promotion. This could be a sign to look for greener pastures elsewhere.
3. When you are kept out of the loop
Sometimes it is possible to be made redundant even before the official announcement is made, especially when you experience the following.
The company stops inviting you to important meetings. Your name disappears from internal documents that used to include it. You stop receiving certain emails. You stop getting invites to company social events. Your colleagues avoid you in the office or at lunch. You don't get a response when you try to contact others in the business. If this is your case, then chances are you should start looking for potential employers.
4. When the company is restructuring and people might be let go
When you hear that your company is going through financial difficulties or reorganizing its structure, this could be a redundancy sign. When you hear that a new manager has been appointed and the old manager is leaving, this is a redundancy sign.
If your company has moved premises recently or is planning to move premises in the near future, watch out for signs that the new premises are smaller than those previously occupied by the business. A reduction in office space may signal to downsize.
If you notice that staff turnover has increased within the business, you should try to find out why this might be happening. Has anyone left voluntarily? Have any employees been made redundant? If there are no obvious reasons for staff departure, it could indicate a lack of job security within the business.
5. Poor feedback and reviews
Employees have a right to expect constructive feedback from their employers. If there is none, this may be a sign that the company is in decline. If you've been given negative feedback or have received a poor review, discuss the reasons with your manager. Ask if there is anything that can be done to help improve your work or performance. But if there's no improvement, think about how long you want to stay in that job.
When rumors of redundancies are circulating, it is time to prepare mentally for redundancy. It may happen suddenly, but often there are warning signs before it happens. To prepare mentally, think about how you will manage if you lose your job. Acknowledge that you may feel angry or depressed if you lose your job, but do not let these feelings overwhelm you or stop you from taking action to prepare for the possibility of redundancy. Acknowledge that it will be difficult for you to get another job, but do not let these thoughts prevent you from taking action to find that other job.