Get To Work: With Suzy Welch

Suzy Welch: 5 signs you're about to be fired

Employees don't always realize when they're about to be fired. But according to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, there are several telltale signs that you're going to get the chop.

"Getting fired often comes as a shock and it always hurts," Welch tells CNBC Make It. "But what's really going to hurt is if you look around and you see everyone else knew it was coming, except for you."

CNBC contributor Suzy Welch
CNBC
CNBC contributor Suzy Welch

Here are five signs you should be worried about your employment status:

1. Your boss and coworkers become distant

"You get the feeling you're a dead man walking," Welch says. "Your boss withdraws in little ways, less conversation, less eye contact — same with your coworkers."

Concerned that you're paranoid? According to Welch, "paranoia can just be your gut telling your brain to stop the denial."

2. Your boss begins putting more things in writing

Have you noticed that your boss is emailing you about things you previously would have discussed in person? Welch says you should be on the lookout for written communication about things like expenses, the details of conversations and differences of opinion.

"This is your company documenting, and documenting is never good."

3. Everyone has more work than you

"I hate this one, because it's really a death knell," Welch says. "Everyone has more work than you do."

stressed millennial
Jose Luis Pelaez | Getty Images

If you could leave work early without missing any deadlines, beware. "You are being eased out," Welch says.

4. You're given some sort of test

Perhaps you were given an assignment with way too little time to complete it, or asked to land a client that's totally out of reach.

This is a sign that your company is setting you up to fail, perhaps to add another entry to the list of reasons to fire you. It's a tactic that Welch calls "classic."

5. You think you are irreplaceable

The biggest sign that you're about to be fired, according to the management expert, is that you think you are irreplaceable.

"Companies hate people who feel that way about themselves. It's arrogant," she says.

"And look, no company, and no boss, wants to feel as if an employee is holding them hostage," she says. "It's just human nature."

If you're seeing these warning signs, don't feel helpless — take action. If there's the chance you could salvage your current job, make sure you're submitting the best work possible. At the same time, figure out what your next move is.

Start reaching out to people in your network and ask for advice on how to pursue your next opportunity. Update your resume and your LinkedIn page (on your personal computer, not the one you use at work) and begin searching for new positions.

"If you feel like you can't be fired," Welch says, "guess what? You just might be."

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