Signs Your Boss Wants to Fire You

fired employee packing his things at office

Have you ever found yourself feeling apprehensive, unable to focus, or anxious about your job? The thought of being fired can be scary for anyone, but especially for business professionals.

However, instead of panicking, it’s essential to stay focused, identify the signs that your boss wants to fire you, and take appropriate action. In this post, we’ll look at the signs that suggest your boss wants to fire you and what you can do to turn things around.

Common Reasons for Being Fired

Employers generally fire employees for poor performance, misconduct, a violation of company policies or rules, or something else that goes against the terms of their employment contract. Depending on how serious the reasons for termination are, employers may go through a process of warnings and other disciplinary action before they reach a decision to terminate someone’s employment. 

The most common reasons for being fired are: 

  • Poor performance.
  • Not meeting deadlines or expectations. 
  • Unprofessional behavior in the workplace.
  • Inappropriate use of technology and social media. 
  • Failing to adhere to company policies/rules, etc. 

If you’re fearful of being fired, be aware of WHY your company might fire you and the common signs that could indicate your boss’s intent.

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Indicator 1: Reduced Responsibilities

One of the first signs that your job might be in jeopardy is if you are suddenly given fewer responsibilities or your duties are being redistributed to other employees. If you find that you’re not as busy as you once were, or your workload seems unusually light, it could be a warning sign that your boss is preparing to let you go.

Actions to Take:

If you notice a reduction in your responsibilities, don’t panic. Instead, initiate a conversation with your boss about the changes in your role. Express your willingness to take on more tasks and demonstrate your commitment to your job. Also, use this opportunity to ask for feedback on your performance. Are there areas where you could improve? Use the feedback to make necessary changes and improve your performance.

Another strategy is to invest time in self-improvement. Upskill yourself and learn new things that can add value to your role. This not only shows your dedication to the job, but also makes you more valuable to the team. 

Remember, clear communication and a proactive approach are key in such situations.

Indicator 2: Exclusion from Meetings

If you start to notice that you are being excluded from meetings that you were previously a part of, or that decisions are being made without your input, this could be another warning sign. Your boss might be trying to lessen your impact on the team or the company before they let you go.

Actions to Take:

If you find yourself being excluded from meetings, it is important to be proactive and take preventive action. Arrange a meeting with your boss to discuss the changes in your role. Ask questions like: “What is my current status in the team?” or “How can I contribute more effectively?”. 

Be willing to accept constructive criticism and take the feedback on board. Show your commitment to the team by suggesting new ideas and solutions, or offering to help with tasks. 

You could also offer to recap the decisions taken in meetings over emails so that everyone is informed about what was discussed. Additionally, you could volunteer for key projects that will demonstrate your commitment and worth as an employee. 

Indicator 3: Negative Performance Reviews

A sudden swing in performance reviews from positive to negative, despite your work standard remaining the same, can be an alarming sign. This could be an attempt to create a paper trail to justify your termination, especially if the negative reviews don’t match up with your perspective of your performance.

Actions to Take:

If you are receiving negative performance reviews, take the time to understand why. Ask for feedback from colleagues and your manager on how you can improve. Use this feedback as an opportunity to work towards improvement and demonstrate your commitment to the company.

It is also important to ensure that you have a record of any positive feedback or achievements received during your time with the company. This will help to demonstrate that the sudden shift in reviews is unwarranted.

Be proactive and discuss these changes with your boss. Ask questions about what you can do to address their concerns, or how you can improve your performance going forward. Above all, maintain a positive attitude as this will be key for staying alert to any signs of job insecurity. 

Indicator 4: Aggressive Behavior from Boss

If your boss’s demeanor towards you changes suddenly, especially if they become more aggressive, dismissive, or critical, it could be a sign that they’re trying to push you to resign. It’s important to maintain your professionalism in these situations and to document any inappropriate behavior.

Actions to Take:

If you are feeling professionally threatened or disrespected by your boss, take steps to protect yourself. Document any instances of aggressive behavior and contact HR if the situation continues. 

It is unlikely that this type of behavior will be tolerated in a professional workplace, so it’s important to ensure that your manager is aware of the standards expected from them. If necessary, talk to a lawyer before taking any further steps.

Be sure to keep your boss informed of your performance and progress towards goals. Make sure to highlight any achievements or successes that you have had in the past, as this could be beneficial in helping them see the value that you are bringing to the company.

Indicator 5: Gossip or Rumors

A change in how your colleagues interact with you, or hearing rumors about your job security, can be disturbing. While gossip isn’t always based on truth, it’s worth paying attention to if you hear your name being mentioned frequently in relation to changes at the company.

Actions to Take:

If you are feeling uncomfortable due to gossip or rumors, it’s important to remain professional and not lash out. Pay attention to any changes in the way your colleagues interact with you and try to be understanding of their perspective.

Find a trustworthy colleague who can provide insights into what is happening with the company, as well as offer advice on how best to navigate the situation. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your boss directly about the rumors or changes you’ve heard. It is important to maintain open communication with them, as they may be able to provide valuable insight into the current state of job security and company culture. Knowing what is going on can help you prepare for any potential changes in the future. 


Job security can be an uncertain thing, especially in times of economic disruption. It’s important to stay alert for potential indicators that could signal a change is on the horizon. 

Pay close attention to changes in salary and benefits, communication from your boss or HR, and gossip or rumors circulating around the office. Taking proactive steps to protect yourself can help you get ahead of any potential job disruptions, keeping your career on track for the long-term.

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