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August 20, 2007


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You get asked to write a "manual" for your job duties.

"You're asked to train a new employee with duties similar to yours." In my opinion, this is especially insidious, because the other reason this can happen is really good for you - your company is growing and your boss thinks you are the best person to train new hires in an expanded department. (It happened to me at my old job.)

But it could also be the only warning sign you get before being fired (which happened to my husband).

In my company it is very simple: two years in a row with "needs improvement" evaluation, and you are on probation. No immediate improvement, you have two months to find another job with the company or you are out (and of course try finding another department with two low evaluations in a row...). "Needs improvement" evaluation is automatically no raise, so the second rule above is met.

This is different from layoffs though. In case of layoffs it is - failed to meet Wall Street expections, company hints on cuts, if your last evaluation was "needs improvement" or if your group doesn't have a well funded project either you (former case) or your whole group (latter) may be cut. Or there could be no warning - everyone is busy but the project is transferred to China. Still, they always give a month or two to look for another job within the company, and if your previous evaluations were OK, there may be a small chance to find one.

You spend most of your work day reading Free Money Finance!

Your boss asks you to give back the key to the executive bathroom

1. Your job seems easy.

Don't stay bored. Write a manual, train someone to replace you, and leave.

Actually, the first thing I did in my current job was write a manual; I've maintained it ever since. I haven't started training my replacement (I'm still finding it challenging), but I've made it clear that as soon as there's more than one person on the team I'm going to train everyone else to be able to replace me.

So far everyone seems happy with me. I have no plans to leave.

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