by Meridith Levinson

5 Signs an Executive Is About to Get the Ax

Feb 20, 20092 mins

I’m not the only person trying to help people identify their odds of getting laid off. has also put together a list of red flags that indicate an executive’s job may be in jeopardy.

Here are’s five warning signs that a hatchet may soon be landing on your desk, along with a summary of the site’s recommendations on how to address them:

1. You’re being left out of important meetings.

Address the fact that you’re not being invited to important meetings, as your omission may simply be an honest mistake. Explain what insight or important perspective you would bring to the meeting.

2. Your span of control is shrinking.

Be proactive and pick up new responsibilities on your own. Make your presence known by attending voluntary meetings and corporate outings.

3. Your projects are getting cancelled.

Check in with your boss about your company’s priorities and find a new project to work that’s aligned with corporate goals.  

4. You have a new boss.

Make the new boss look good. If you demonstrate to him/her that you’re there to make him/her look good and achieve his/her goals, s/he won’t want to let you go.

5. Red ink is dripping from your company’s financial statements.

Realize you could get laid off no matter what, so start networking, get your résumé in shape and look for a new job.’s list reminds me of an article I wrote waaaay back in 2006, 18 Signs You’re About to Get Fired. A lot of our signs are similar.  If you’re an executive and you do get the boot, you’re at least likely entitled to a cushy separation agreement under the terms of your employment contract. (The rest of us proletariat aren’t so lucky.)

Have you seen other articles, blogs or websites that help people determine their likelihood of getting laid off or that identify warning signs? If so, share them in the comments section. It’d be helpful to get a bunch of these resources together in one place.  Thanks!