There are many reasons why a company might want to get rid of you, even if you're an otherwise solid performer. Maybe your salary is too high, and your firm believes it can replace you with someone who will accept a much lower number. Maybe you've been working at the same place for many years, and the business wants some fresh blood in the mix.
Of course, in such a scenario, your company might lay you off by eliminating your position and redistributing your responsibilities elsewhere. But it might also go about the process more indirectly -- namely, by slowly but surely driving you to quit.
Why might it do that? For one thing, when you resign from a job, you're generally not entitled to severance, which can be a huge money saver for your company. Furthermore, having an employee quit rather than be terminated can sometimes (though not always) put a company at less risk of legal ramifications.
So how do you know if your company is trying to get you to quit? Here are a few telltale signs:
1. Your workload diminishes month after month
If you're used to coming into work each week with a jam-packed schedule and pressing deadlines, a little reprieve might seem like a welcome break at first. But if you come to find that you're being given less and less to do over time, it's probably not that your boss feels bad for you, but rather has been instructed -- or wants -- to drive you to leave.
2. You're taken off long-term projects
Being put on a long-term project can provide a degree of job security. After all, if you're an integral cog in that particular machine, your firm will have a hard time letting you go. So if you're suddenly pulled off the long-term assignments you're working on, consider it a red flag that your company doesn't necessarily want to see you stick around. Furthermore, your manager might indicate that you're being taken off a major project to allow you to focus on near-term needs. That's all fine, but if you're not put back on that project after those tasks are complete, it's probably because your company wants you out.
3. Your meeting schedule is suspiciously light
For many workers, meetings are a part of life. But if you suddenly go from having five or more per week to having one (if you're lucky), it could be that your company no longer wants you in the loop, but wants you out the door.
4. You're no longer sent to conferences and other industry events
Perhaps there was a time you traveled once a quarter to establish relationships with key professionals and learn more about your industry. But if your company is no longer willing to sponsor your participation in those events, it could be because you're no longer wanted. The same holds true if the business won't invest in your success in any form, whether it be training or equipment that will help you do your job better.
5. You've stopped getting raises
If you have a history of getting yearly raises at your company and you're suddenly denied one even though your performance has been solid and the business isn't facing financial difficulties, then it's another clear sign that the powers that be want you to quit. After all, there's perhaps nothing more frustrating or insulting than being denied a salary boost for no good reason.
If you land in the unfortunate situation where your company wants you to quit, you have two choices: Resign and find yourself a better job where you'll be more appreciated, or stick it out and show your company you won't back down. There are pros and cons to either option, but know that if you do choose to resign willingly, you'll forgo the option to collect unemployment. On the other hand, if you stay strong and get your employer to let you go, you'll be eligible for unemployment benefits and quite possibly a severance package to boot. And while that strategy might hurt your pride in some ways, it could end up working out better from a financial standpoint.