Watch for Clues You May Be Laid Off

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<p><strong>New York &mdash; June 11</strong><br />In today&rsquo;s highly volatile job market, it makes sense to be aware of signals that might mean you are heading towards a pink-slip said Robert Graber, founder of, an online hiring site.<br /><br />&ldquo;No one is really safe these days from sudden, unannounced job cuts,&rdquo; noted Graber. &ldquo;Firms act quickly to effect cost savings, so layoffs can impact any level of employee.&rdquo; </p><p>Graber has observed several corporate clues that can be &ldquo;fire alarms,&rdquo; and he advised that all employees take particular note of these potential harbingers of trouble:<br /></p><ul><li><strong>Intern invasion:</strong> &ldquo;Are there more low-paid or nonpaid interns at your company this year? They may be there to handle the transition to less full-time employees, and their school schedules allow a company to easily segue to the leaner headcount at the end of the summer,&rdquo; observed Graber.<br />&ldquo;Be especially alert to a situation where none of the interns are related to any employees. A firm will probably not be laying off employees if their sons or daughters are working in the same building, so things may be stable, at least for the summer,&rdquo; he said.</li><li><strong>Consultant creep: </strong>&ldquo;If your company suddenly starts bringing in outsiders to evaluate firm operations, beware,&rdquo; said Graber. &ldquo;These so-called efficiency experts are often the first step towards eliminating jobs.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>HR herding: </strong>&ldquo;If your human resources department is meeting as a group more frequently, during the day or after hours, it might be trouble,&rdquo; warned Graber. &ldquo;This could mean that they are preparing for large-scale cutbacks and need to get the separation strategy and associated materials all in place.&rdquo;</li><li><strong>Minute minding:</strong> &ldquo;Alarm bells should sound if your BlackBerry or iPhone minutes are cut,&rdquo; said Graber. &ldquo;Any move away from long-term contract commitments for communications devices is a real cause for concern.&rdquo;</li></ul><br />&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t panic if you notice just one or two fire alarms,&rdquo; Graber said. &ldquo;But several of these signals should be a wake-up call, at the very least, to be certain that your resume is up-to-date and your network of professional contacts is current.&rdquo;<br />

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