Are You Being Quietly Fired?

Are You Being Quietly Fired?

You might be getting fired without even knowing it. Here are the signs to look out for!

In a previous article, we discussed how the modern workforce is expressing their discontent with their working conditions by quiet quitting. Quiet quitting means simply doing what is expected from employees instead of being emotionally invested in the jobs and going the extra mile for companies. Now, employers have taken a page from their employees’ books and begun using quiet firing to reduce the number of workers. 

Quiet firing works almost the same as quiet quitting, except managers gradually reduce an employee’s workload, make them do undesirable tasks or cut down their working hours to get them to quit instead of outrightly firing them. Here is a look at some common signs of quiet firing and why managers choose this tactic. 

Signs you are being quietly fired 

You aren’t getting feedback or corrections

When you don’t deliver quality work, one of the first recourses for a manager is to guide you on how you can improve. This would include making you re-check your work, re-do certain parts of the project you were assigned and so on. If you used to get such corrective feedback regularly and have suddenly stopped receiving it, there is a fair chance that you are being quietly fired. 

Your career trajectory isn’t being discussed

Companies that want to keep an employee long-term do so by ensuring they are providing them with room to grow. This could include giving them more professional opportunities (like promotions) or mentoring them. When you are being quietly fired, none of this happens. Instead, you see the opportunities you wanted going to other team members. Those who are being quietly fired might also notice that they are being passed over for promotions or aren’t receiving any raises.

Your efforts to communicate aren’t being reciprocated

Through the course of your job, you would probably raise complaints about any issues that you are facing with your work or something that needs improvement in the company at large. If, instead of hearing you out, your manager avoids meeting with you, it is something to be concerned about. Alternatively, they might hear you out and completely disregard what you said, replying that they don’t have a way to fix it, which is their way of subtly urging you to quit. 

You aren’t in the loop on anything 

If you have worked somewhere long enough, you probably know that certain parts of the year are busier than others. It could be around the end of the year, the end of the financial cycle or something entirely different based on the industry you work in. It is a bad sign to be free of work at such a time of the year. This—coupled with other things like being left out of meetings and social gatherings or the topic quickly changing when you are around—implies that deliberate effort is being made to exclude you from the goings on at the office.

Why do managers quiet fire?

Now that we know what quiet firing looks like, the question is: Why is it even happening? Of course, the biggest reason would be to avoid giving severance pay to the employee. This generally amounts to one or two weeks of paid salary for every year the employee has worked with the company. Another reason could be how nerve-wracking it can be to have the conversation where you fire an employee. Using the quiet firing technique could also just be the result of poor work culture or lack of experience on the manager’s part in getting the best out of the workforce. 

How to deal with quiet firing 

Whatever the reason may be, quiet firing isn’t an ideal situation to be in for the employees. If you resonate with any of the signs mentioned above, there are a few ways to deal with this. 

The first and most straightforward way to go about things would be to talk directly to the manager. In this conversation, you can highlight your achievements and ask for feedback on what you could be doing to improve and get more opportunities. Mention all the times you have felt underappreciated or mistreated—be it through exclusion from office activities or the lack of communication from management. 

Another choice is to do what is being done to you and quietly quit. However, this isn’t the healthiest choice, especially for your career growth in this company and the industry at large. Doing so can also be detrimental to your mental well-being since you wouldn’t be able to get any sort of job satisfaction. So, perhaps the best option would be to quit. If you have tried having a direct conversation with the upper management, and it hasn’t turned out to be fruitful, it’s time to change tact. You should direct your energy towards looking for a company that respects your hard work and dedication. 

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Header image courtesy of Envato.

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