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“The Bobs” from Office Space

Have you begun feeling as though someone’s painted a target on your back? Do you break out in a cold sweat when your boss schedules a Friday afternoon meeting with you? Or perhaps you’re just being paranoid… but maybe not??

There are a number of reliable indicators that things have taken a bad turn at work and that you’re on the way out. Take this quick quiz and see if your job is at risk; just add up your point total and check the scoring key:

  1. Does your boss ignore you, act cool toward you, and not invite you to key meetings? Answer Yes: +8 points
  2. If you answered “yes” to #1 and this behavior is a significant change in your boss’s behavior, add 6 points
  3. Has your span of control (# of direct reports, # of departments reporting to you) recently been decreased? Yes: +4 points
  4. No one seems to take your ideas or suggestions seriously. Yes: +2 points
  5. You and your boss seem to have different priorities for the business. Yes: +4 points
  6. You’re on bad terms with any of the following: the boss’s administrative assistant; the head of HR; or the company’s rising star. Yes: +2 points
  7. Your boss seems to be loading you up with assignments, some of which seem unreasonable. Yes: +5 points
  8. Your boss seems to ignore or minimize your accomplishments. Yes: +4 points
  9. You made a huge blunder or mistake – and there wasn’t much of a reaction! Yes: +6 points
  10. Your company was recently sold. Yes: +2 points
  11. You have received an unsatisfactory review in the last 6 months. Yes: +5 points
  12. You’ve come to realize that you’re a bad fit with the company’s culture. Yes: +2 points
  13. Others in the organization seem to leave you out of important meetings. Yes: +4 points
  14. It seems increasingly difficult for you to get support (or budget dollars) for your ideas and initiatives. Yes: +3 points

Analyzing your score: If your point total is —

40 or higher: Immediately call every headhunter you know and check the status of your emergency fund – there’s going to be a change in your life!

28 – 39: You’re at risk. Sharpen your resume and start networking. Do you have a home equity line of credit?

18 – 27: You probably are ok, but a frank discussion with a trusted friend or mentor is in order

12 – 17: You have little to worry about unless you are getting negative/weird vibes from your boss; don’t be complacent!

<12: Congratulations – you may have things you worry about, but getting canned shouldn’t be one of them

Although this quiz is admittedly unscientific, there is no doubt that there are telltale signs when you’re on the way out. If you recognize some of the behaviors and issues mentioned here, you ought to be concerned; a good starting point to fixing your situation if it’s not irretrievably broken would be to refer to the articles mentioned below.

If there are some warning signs but it’s not too late, check out this article from U.S. News & World Report: “Get a Personality and Save Your Job.”

Also, see this recent article from Fortune, “8 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Job.”

Ultimately, being a valuable member of any organization involves fit, enthusiasm, and above all, delivering value.

What will you do today that delivers value to your organization?

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