IT survivor: 8 signs it's time for new employment

Timing is everything when it comes to jumping ship. Here's how to tell if your company's prospects are sinking

If your company is headed for a fall, it's usually better to jump than to be pushed. Don't let yourself be blindsided by quickly dwindling company prospects. These eight signs are surefire indications that it is high time to update your resume and start networking.

Sign No. 1: Closed-door meetings
If all the conference rooms are booked or doors keep closing, the tide may be shifting toward cuts at your organization.

"Pay attention to what your gut is telling you," says John Baschab, senior vice president at Technisource. "A lot of the time it knows what's going on, even if your brain doesn't."

Sign No. 2: Strange faces
If you look around the lunchroom and all you see are strangers, your company may be surreptitiously replacing permanent staff with temps.

Sign No. 3: Bad press
Forget the cliché about there being no so such thing as bad publicity. Bad press is a harbinger of tough times ahead.

Sign No. 4: Back-burner fever
If projects previously billed as vital to the future of the company are being scaled down or put on hold, it's a good sign the future isn't as bright as it once was.

Sign No. 5: Major decisions are delayed
"When decisions that used to take a few days now take one or two weeks, that's a strong sign things are going bad," says Simon Stapleton, a tech careers coach and chief innovation officer at Skandia Investment Solutions.

Sign No. 6: Your boss acts like she owes you money
She may know the ax is going to fall and can't tell you yet. It's usually better to ask if something is up, openly and calmly, says Nicholas Lore, career coach and founder of Rockport Institute.

Sign No. 7: Slashed training budgets
If your organization is no longer planning for the future, it may not have one.

Sign No. 8: Slimmer sales force
If your company is losing big clients or the sales force is being cut, that's a sure clue your employer is taking on water, says Tom Hart, executive vice president at staffing firm Veritude. "You don't want to be the last rat off that ship."

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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