In today's uncertain and, well, terrifying economic climate, it's good to think ahead. While we don't want to alarm you, basically your company could go broke at any second and you'll be out on the street. Even worse, it's in their best interest to keep it from you until the very last moment. All you have are the emails that arrive in your inbox, the high-level assistant who loves to gossip and your nose for bullshit.
Here are six warning signs that you might just be on a sinking ship.
6Sudden Company-Wide "Status" Meetings
The Email You'll Get:
"Our Founder and CEO of DoomedCorp would like to bring the DoomedCorp family together to talk about our future. Attendance required."
What's Actually Going On:
No one likes meetings, but they beat the alternative of, you know, working. Unless they're not watching your Internet usage in which case the meeting is just a rude interruption in your porn stream.
Every few months you probably have big meetings where the CEO talks about how bright the company's future is, if we all just work a little harder and keep our eyes on the prize, etc.
But the meeting to get worried about is the sudden, unscheduled, company-wide meeting. There's a good chance they are trying to get ahead of bad news, breaking it to you before you read about it in the papers. Or hear that guy on CNBC screaming about it.
These meetings are all about damage control. Keep an ear open for vagueness ("We here at DoomedCorp are facing some tough times, but I promise you, we'll forge ahead with determination!") and spin ("It seems dark now, but I assure you, there is a new dawn breaking.") It'll probably close with the CEO making a promise to stay with the company as long as it takes.
Time to Go:
Look for more meetings, with increasing frequency, as more bad news rolls in. The company is trying to get ahead of the office grapevine, suppressing rumors so you won't get nervous and quit, hoping you'll stay the course right up until you arrive to find a security guard standing next to a cardboard box filled with the stuff from your cubicle.
Of course, there's also the worst case scenario, which is when the sudden company-wide meeting is held after the bad news hits, because the news was so bad the company couldn't bring itself to say it to your face (like having it turn out the higher ups were robbing the company blind). So we guess another warning sign is if the CEO's speech is interrupted by the cops dragging him out the door.