No one's job is easy, even when things are smooth sailing.
But when your job starts to feel more challenging out of the blue, it may be time to sit up and pay close attention. Lynn Taylor, the author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job, told Business Insider that the savviest professionals always keep an eye out for the classic signs that their job is in danger.
If and when you notice red flags popping up, you can attempt to turn the tides before it's too late. That said, it's not always easy for employees to pick up these signs. "What's important is to be alert of situations around the office to ensure the security of your position in the company," Ryan Kahn, a career coach and author of Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad, told Forbes. Here are the most common signs that you could be walking the line between hired and fired.
You've received a poor performance review:
Most people on the job are subject to an annual review, that awkward one-on-one meeting with your boss where they're obligated to offer you constructive criticism. Most bosses won't turn down the opportunity! But if you find yourself leaving the meeting feeling completely slammed with a whole wheelbarrow full of unexpected complaints, it might be time for a reality check. "Critical performance reviews could be a major sign that your job is in jeopardy," Kerr told Business Insider. If this happens to you, it might be a great idea to start looking around for other opportunities before you need to. Meanwhile, try to stay calm and work towards making improvements in the areas that were brought to your attention.
You've been left out of the loop or removed from projects:
When your colleagues are working on new projects, or attending meetings that somehow never made it onto your calendar, you'd better pay more attention to the dynamics. Keeping you out of the loop is often one of the biggest signs that trouble's around the corner. "The more distance, the better--and since they [colleagues] know you'll soon be gone, they want information to stay proprietary," says Taylor.
You sense tension with the boss, or with other employees:
Work environments can feel like families—there's no shortage of competition, camaraderie, and casual banter. Think of what your "baseline" for good relationships with your boss and your colleagues would be. Has that deteriorated into petty digs and heavy sighs? If you feel like your colleagues are doing anything and everything to limit communications around the office—whether personal, or work-related—it might be time to polish up your resume.
Written complaints about your work are piling up:
Too many emails detailing small work issues can add up to a big problem! pngimg.com
Your email has blown up with the strangest things lately: "Hi X, I've noticed that the latest memo you sent out had a couple of mistakes that I thought we had cleared up. Just FYI!" If the FYI's are mounting up in your inbox, your boss and colleagues could be working to build a case against you. Or, not. This isn't a marching order to feel paranoid, but rather to take a serious look at written communications between you and your colleagues that are changing in tenor from easy to terse, with a whole new level of specificity. Also, be mindful of who's being cc:d on these communications. If you notice that supervisors are being brought into the complaint loop, it's important to pay attention.
Request for details about expenses and more job oversight:
Don't get in trouble for slipping your cat food into the petty cash fund! c1.staticflickr.com
Being a bean-counter is one of the worst parts of running a business. Keeping track of every little expense can be tedious, even for the most Type-A organized people. Petty cash privileges are implied in a lot of jobs. If you've been doing a decent job of gathering up your expenses and filing them without getting them bounced back for careful review, that's a sign that you're being trusted to do the right thing. If, however, your boss makes a change in tone and requests receipts and lengthy-explanations for every penny spent, you may be getting a signal that things aren't as copacetic as they used to be. Be sure to keep all of your receipts in case accounting suddenly becomes more intense.
It's important to listen to your intuition. If you begin to have doubts about your standing in the workplace, don't push those feelings aside. Don't panic—but pay attention to warning signs and address them as they arise rather than let them pile up.
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- How to tell you're getting fired from your job - Business Insider ›
- 4 Common Signs You're Getting Fired From Your Job - The Muse ›
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.