In the high-stakes world of high tech, a subtle look can be enough to know it’s time to jump ship to a new gig

10 signs layoffs are coming for your job next
The signs are usually hiding in plain sight. Your boss doesn’t give you the time of day anymore. Large groups of people go out for lunch — then never come back. The company stock takes a nosedive.

When these things start to happen, it may be time to grab a life jacket and head for the nearest escape raft. Yes, the boat is sinking and about to take you with it.

Don’t go down with the ship. Downsizing and layoffs aren’t a laughing matter for those who suddenly find themselves without a paycheck. But many companies have become a parody of themselves in how they handle such monumental changes. That’s why we decided to have a little fun at their expense. Hopefully if you’ve experienced a layoff yourself, this will give you a laugh, too.

Here’s our take on the signs you should watch out for. If nothing else, you may know what the problem is if your email suddenly doesn’t work.

Co-workers simply … disappear
Weren’t Devin and Susie simply making a run for the nearby food truck? That’s what you thought — but that was Tuesday. Today is Friday. Yes, right before the layoffs begin, you might notice a slow drip of people who peace out for good. Usually it means that something is up, and for some reason others are privy to the details. Time to ask around and find out if you should be the next one to check out one of the mysterious taco trucks.

Big company meeting, little advance notice
The dreaded all-hands meeting — as you might have guessed, a lot of things that aren’t all that good come from it. It could be a new product rollout. Or it could be the word you haven’t been waiting for: you and your colleagues don’t work there anymore. If you get an invite to an “all hands on deck” meeting, maybe you want to have one foot out the door just in case.

The company bus careers right by
You show up to work as normal, coffee in hand and ready to get some work done on the company bus. You see it coming. You make sure your bag is adjusted, laptop in hand.

Then, there it goes. Yes, the company bus has blown by you. Sure, this scenario may be a little far- fetched, but with the way that some companies treat those whom they unceremoniously dump, is it really so unlikely? It might be worth taking the train or walking to the office the next few days if there are any signs of this unsavory behavior.

You start getting strange looks
Maybe you’ve noticed something different about the way your boss looks at you. Their eyes tend to glance off into another direction. You approach him or her with a question, and instead of answering, they suddenly have a phone call or a meeting to run off to. You’re getting the cold shoulder. Was it something you said? A reflection on your performance? Nope, it’s the look of someone who knows too much.

That (dreaded) meeting is cancelled
You likely aren’t thrilled by the weekly calendar invite to the team planning meeting. Before you rejoice that you’ve avoided the most boring part of your week, consider another scenario: It’s cancelled because there’s no one to attend. Companies tend to slack off right before a major cull, so be wary if your schedule suddenly frees up because all those riveting meetings are canceled.

The mood swings low, low, low
Company morale often ebbs and flows. But you may want to pay particular attention to things if there’s a longer, widespread depression spell. You know the feeling — everyone looks around like they’re an extra in “The Walking Dead.” No one chats around their desks or the time-honored water cooler. If you see such symptoms, ask around and see if there’s more to it. This way you don’t have to show up one day to an empty office.

Suspicious training assignment
It may sound innocent enough. A fresh face arrives in the office, and you’re assigned to show them how things work. All goes well until you realize they have the same title and responsibilities as you. Yep, you’re training your replacement. It happens, so be a bit wary about that next eager hire who gets a little too comfy at your desk.

Merger talk
It’s often best to avoid rumors, but sometimes you have to pay attention so that you aren’t left out of the loop when it comes to a potential merger. Yes, usually before a company is acquired by another there is some type of scuttlebut that leaks out. Listen to those who engage in such nefarious talk or implore you to keep information on the down low. This may be your tip that it’s time to dust off the résumé and hit the pavement for a new gig.

Your company’s stock price upends
If you work at a publicly traded company, keeping investors happy is a major part of success. Investors are like your mama: If she’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy. Just like what happened with Twitter, when the stock tanks and numbers (in this case user growth) aren’t good, then get ready to see fewer co-workers around. If things are heading south, perhaps you should be heading out.

The box of shame
Most businesses love Dropbox. It holds onto what you want and is easy to use. Unfortunately, there’s another beloved storage tool that fits the bill: a cardboard box. If you see such a contraption on your desk, you’re probably about to be sent packing. Gathering your stuff and heading out the door is the office equivalent of the walk of shame. The best you can do is to get through it. But at least you’ll have a new toy for your cat.

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