Are you being pushed out?

Cut out of meetings and low on projects? Your red stapler might be next.

When fresh higher-ups take over a company, quite often the lower-down employees are fired. But even worse, more are smoked out — slowly nudged down the office plank.

Being pushed out in agonizingly slow motion may be the most dreadful way to get let go, career counselors say. And the way you conquer the terror can determine how fast you rally back.

Careerbuilder.com advisor Michael Erwin says the first thing you need to do is step back and see if you’re really being pushed out:

“When there’s change in an organization, a lot of times your mind will run amuck and you can feel like you’re being pushed out when management is actually just trying to get a hold on everything that’s going on in the company.”

Stay cool, open-minded and ready to subtly prove your worth, he suggests; you may only be suffering from pushed-out paranoia.

“But if they stop giving you projects, stop asking you to come to meetings, stop asking you for input — those are all signs that your position may be eliminated,” he warns.

What friends are for

If you’re being pushed out, find someone to lean on. “You need to assemble a board of advisors,” says executive coach Barbara Frankel. “Ask them for recom-mendations. Focus on your career goal. Ask, ‘What would be the best path going for-ward?’” The way out may be obvious: “If it’s a large enough company, you may be able to just transfer to another department,” she says.


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