NEW YORK (MainStreet) Blackberry. Nokia. Bear Stearns. Three poster boys for businesses that, once high flyers, imploded - and often it is the employees who pay the price as they are belched out of a dying corporate carcass into long unemployment lines.
The question is plain: are you working in a company that is heading to the graveyard?
Big companies spectacularly die; little companies by the tens of thousands fade away. But know that all of them displayed telltale signs of impending failure. Savvy workers often see those signs early and they bail them out.
Name that the first sign a company is heading into a deadend: When the best and brightest workers, the ones plainly tabbed for fast-track promotion, abruptly turn in their resignations and head off to new jobs elsewhere - well, it's time to polish that LinkedIn profile. There just is no louder warning bell.
But there are plenty of other signals workers need to stay alert to if they don't want to drown on a sinking ship.
* The pay raises have stopped: Angie Segal, from ActionCOACH, said that a sure sign of a dying company is when "it has been more than a year since the last raises were given." Generally a company stops giving raises at the first sign of trouble, and if it isn't able to re-institute those raises, nothing has changed to turn it around. Note: make sure this isn't just your problem. It's when everybody's pay is frozen that the company is on life support. If only your pay is frozen, it's definitely time to leave but for wholly different reasons.* Stagnation rules: David Lewis, CEO of HR consulting firm OperationsInc, said you know a company is in trouble when "your boss has been in that role for X number of years, as has their boss - and so on - and you do not see any place for them to move upward...meaning you are not going anywhere." This means the company hasn't grown in a long time, and that is a warning bell to head to the exits.