"Is the handwriting is on the wall for you?," asks career counselor David J. Bowman. "Everyone in an executive or administrative position should assess where he or she stands every six months."
Bowman, president of Career Dynamics Group, a career counseling and outplacement firm based in Beverly Hills, has prepared a 18-question quiz that he suggests may provide "a pretty good idea of where you stand with your present employer."
"Even if you received a glowing performance review seven or eight months ago," he says, things change--such as "a new boss who has different standards than your former boss, poor performance by your division or the company overall, the threat or actuality of a company takeover."
So occasionally ask yourself:
1. Are you regularly asked to participate in highly important projects of your group or division?
2. Are your ideas and suggestions well received by your superiors?
3. Are you among the first to hear about important decisions, changes, projects?
4. Have you been included in the administrative planning and/or budgeting processes recently?
5. Are you getting frequent increases in salary and/or other compensation?
6. Do your superiors openly express good opinions of you?
7. Do your superiors react favorably to your friendly overtures?
8. Do your peers respond positively to your requests for action?
9. Do your peers applaud (rather than resent) your accomplishments?
10. Does your boss support you and call others' attention to your skills and accomplishments?
11. Have you been given more responsibility recently?
12. Is your boss comfortable with you as a subordinate (as opposed to being threatened by you)?
13. Does your boss credit you publicly for your accomplishments (as opposed to taking credit for them)?
14. Does the frequency of your promotions compare favorably with that of your peers?
15. Do you have a mentor in the company--i.e., a higher-ranking person who voluntarily serves as your coach and supporter?
16. Is your company supportive in personal matters, such as illness, family problems and child care?
17. Is your title one that indicates you are on the "fast track" within the company?
18. Does your office compare favorably with those of your peers in its location and appointments (carpeting, furniture, art)?
Give yourself one point for every "yes" answer. If you score 15 or better, you're probably secure in your job, says Bowman. If you wind up with less than 15 but more than 10 points, you'd better watch your Ps and Qs, he said, and if you have 10 or fewer points, "chances are the skids are being greased for your exit; you'd better leave while it's still your idea."