While it’s true that sometimes someone is fired out of the blue, with no signs at all that it was coming, more often than not there are signs ahead of time … but the person either misses them or deliberately ignores them. In fact, even when people are explicitly warned that they could lose their job if X doesn’t change (a warning that good managers will/should nearly always give), they’re still often taken aback when it happens.
Burying your head in the sand and blocking out messages that your job is in danger is the worst thing you can do in this situation, because it will deny you the opportunity to face the situation head-on, whether that means trying to fix the problems and/or starting to looking for other jobs.
Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I talk about five signs that your job is in danger. You can read it here.