What to Do If You See Your Job Advertised Online

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You're looking on Indeed or one of the other job sites, and you see a job posted that sounds exactly like your job. Your first thought is probably going to be, "Why is my position advertised?" Then you might start wondering if you are about to lose your job. First, take a deep breath, then read on to learn what to do if you see your job advertised online.

Job Advertisement Looks Like Your Job

It can be alarming if you notice that your job is being advertised, and it's important to take action to deal with the situation. However, don't immediately assume that you are being replaced.

In some cases, employers will add a job that’s similar or identical to an existing position and have no intention of replacing anyone in that capacity. In other cases, it’ll be obvious that your job is being advertised, as it's a unique position such as the Director of Sales for the Eastern Region.

Determine If Your Job Is Being Advertised

Find out the facts before assuming the worst. Try to figure out what's going on with the company. If you work for a large company, there will obviously be more turnover and more advertised job openings than at a smaller company.

In addition, job listings that are posted on job search sites can remain online after a position is filled, so this could be the case if you haven’t been with the company for very long. To determine if your job is a newly listed, check your company's online career section for current job postings.

If you aren't positive that your job is being advertised, you have two options. You can seek clarification from management or operate as though you are sure that your job is in jeopardy.

But consider the possible consequences of each option. Confronting management could result in an immediate request for you to vacate the premises, and you'll be out of a job sooner rather than later. Or, a discussion with your supervisor might provide an opportunity to discuss issues such as a deal for your continued cooperation in exchange for severance pay, a recommendation, or perhaps even a transfer to another job.

It all depends on what you consider to be worse—the stress from the risk of potentially losing your job right away if you confront your boss or the anguish and worry of waiting to find out.

If you see signs that your employer may be unhappy with your performance, such as reduced responsibilities or negative feedback, a job positing that looks uncomfortably familiar may be an advertisement for your job.

Watch Your Back at Work

Be careful not to slack off at work or display any evidence of a negative attitude. You want to make it harder for your employer to let you go or make do without you. Don't give them an excuse to fire you. If your attitude is positive and your current job is just not a great fit, your employer will be more likely to consider you for an alternate role or at least give you as much time as possible to find a new job before letting you go.

Know Your Legal Rights

You may want to consult with an employment attorney or union representative if you think you have protections available through an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement. However, many employees don't have these protections, as they are hired at will, which means they can be fired at any time without prior notice.

Start a Job Search Right Away

You should immediately spring into job search mode if you aren't sure that your job is safe. This means updating your resume to include the latest information about your current position. Also, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete—including recommendations—and up-to-date. Start to scour job listings and apply for at least seven jobs each week, if possible.

If you are not sure how to begin, review the following tips on how to start a job search:

  • Identify potential companies of interest and look for job postings on their website. Also, send a letter of interest and resume to managers of relevant departments regardless of current job availability.
  • Launch a vigorous networking campaign by reaching out to contacts through your family, friends, and colleagues, college alumni, and members of professional groups to which you belong.
  • Use social media to identify additional prospects such as group members on LinkedIn. Approach as many contacts as possible for informational consultations.
  • Increase your professional activity. Help to organize meetings and conferences, volunteer for committee assignments, and present workshops at professional meetings to raise your visibility.

Conclusion

Total job security is never a guarantee. However, if you feel that your job may be at risk and you notice a job posting that looks like your job, it may be time to start searching for other employment. To alleviate any stress and uncertainty, you may choose to meet with your supervisor to discuss your fears and find out if, in fact, you are being replaced. This knowledge can help you move forward and decide on next steps for your career.