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7 Signs Your Job May Be In Danger

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While some signs of job troubles are fairly obvious (you’re called in for an impromptu review that doesn’t go well, or you’re given a verbal or written warning), there are others that might go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Of course picking up on the subtle clues that your higher-ups are less than satisfied with your work can mean the difference between fixing the mistakes in time and starting a brand new job search.

We checked in with some experts for what they would consider are the subtle signs that someone should be wary of how their job performance is going — and perhaps start making some moves to up their game.

Sign 1: Your boss has to verbally ask for your input

Why it could be a bad sign: To the untrained eye, your boss valuing your input is a good thing — and it is a good thing! — but she shouldn’t have to ask for it. “If you like to sit on the peripheral chairs in meetings and do not often speak up, and if your colleagues or boss subtly nudge you to sit in the so-called central chair or if people are often asking you for your opinion in meetings, it may be time to step up your game,” says Gia Ganesh, a career coach and founder of GiaGanesh.com. Instead of forcing your boss to wonder if you have the potential to say and contribute more, prove it by impressing her with you know-how before she even has to ask.

Sign 2: Your boss has changed the way she treats you socially

Why it could be a bad sign: It’s an obvious bad sign if you’re suddenly looked over for new projects, clients or tasks that in the past you would have always been considered to take the lead on, but it’s also important to pay attention to the way your boss and key co-workers are treating you in general. If they’re not being as social, friendly or cordial as they have been in the past, it may be time to make some changes. “If your boss avoids having meaningful conversations with you about the status of your projects or quality of work, or even to engage in what had been in the past light social discussions, these are signs,” says Fred R. Cooper, founder/managing partner of Compass HR Consulting, LLC. If you find yourself dealing with this type of situation, having a frank, potentially uncomfortable conversation with your supervisor may help salvage your relationships, as well as provide a blueprint for future success and a road map for expectations on both sides moving forward.

Sign 3: You suddenly find yourself being micromanaged

Why it could be a bad sign: Generally it’s a good sign when your boss has enough confidence in your skills to allow you to handle your own projects and deadlines without any additional help. “If your boss is micromanaging you with frequent meetings and overly-detailed comments on your work, it could mean that he or she doesn’t trust you to operate independently,” says Sam McIntire, founder of online learning platform Deskbright. If this happens, McIntire suggests having a transparent conversation with your manager about what aspects of your work you can improve, and what skills and output you need to demonstrate in order to earn autonomy and self-direction. “Your goal should be for your manager to delegate tasks to you and trust that you’ll competently execute them with minimal direction.”

Sign 4: Your boss is unaware of some of your talents

Why it could be a bad sign: If you’ve taken certain courses or classes or had particular experience in a past job that would really come in handy in your current gig, you need to speak up about that. “If you hear from your boss, ‘I had no idea that you did that or know that,’ in reference to some professional work, skill, talent or knowledge, it means you are not tooting your horn enough and it may be another sign to step up your career game,” says Ganesh.

Sign 5: You can’t remember the last time your boss came to you with a time-sensitive issue

Why it could be a bad sign: When there is an urgent, fire-drill type of task that needs doing, does your boss come to you to complete it? If not, it could be that he doesn’t consider you a go-to person. “Ultimately, being an action-oriented problem solver and leader is what is most likely to move your career forward,” says Mike McRitchie, a career and small business strategist. So the next time you see your boss struggling to get something done on a tight deadline, offer to take on the task, or at least check in to see how you can help out — then make your work really stand out.

Sign 6: Your boss has no idea what you’re working on

Why it could be a bad sign: While a little autonomy is a good thing, it’s still essential that your boss knows and understands the value you deliver to the office every single day. “Being a silent giant is not a good place to be,” says Kristi Daniels, an executive career coach and founder of Thrive 9 to 5, LLC. “Even if they’re focused on other priorities, make sure your manager knows your contribution to the team and the organization.”

Sign 7: Your boss or manager describes you in terms that don’t align with how you see yourself

Why it could be a bad sign: Obviously one of the more important aspects of your job is that both you and your boss agree on what your objectives and goals are within your position — if you don’t, that is a problem. “If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will,” Daniels said. “You need to actively demonstrate and share your skills, passions and what you have to offer. You teach others how to talk about you.”

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Cheryl Lock
Cheryl Lock |

Cheryl Lock is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Cheryl at [email protected]

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Here’s Why Single Women Are Buying More Homes Than Single Men

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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Right after she turned 30, public relations pro Wendy Hsiao put in an offer on a cute brick townhouse in Atlanta. “For a lot of my friends, being an adult started either when you got married or had a baby,” she said. “I chose to buy a house.”

Why did she buy? She felt ready for a major life change, considered buying to be a smart financial decision and wanted a yard for her Pomeranian named Georgia. “I felt like it was time to make a place my home,” Hsiao said.

Her story is one example of a growing trend: the rise of single female homeownership. Single women are far more likely to become homeowners than single men, according to a study on singles owning homes by LendingTree, which owns MagnifyMoney. In fact, single women own 22% of homes on average, while single men own less than 13%.

This “gender gap” stems partly from the fact that single women prioritize homeownership when setting life goals. In fact, 73% of single women list owning a home as a top priority compared with 65% of single men, according to the 2018 Homebuyer Insights Report from Bank of America.

Single women are “skipping the spouse and buying the house,” according to the Bank of America report, which found that single women rank homeownership as a goal above getting married (41%) and having children (31%).

From homemaker to homeowner

While there’s still work to be done, women have taken huge steps toward professional and financial independence. Homeownership in particular contributes to economic stability, so it’s great that more single women are buying homes. There’s no doubt the increase in the number of women in the U.S. workforce, a figure that has more than doubled since 1975, has contributed to the trend. Here are some other driving forces behind the rise of single female homeownership:

Homeownership empowers women. Homeownership offers a place to live, stability and a way to build wealth, so it’s no surprise women view owning a home as empowering. In fact, 31% of single women (vs. 23% of single men) feel empowered when thinking about buying their first home. A licensed real estate agent in Chicago, Martina Smith bought a condo in her dream neighborhood of Streeterville after she broke off an engagement a few years ago. Her budget only allowed her to buy a “fixer-upper,” but she got a great deal and renovated her place. “It’s been very rewarding and empowering,” she said. And she thinks it reflects a bigger national trend. “We’re seeing more women taking charge,” Smith said.

Women are becoming more educated. Over the past few decades, women have become more educated than men. In 2017, 38% of women and 33% of men ages 25 to 64 had a bachelor’s degree. In that age group, 14% of women and 12% of men had an advanced degree. And women are putting off marriage to pursue that education, according to the 2018 Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem report. Educational attainment has a positive impact on homeownership rates.

Women are done waiting to marry. There’s been a cultural shift where women no longer feel they need to wait until they pair up to embark on certain aspects of “adulting,” said Kelley Long, a CPA and certified financial planner with Financial Finesse. “I will never forget a friend’s dad chastising me for doing ‘nesting’ things like buying nice furniture before I was married because of his perception that you just don’t do things like that until you’re married,” Long said, adding that women are “rejecting that idea because it’s not true.” If you want to marry in the future, the right partner will likely be impressed that you were financially secure enough to buy a home on your own, she said.

Single moms want a home base to raise kids. “Oftentimes, when people buy homes it’s for lifestyles reasons,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist for LendingTree. Getting married is one big reason, but having children is the other, he said. About 21% of U.S. kids live with single moms, a number that has almost doubled since 1968. In contrast, just 4% of kids live with single dads. “Children prompt people to buy homes,” he said. “So that might be one of the factors at play.” And it’s not just kids. As many as eight in 10 caregivers for elderly parents are women. The median age of a single female buyer is mid-50s, points out Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for the National Association of REALTORS. A single female homebuyer “may be coming from a past relationship and purchasing a new home for herself, her children and her parents,” Lautz said, adding that single females are “willing to make sacrifices” to purchase a home.

So what does the future hold for single women owning homes? If marriage rates among all U.S. adults continue to drop, it’s likely the number of single women purchasing homes will rise even more, Lautz said.

Turn your homeownership dreams into reality

Strict lending standards can make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage on a single income. Considering women also only make 80% of what their male colleagues earn, getting to a financially secure enough position to afford homeownership may feel daunting. Here are three tips for single women looking to buy a home of their own:

  1. Prep your finances for homebuying. It’s important to check your credit and your debt-to-income ratio before you start the homebuying process. If you spot problems, work on increasing your credit score and paying down your debt before you try to get preapproved for a mortgage. Getting the best possible rate can save you money over the life of the loan, which is especially important when your household depends on a single income. The upside is that single women have complete control and don’t need to worry about anyone else’s shaky credit or loads of debt. “If you’re in a couple, somebody is going to be dragging the other person down,” Kapfidze said.
  2. Build your nest egg before you buy. Forty-eight percent of women say they haven’t purchased a home yet because they haven’t saved enough for a down payment. But that’s not the only savings barrier to breach before taking the leap into homeownership. “Make sure you have a robust emergency fund,” Kapfidze said. Because single homeowners are on their own, they should set aside at least three months of mortgage payments as part of their emergency fund, Kapfidze suggested. “If you’re single, you’re the only one with income coming in to pay the mortgage,” he said.
  3. Pick a home that comes in under budget. Single women have lower household incomes than single men, so they may need to consider buying a smaller home, taking on a house that needs some work or settling in a lower priced neighborhood. The good news is that single women may be doing exactly that. In fact, the average home purchased by a single woman cost $173,000 compared with over $190,000 for a single man. Single women “may need to make price concessions when purchasing to find a home for themselves and their families,” Lautz said. And buying less house than you can afford can help you make your mortgage payment more easily if you hit financial hard times in the future.

Finally, it’s normal to feel stressed when you think of buying a home. In fact, more women (40%) than men (30%) feel overwhelmed by the idea of homeownership. But even though the homebuying process was scary, Hsiao said she has zero regret about buying a home of her own: “If you love the house, it’s 100% worth it.”

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Allie Johnson
Allie Johnson |

Allie Johnson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Allie here

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