The old cliché about rats leaving a sinking ship isn't flattering, but it does have a ring of truth in the working world: If you can see that your company's on its way to financial ruin -- or worse -- it's probably a good time to find a new job.
There are many reasons why companies fail. Some may simply be in declining markets and are outpaced by their competitors as the customer base shrinks. Others fail because leaders make poor decisions or simply don't understand how the market shifts around them. In extreme cases, a leader's fraud or illegal actions could put a business at risk, with lower-level employees paying a price as the business fails.
Thankfully, all of these situations are easier to spot from inside the company than outside. If you see something happening in your workplace -- a large number of layoffs, perhaps, or consistently poor quarterly sales figures -- ask questions among trusted sources in the company. Together, you and your allies may be able to identify a major problem before the company's leadership admits to it. In a best-case scenario, you may be able to offer a solution that keeps the company afloat and boosts your status among your superiors. At the other end of the spectrum, however, this kind of insight could alert you to major problems that may occur in the near future. This gives you time to act, so you're ahead of the game if your company suddenly goes under.