Company Stability in an Uncertain Job Market

I received an interesting question from All Experts (I answer questions about job challenges on their site) that is a good one to share. Often times the questions are very specific, but this one has come up a few times from different readers.

Subject: changing jobs


Hi Janet,

I am 52 yrs young and I am thinking about changing jobs to get closer to home. I am concerned about the “last hired, first fired” idea. What kinds of questions should I ask a potential employer to make sure they won’t be letting people go after I start working or that the business isn’t headed toward going out of business?

Thank you,



You are right to be concerned, especially at 52 where ageism starts creeping into the job market. You can’t really come right out and ask a potential employer what their hiring/firing practices are as that would raise a flag for them, however, there is nothing wrong with digging a bit into the stability of the company, it’s 1 year and 5 year plan, and the general health of the business.

That way, you are asking about the business objectives and strategies and not specifically about your concerns for your own job stability.

Note: Make sure to do your own research on any company you apply to. You can use resources like , ,,, and sometimes as a start.

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