Are You Doing Something that Will Get You Fired?

Do you feel confident in your job?  Do you believe that it is almost impossible for your employer to terminate you unless you steal from the company, or punch out your boss?  While they cannot fire you on a whim, if you give your employer cause to let you go, they may take the opportunity.  Here are some reasons that the employer could have for terminating your employment:

Insubordination.  Has your manager ever asked you to do something that you did not want to do?  Have you ever fantasized about saying no to a manager’s request?  Failing to obey orders is called insubordination and is grounds for dismissal. 

Dishonesty/Falsifying documents.  Have you ever changed the date on a document, or altered numbers on a report to make them look better?  Falsifying documents in any way can give the employer cause to terminate your employment.  Even if it seems like everyone is doing it, and that the employer looks the other way, if the discrepancy is discovered, nobody will defend you. 

Absenteeism, job abandonment, chronic lateness. Are you often five or ten minutes late?  Do you regularly miss days?  Have you ever missed a day without calling in?  The employer can let you go for any of these attendance issues. 

Misuse of office computer/theft of time/ theft of supplies.  Do you use company time to check your e-mail, pay your bills, or plan your wedding?  Do you use the office supply closet as your own private stash?  While it may seem insignificant, it is a misuse of company resources and could get you fired.

Workplace harassment.  Even though you thought the joke was funny, it may be offensive to some of your coworkers.  Some jokes are considered harassment and can send you out the door as fast as you can get to the punchline.

Abuse of company policies.  If your company offers a benefit, such as an employee discount, and you offer the discount to your friend, you could be fired.  This behaviour actually constitutes theft.

Lying on your resume.  If you lie on your resume, your employer has the right to terminate your employment at any time.  You could be working at the organization for twelve years, and suddenly be let go.  This would leave you in a very difficult position, because you would not have a reference for the last twelve years.  Think carefully before you misrepresent yourself on a resume.  It’s not worth the risk.

Social networking gaffes.  Posting inappropriate information on your public social networking sites is the most modern way to get fired.  You could post a status update saying negative things about your coworkers or your manager, or you could even divulge confidential information about your company.  Social networking gaffes can get you fired without you even having to leave your computer.

Don’t get along with your coworkers.  If you bring drama into your organization, you decrease your value as an employee significantly.  The last thing that an employer wants in their organization is someone who causes conflict.  If you are regularly involved in workplace conflicts, your employer may decide that you aren’t worth the trouble.

We all make mistakes, and often your employer will overlook your small errors in judgment.  However, problems ensue when you don’t realize that your behaviour has crossed a line.  When we are comfortable in a job, we may behave inappropriately without really thinking about it.  However, it is essential to stay vigilant and to think about what you are doing.  If you don’t, you may suddenly find yourself out of a job!

(Written by Karen Bivand)

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