Make this Mistake and You’re Fired!


Most managers are fairly understanding when their employees make mistakes.  The key is to admit to them and to learn from them.  However, there is one mistake that few managers will overlook; dishonesty.  This includes lying, falsifying documentsand stealing. Of all the mistakes you can make at work, this is the one that will end your career:

Someone will find out.  Even if you feel like your small indiscretion is a one time event, it often doesn’t play out that way.  Once you make the decision to do something ‘off the books’, it becomes far too easy to do it again.  It doesn’t take long for it to become a part of your day to day routine.  You may not get caught today or even tomorrow, but sooner or later, someone will figure it out.

You will lose your job.  Most employers handle dishonesty with quick dismissal and they are completely within their rights to terminate your employment.  Few employers will be willing to give you a second chance if they believe that you are lacking integrity.

You will lose the reference.  The implications of this mistake can go far beyond losing your job.  If you are terminated for theft or for falsifying documents, your employer would not be able to provide you with a reference for future employment.  This could make it difficult for you to find a job.

The sad reality is that we can’t change the past.  If you have made a big mistake at work, you have to do your best to move on.  If this mistake caused you to lose your job then you need to find a way to explain it to potential employers.  It may take some time, but you can rebuild your credibility.

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Sira Anamwong at