Few people like every aspect of their jobs, and it’s highly likely that throughout your career, you’ll be asked to perform tasks and work with people you don’ t like. However, you’re being paid to do a job, and it’s your responsibility (as long as you’re still accepting your salary) to complete the work assigned to you.
Following are 10 of the easiest ways to get fired as well as tips to avoid them. You might not even realize you’re making some of these mistakes, so review your behavior and make sure you’re not providing your boss with reasons to fire you.
1. Not Showing Up
Repeatedly showing up late to work or calling in sick is not acceptable. Your coworkers depend on you to pull your weight, and opting out is not an option. Continually missing work is grounds for termination, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself out of a job if you’re guilty of skipping work too often. The only way to avoid this problem is to get yourself to work each day.
2. Refusing to Do Specific Tasks
Of course, if you’re asked to do something illegal or that is far outside of your job description and area of expertise, you should speak up and discuss it professionally with your boss (no complaining allowed). However, if a task falls within your job function, you have to do it. You’re not allowed to pick and choose which tasks you do. That’s up to your boss and your employer.
3. Refusing to Work with Certain People
Unless you can prove why working with another employee is a danger to you, you can’t pick and choose who you work with. You’ll come across many people that you don’t like throughout your career, but you have to learn to tolerate them and work with them. You’re not being paid to make friends. You’re being paid to perform a role. Your personal preferences shouldn’t get in the way. Speak to your boss and ask for guidance in learning to work with the other person.
4. Publishing Inappropriate Content on Social Media
Even if your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and other social media profiles are private, the content you publish on those sites can be seen by people outside of your personal connections. For example, that tweet you published on your private account can be viewed by the world if it’s retweeted by one of your followers with a public account. Be careful what you say on social media. Avoid complaining about your boss, your company, or your job and never publish proprietary information.
5. Working on Another Job During Work Hours at Your First Job
If you have a night job in addition to your full time day job or you’re starting your own company in your spare time, you should never spend time while you’re at your primary job doing anything related to those other jobs. It’s unethical and grounds for firing. If you need to make phone calls or send emails about your side job, do so during your lunch hour or breaks. Never do it during the time you’re being paid by your primary employer.
6. Making Too Many Personal Calls, Spending Too Much Time Online on Non-Work Related Activities
Your time at your job should be spent working, not making personal calls or browsing the web. Don’t check your Twitter feed or take a quick peak at your Facebook profile. Wait until your lunch hour for any personal activities. Of course, most employers understand that employees need to make occasional personal calls during work hours, such as calling doctors offices. Confirm what you’re allowed to do with your boss. If personal calls are permitted when necessary, don’t take advantage of the policy by abusing it. Limit your personal calls to ones you can only make during work hours. The rest should wait.
Never take anything from your workplace unless you’re given express permission to do so. A box of paper clips might seem small, but taking it home and using it for your personal needs is stealing. If you need equipment or supplies at your home in order to do your job, request permission to have access to those items.
8. Using Company Resources for Personal Reasons
It is not okay to use the company printer to print out your personal correspondence. It’s not okay to bring home disks to load software on your personal computer, and it’s not okay to use company email for personal messages. Get your own printer. Buy your own software, and get a free email account through a provider like Google that you can access via your mobile device during your lunch hour. Never use company property and resources for personal reasons unless you’re given permission to do so.
9. Being Difficult to Work With
Are you difficult to work with? You might be without realizing it. If you come across as highly negative, as a complainer, or as a low performer, your reputation will land you on the metaphorical employee black list. You might not get fired immediately, but you’ll be paving a path to getting fired in the future.
10. Refuse to Work Late or Come in Early
There are times when a project needs to be completed by a specific deadline or an employee calls in sick. When that happens, you might be asked to work late or come in early. If you’re unwilling to be flexible and show that you’re willing to support the company as needed, you can bet your boss won’t be happy. Is this right? Of course not, but it happens. If your employer expects you to work a significant amount of extra hours that you’re unable or unwilling to commit to, you should look for another job. Even though you shouldn’t feel obligated to work these extra hours, the perception of you as not being a team player will put you on the path to a dead end career with the company (and possibly firing). It’s not right, but it’s often the reality. If this culture isn’t right for you, get out now.