Nobody starts a new job hoping to be fired. The most important thing, of course, is to do good work without making trouble—but there are lots of factors that can make or break your success. Here are ten of the most common missteps that get people fired:
Lying on your job application. Many people inflate their qualifications a bit on job applications, and the usual assumption is that once you get the job, all that matters is how well you perform. But most companies now have a zero tolerance policy for dishonest applications, and discovery of a false statement is enough to get you fired even if you’re doing a great job. And if there are inconsistencies between what you’ve said you can do and your performance on the job—for example, if you’re struggling with a piece of software or equipment you’ve said you know how to use—your entire application may get a second, closer look.
Disrespecting leadership. If you disrespect those in charge, you shouldn’t be surprised if they ask you to leave. The attitude you bring to the workplace, the respect you give, and your happiness in your work are largely your choice, so choose wisely.
Slacking off on the job. No one wants a slacker on their team or in their company. If you’re not making the effort and maintaining a strong work ethic, there’s a good chance that you won’t be around long. Make sure you behave today in ways that your future self will thank you for.
Not being a team player. To do most jobs effectively requires the cooperation, support and goodwill of those around you. Becoming detached from those you work with could get you replaced with someone who can work well with others. Whatever your personal feelings about people, make it a point to build and maintain good working relationships with everyone on your team.
Keeping toxic company. If you spend most of your time with complainers, gossipers and grumblers, you’re casting yourself in a bad light. Even if you aren’t engaging in the complaints and gossip, you will be judged by the company you keep. If you associate with toxic people, you’ll quickly be considered toxic yourself.
Leading from your ego. A healthy ego is a good thing to have, but that doesn’t mean insisting that you’re always right or that your way is the only way to get something done. An ego that gets in the way of efficiency and teamwork can earn you an invitation to leave.
Taking credit for other people’s work. if you are someone who never presents an original thought at work but takes credit for other people’s accomplishments, you will likely find yourself out the door. Even if you get away with it for the moment, you can’t build success by taking credit for what others have done.
Not taking responsibility. When you make a mistake, admit it right away. The truth will almost always come out in time, and failing to hold yourself accountable just brings additional negative attention. And if you compound the problem by trying to blame your error on technology, a time crunch or the actions of others, you’ll almost certainly be seen as someone the organization would be better off without.
Drinking on the job. One of the quickest ways to be shown the door is to drink on the job. Know your organization’s rules and expectations. Having a drink at dinner with a client is one thing, but pulling out a bottle from your desk drawer or having beers for lunch is another. Being a productive member of a team requires focus and sobriety.
Indiscreet job hunting. If you’re looking for a new job, don’t send your resume from your work computer or use the office printer and paper. Emails are often monitored, and using company resources for your job hunt (or any personal business) is a firing offense in many workplaces.
If you’re like most people, you start a new job with the best of intentions. If you think of being fired at all, it’s as something that happens to those who get caught in incompetent or grossly unethical behavior. But if you don’t mind your steps, you may be the one who is asked to go.
Lead from within: To avoid being fired, take complete responsibility about who you are and what you do in the workplace.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.