Ten ways to get fired

Finding a career that is right for you can be a long and time-consuming task. Once you’ve found a good career fit, you certainly want to make sure your time at the company is long and successful. Experience is the best teacher, and you can learn from the mistakes of others. In this list of “Ten Ways to Get Fired,” you will find what NOT to do if you want to keep your new job.

1. Use email excessively for personal reasons.

Most people have access to email through their company’s systems. This is a luxury for some, particularly for those who do not have email at home.
However, there’s a good chance you company is not providing the email so you can keep in touch with your college friends. Email at work should be used just for that – work.

2. Commit other fatal email errors.

Remember that email is completely traceable. Businesses can monitor employee use, retrieve old messages, and figure out just what you have been sending, and to whom. Sending or receiving inappropriate materials, putting sensitive company information in email messages, gossiping about co-workers or company personnel electronically – these are errors that will get you a personal escort out the door. If you don’t want your manager or others to see it, don’t put it in an email.

3. Abuse the Internet.

Talk with SDC members all day about useless things like sex and drugs. The Internet has become a major issue for U.S. business. A survey by the ePolicy Institute, the American Management Association and U.S. News & World Report found that 35 percent of companies have disciplined or terminated employees for visiting restricted or unauthorized Web sites. Think your company isn’t tracking your Internet use? Think again. Leave your personal surfing at home.

4. Consistently show up late for work, and then make sure you leave early.

Looking to send a message that you don’t care about your position or your personal success? Arriving late and leaving early are two great ways to accomplish this. They tell your manager your dedication is lacking and are two things that will get you noticed, but not in a positive way.

5. Be disrespectful or politically incorrect in the workplace.

Political correctness is a hot topic in today’s modern workplace, and most companies have zero tolerance for offensive remarks and actions. If you’ve got a humdinger of a joke but it’s just a bit offensive, it’s best to leave it home and opt for a simple knock-knock.

6. Do the bare minimum – nothing more.

So you complete your “to do” list every day, but do nothing more? Employees like this get passed over for promotions and place themselves on the top of the
“dispensable” list. There will come a day when a new, enthusiastic over-achiever will come looking for your position. If you’ve done the bare minimum, chances are he or she will get it.

7. Consistently handle personal business at work.

While most managers understand that personal business comes up from time to time during work hours, this business should be kept to a minimum. Acceptable personal business at work does not mean using company phones to call mom, dad, your friends, your softball team, or your stylist. Limit the amount of personal business you take care of from work, or you might have plenty of time on your hands to take care of it from home.

8. Use illegal substances or drink alcohol during the workday.

This one sounds too obvious to mention, but drinking during the day or using illegal substances are two ways that will send you back to the job search market. There’s no such thing as a “two martini lunch.” Stick to non-alcoholic drinks during the workday, and save the rest for happy hour.

9. Treat the workplace like it’s your own personal social club.

It’s great to make new friends at work and be involved in the company’s social scene. However, making friends becomes a problem once you spend more time at other peoples’ desks than you do at your own. If you’d like to continue to get to know your co-workers, keep a healthy balance in the workplace.

10. Blatantly look for other jobs.

Think it’s a good idea to fax your resume out from work and do phone interviews for other positions from your desk? Your manager will beg to differ. If the job you have taken is not right for you, look around discreetly and respectfully.