During these times when many people are looking for work or trying to keep their job, here are a few tips on how NOT to get fired.
Most people start their jobs with the best of intentions, never thinking they could be fired. After all, that's a fate reserved primarily for incompetents and workers caught with their hand in the company till, right? Wrong. You might not realize just how slippery the slope out the door can be.
To guard your job security, be sure to avoid the 10 common pitfalls on this checklist from Jennifer Star, a New York City-based corporate recruiter and trainer:
1. Lying on Your Job Application or Resume
Tell the truth from the start, because you will be held responsible for the information you provide -- and your employer will check it. Generally, educational background checks can take up to a month after hire. "I recently had a candidate fired from a large financial company after being there for a month, because she lied about her educational background," Star says. "This woman did not need a degree for her editorial assistant position but said that she has one anyway -- and one month later when the cat was out of the bag, she was immediately let go."
2. Being Indiscreet About Your Job HuntIf you are in the market for a new job, don't send your resume from your office computer, which most likely is monitored by IT. Assume your instant messages (IMs) and emails are fair game as well.
3. GossipingYou never know who is listening, and in cubeland, walls really do have ears. The safest bet? Keep gossip to yourself, and never repeat anything you hear. Winding up on the wrong side of the rumor mill can cost you more than somebody's
4. Taking Too Many Personal Calls
Spending much of your work time orchestrating your own personal business usually results in being given an opportunity to spend all of your time on the phone on personal business -- looking for a new job, Star warns.
5. Drinking at WorkOne of the quickest ways to be shown the door is drinking too much at lunch and walking into a wall. Maintaining your own clarity is extremely important. Staying on top of the mountain of details that go into making a business run smoothly requires focus -- and sobriety.
6. Surfing the Web ExcessivelySpending much of your workday cruising around cyberspace puts you just a point-and-click away from unemployment. And checking adult-oriented Web sites on the job is a definite no-no.
7. Becoming Romantically Involved with the BossWhile it may make for great water-cooler discussion, a boss/direct-report romance can easily end with someone out of a job. (Hint: It's usually not the boss.)
8. Forgetting to Double-Check Your FiguresWhen working with numbers, scrutinize your work carefully. One stray zero could make the difference between being employed and unemployed, advises Star.
9. Alienating Your CoworkersTo do your job effectively, you'll need the cooperation, support and good will of those around you. Becoming detached from those you work with could get you replaced with someone who can work well with others.
10. Pointing the Finger at Everyone but YourselfTake ownership of your job. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Don't try to sweep your mistakes under the carpet -- or worse yet, blame somebody else -- because the truth will usually come back to bite you on the bottom line. And nobody wants to trust or employ a liar, says Star.
HERE ARE MY PERSONAL TIPS:
1. Not dressing appropriately for your job. - If you work in an office, business attire is a must. Leave the flip flops, shorts, graphic tees, mini-mini skirts and dresses at home.
2. Coming in late or leaving early (even if its just 15 minutes). This clearly shows that you don't care about your job. As a business owner that's 30 minutes of wasted time. Time is money. You wouldn't want someone wasting your time, so don't waste your bosses time.
3. Slacking or not giving 100% - My motto is if you don't like your job - quit! Why waste your time, your boss' time and customers' time if you really don't want to be there? Because more than likely if you don't shape up you will be fired.
4. Taking business away from the company - Now I am all about being an entrepreneur, but while working for someone else it's not cool to take their business. A business owner worked hard to draw those customers in. Now if you want to do that same line of business on your own generate customers on your own time, not when you are on someone else's clock. And remember what goes around comes around.
5. Bringing your personal drama on the job. Leave your mess, your issues, your problems at home! You come to work to work, not to continue on whatever it is you have going on at home.