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How to Get Yourself Fired: Seven Behaviors of Highly Disposable People

Oct 9, 2009 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 2 Comments

Don’t be that guy. You know the one—the guy at work who always complains, who never tries to do more than the bare minimum, and who’s always rolling in late. If your company’s looking for any excuse to cut costs (and most companies are in this economy), that guy will be the first to go. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re fired.

Complaining about your job online

Don’t forget that your boss can see your blog, website or Facebook page too—and even if you didn’t “friend” your boss on Facebook, you may have some coworkers on your friends list. So don’t make the mistake of writing about how much you hate your job, your boss, your coworkers or your company online. The web is a public place, and firings over the things people write online are more common than you’d think.

Stealing from the company

Of course, you’d never steal money from the cash drawer. But what about office supplies? If you’re an incessant “borrower” of pens and pencils, staplers, and printer paper, be warned—those supplies aren’t free for anyone to take. In today’s tough economy, companies are tightening their belts
wherever they can, and the higher-ups are probably less likely to turn a
blind eye to this sort of thing than they were before. If you make a habit of
taking office supplies home, your job could be on the line.


In a tough economy where companies are looking for any excuse to cut costs, you can’t afford to be the disposable one.





Goofing off on company computers

It’s not a Big Brother myth: your company is probably tracking everything you do on your computer. There’s probably some tech guy upstairs who could tell you exactly how many hours you played Solitaire today or the more interesting contents of that racy email you sent your girlfriend last week. Whatever you do, don’t use the company computer to do anything personal—including playing Solitaire during the slow times—if you want to keep your job.

Bringing other people down

Every office has a downer. Are you that guy? The signs aren’t hard to miss: you’re always talking about how much you hate your job, insulting your boss behind your back, and finding things to complain about to coworkers. Chances are other employees might laugh along with you—but it’s likely at least a few of them don’t appreciate your attitude, and it’s probable that your boss will hear about it if you don’t already make it obvious. If you have the worst attitude in the group, it wouldn’t be surprising if you’re the first to go during a layoff. Your boss might actually think he’s doing you a favor.

Not advancing your skills

In today’s knowledge-based economy, every worker needs to keep on top of current trends. Are you taking classes and attending training sessions to make sure your skills are current, or are you letting those opportunities pass you by? If you let your skills get obsolete, it’s likely management will notice.

Arriving late and leaving early.  If you openly flaunt your company’s expected work schedule, it sends a message: you don’t care about your job. In addition, your coworkers will likely complain to your boss if it seems you’re being allowed to get away with it while they aren’t. A good rule of thumb: know your boss’s schedule, and make sure you’re in earlier and later than she is. 

Doing the bare minimum

Do you continually do only as much as you’re required to without getting fired? These are the employees management looks to first when they need to let someone go. If you want to keep your job, look around for extra ways you can contribute to the company—never play Solitaire or goof off with coworkers if you finish your day’s work early. And if you find the work assigned to you is taking you less time than your boss realizes, go to him and ask for more. It will allow you to lighten the load for your boss and coworkers—which will help you out in a round of firings.

In a tough economy where companies are looking for any excuse to cut costs, you can’t afford to be the disposable one. Keep any negative attitudes about work at home, don’t publicize them online, and try to stand out as a contributor. Remember that appearances matter—even if you’re getting all your work done, you’ll still look like a slacker if you leave early. Work hard and make sure everyone knows it, keep your skills current, and avoid obvious blunders like stealing office supplies and using company computers for personal matters, and you’re much more likely to keep your job.



Fred DeSena Over a year ago

true,so true. But even more important how easy it is for a normal person to fall into this rut, or be influenced by others of this ilk!

@RedelJones Over a year ago

Depression, stress, etc several ways to fall into a rut. - Let's uplift each other and be more understanding of real-life situations even within business settings. Leave more room to be human. For more advice and understanding- Follow me @RedelJones on twitter.

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