The process of getting a job can take weeks, sometimes months. There’s the lengthy application process followed by a series of nail-biting interviews. Next there’s an agonizing period of waiting till you finally get the call that informs you that you’ve been hired.
However, no matter how long it takes you to go from applicant to employee, it only takes a matter of minutes for you to take one misguided action, or make one bad decision, that could abruptly get you fired.
Therefore, in the interest of helping future college graduates keep their first official job, here are some suggestions on how to avoid getting fired:
- Be punctual. Always do your best to show up to work on time. Even if you have a valid reason for being late at least call the office ahead of time to let them know you’ll be delayed.
- Avoid gossiping. No matter how delicious a piece of office gossip might be, circulating rumors about your coworkers is one of the easiest ways to get yourself fired.
- Keep your ringer off. No one likes to be interrupted by a fellow employees’ phone, especially when you’re all in the middle of an important meeting.
- Avoid taking personal calls. Taking too many personal calls in a work situation will certainly bring you to your boss’s attention, and not in a good way. So unless it’s an emergency-based call, consider letting all your personal calls go directly to voicemail.
- Don’t surf the internet. Unless you’re doing research related to a job assignment, surfing the internet for your own pleasure at work is a horrible idea that could get you sacked.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. Regardless if you’re writing a minor office memo or a major report, always double check your work. Make sure all your facts and figures are correct and there are no spelling/grammar errors. Because having your boss present a report you prepared that’s full of errors is one sure way to get yourself fired.
- Own up to your mistakes. If you screw up on an assignment, the absolute worst thing you can do is blame your mistakes on someone else. So own up to anything you did wrong ASAP, or face the possibility of getting canned.
- Don’t flirt. No matter how attracted you might be to a coworker, making your intentions painfully obvious to everyone you work with is never wise. Even worse, if the coworker you’re attracted to doesn’t return the same affection, you could be accused of sexual harassment.
- Drink responsibly during the week. No matter how much you might enjoy having a drink or two after work, having one too many will result in you coming to work the next day with a massive hangover. When people are hungover, they’re less productive and more apt to be sent home on a permanent basis.
- Don’t job hunt at work. Regardless of how dissatisfied you may be at a job, looking for a new one on your boss’s time during work hours is grounds for termination under any circumstances.
- Leave your personal problems at home. If you’re having money problems or had a big fight with your significant other, talk about it before you get to work. Taking up your coworkers time by telling them your tales of woe won’t just get you fired, it could also get your coworkers fired as well.
- Don’t be insubordinate. Whereas being able to follow orders is a great way to keep your job, openly arguing with your boss, or undermining his authority to make yourself look smarter than him or her, will undoubtedly send you back to the unemployment line.