You just landed your first (or not) job and you are excited to go to work, impress your boss, get friendly with your colleagues, and go home – feeling satisfied. Weeks pass then you became complacent, monotonous, and less productive. What happened?
You may not realize it but there are work habits that can affect your career negatively. Worse, it can even lead to your termination or getting fired from work – which can hurt your reputation. Nobody wants to hire a worker that can be a liability to the company.
What are the common practices that can lead you to lose your job in 30 days or less?
1. Laziness. This is on top of the list. Why? Laziness can mean not doing your homework, unmindful of the recent email sent by your HR regarding the upgrade in policies. It also means tardiness or lack of attention when going to a meeting, submitting your project, reporting for updates, and not looking after your health, hygiene, and your sedentary behavior in the workplace.
What to do instead: Eat foods rich in Vitamin B, citrus, and nuts to boost your energy and drink lots of water. Stay active at work by moving more and sitting less. Study shows that using a standing desk and standing to work changes your mood to feelings of stress and fatigue to becoming energetic – enough to last you in a day’s work.
2. Procrastination. I am guilty of this, and when left unattended, this is a major problem. Why? Your productivity will suffer and if you are working with a team, the members will suffer, and a project can put the company in the bad light. If you are the last-minute guy who always makes last minute changes, expect to be the most disliked person in your team. You make your team’s work life toxic, pulling them down instead of pushing them up for success. Procrastination is a bad habit which is also connected to how poor is your time management – a liability attitude for the company.
There is a high probability that the failure of your project can be attributed to your procrastination or worst you will be blamed for a job NOT well done.
What to do instead: Always have a to-do list. Identify at least three things you need to do for that day and stick to it, Be flexible when needed but always finish what you started. Time management plays a major role in combating procrastination. Have a schedule for the day, weeks, and manage it properly. You will benefit from the advantages of a well spent time at work.
3. Nobody wants to work with a dishonest colleague in the workplace. Most likely dishonesty will put you in a compromising situation. Dishonesty can mean not telling the truth or practicing deceit. How can an employee shows dishonesty? There are common ways you can show dishonesty at work such as reporting your time at work, using of office supplies for personal purposes, abuse of use of allowances or credit cards given to employees such as for travel expenses and food allowance.
Dishonesty can also be shown with lying about your credentials, plagiarizing your performance report just to get ahead and get recognition for something you didn’t do.
What should be done: Understand that lying in all forms create confusion and can even be a cause of decline in the company’s profit. What if you are being dishonest towards a client who is about to invest in your company? If lying seems to be second in nature to your practices – better resign than malign your colleagues. But you can still change by looking after what benefits saying the truth and being an honest worker will do to yourself, your career, and the growth of the company.
4. Complain. Are you constantly the one complaining in the group? The moment you arrive in the office, you talk or complain, or gossip (yes guys, you can gossip too). Whenever your supervisor gives you a task, you smile then when you’re alone or with your team members – you complain, a LOT. You can be the best whiner in town and if you haven’t noticed it, some workers will avoid you because of your loud mouth.
Yes, idle talks during lunch time cannot be avoided but when it becomes a habit and your job is often neglected, something is wrong here. You can create confusion and maybe divide the workers as you gossip your way up the ladder. DON’T. Instead of gaining followers you will have haters. If you hold an administrative position – your leadership skills will be challenged, and you will have difficulty managing your subordinates.
What should be done: If you habitually whine and complain do it positively. Share your views objectively. When given a task ask questions, ask more question to clarify what is expected from you. When idle talks is calling you to start – stand up and walk, away from your targeted audience. Use the stairs or go for a walk to release the desire to gossip, move and stop being sedentary or sitting all day. Stand to work with your standing desk and be more productive. Lastly when you are about to whine, please bite your tongue – literally.
5. Poor communication skills. A change in tone of your voice, the choice of words, and how you do it will greatly affect your personality. If you readily jump on a conclusion without determining the causes or listening to both sides – you are in trouble. This behavior is not acceptable if you are a customer service representative. How about your grammar? Does it need checking or upgrade? Technology and online tools can help you improve your grammar to communicate effectively.
What should be done instead. Learn the basic communication skills you need to be successful in your workplace. Respond to your emails promptly to avoid missing on important meetings, reply when needed, and acknowledge when email is received. Be careful with your non-verbal cues or body language when speaking with your boss and clients. Look, talk, and act like real professionals as it can have an impact to your career.
These are the common reasons you will lose your job, it can impact you negatively as some employers check your background and will ask for references to check how professional you are or how good are you as a worker and a team player.
Have an honest inventory of your working habits and identify on what areas you need to change and improve. Be constructive with your observations and ask help from a trusted friend.
If you think you exhibit the listed ways to lose your job, check again. If you feel you are no longer happy or satisfied with your job – write a letter of intent that you want to get out of the company. It will make you look good and finding another job you want is easier since you have a good list of references who can attest to your professionalism.