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10 Behaviors That Could Cost You Your Job

You can be a diligent, outstanding worker and still be fired. How? Anything from a nasty Facebook status to a nasty attitude can get you the boot, even if you are good at your job. If you’re guilty of any of these 10 bad habits, you’re putting your job at risk. 

  1. Writing Offensive Social Media Posts
    By now, we should all know that trash-talking your workplace online is dangerous, but offensive social media posts can be just as damaging. Look what happened to Justine Sacco, a former PR executive for InterActive Corp: In 2013, she carelessly tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” before her plane to South Africa took off.  Although she later issued a public apology, that racially insensitive post cost Sacco her job.
  2. Lying on Your Resume
    There’s a fine line between embellishment and flat-out lying. Referring to yourself as an “administrative assistant” instead of a secretary is fine; making up titles and experience is a fast track out the door.
  3. Harassing Your Co-Workers
    Making sexual jokes and unwanted advances at the office is definitely inappropriate and will jeopardize your job. Aside from sexual harassment, hostility toward your co-workers can land you in serious trouble.
  4. Gossiping
    Resist the temptation of workplace gossip. If a damaging rumor is traced back to you, whether you started it or not, you’ll be penalized. Avoid making your desk the office rumor mill.
  5. Working While Intoxicated
    Enjoying the office-sanctioned happy hour with your co-workers and a beer won’t get you fired, but arriving to the office after one-too-many margaritas isn’t going to look good. This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway for emphasis: don’t be under the influence while you’re on the clock!
  6. Accessing Adult Content on Work Property
    Just because you aren’t using your company-owned laptop at work doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want with it. You’d think people would know better than to watch pornography on their company devices, seeing as their employer has access to their viewing and download history. It’s best to avoid any potentially NSFW material altogether.
  7. Having a Bad Attitude
    People like team players; they don’t, however, like being constantly interrupted, insulted, or yelled at. If you’re guilty of any of the previously mentioned behaviors, you might want to fix your attitude before it gets you into trouble.
  8. Being in an Office Relationship
    According to a 2013 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 99% of respondents had zero tolerance policy for superior/subordinate relationships. While less than 10% of work relationships were between a boss and their subordinate, many companies frown on office relationships because it could lead to a hostile work environment, favoritism, conflict, or potential sexual harassment suits.
  9. Theft
    You don’t need to physically take anything to be considered stealing from the company. Working on personal projects, taking three-hour breaks, and playing around online is considered stealing time. In addition to slacking off, timecard fraud is also considered time theft.
  10. Excessive Absences and Tardiness
    Punctuality is a workplace virtue. Occasional tardiness can result in a warning, but habitual lateness sends a message of disrespect to your boss. Neglecting to show up at all can be cause for immediate firing. If you don’t have a serious reason for your absence, then you probably won’t have a job to come back to. 
Last Updated: June 04, 2015