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6 Reasons Why You Could Lose Your Job (and How to Prevent Them)

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Getting fired is the last thing anyone wants to go through in their work-life. And yet, pretty much everyone is aware of what it’s like. It hurts you financially and emotionally, even more so if you weren’t expecting it.

While we all want to feel secure at work, it’s wise to keep this thought in the back of your head to avoid becoming complacent. Here are some of the most common reasons you could lose your job and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Poor Performance

Lack of performance is perhaps the most obvious reason you could get fired. In order to tackle it, you first need to know what causes it. There can be many reasons for poor performance; here are some common ones to help you think:

  • Workplace stress
  • Poor management
  • Unfair compensation
  • Lack of recognition
  • Toxic work culture
  • Work-life imbalance
  • Lack of training

In order to address these issues, you first need to separate the things you can and cannot control. A Stoic approach to work, if you will. Here are a few tools and tips you can use to increase your productivity:


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2. Starting Conflicts at Work

Spam Call Made the Guy Angry

Workplace conflicts are very common, especially in teams where everyone has different preferences, opinions, and ideas. While your performance does matter, it wouldn’t account for much if you’re negatively affecting others’ productivity because the company as a whole is still losing time and money.

If you struggle with communicating at work and often find yourself indulged in conflicts, it’s a good idea to learn about conflict management and how to resolve conflicts effectively. You can find relevant courses on LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Udemy, and other similar sources. Remember, it’s in everyone’s best interest if your workplace remains peaceful.


Related: Management Skills for Resumes: How to Show You Are a Good Team Leader

3. Workplace Theft

It’s not uncommon for people to steal office supplies and use work equipment for personal use, despite knowing the obvious risks. While no one is going to bother you for forgetting to return a pen, some workplace thefts are more serious than others and can instantly get you fired and even cause legal trouble.

Some serious workplace thefts include:

  • Stealing cash from registers, drawers, or safes.
  • Stealing inventory to sell or use for oneself.
  • Stealing corporate coupons and vouchers.
  • Stealing sensitive customer or employee data.
  • Using company software for personal motives.
  • Manipulating financial records for one’s benefit.

Related: Ways to Identify Employee Data Theft

4. Absenteeism and Absconding

A person walking through a modern, minimalist office of chairs and desks

Absenteeism is the tendency to remain frequently absent at work for no particular reason. It’s a big problem for employers because it wastes the company’s time, money, and opportunities. Here are some common reasons for employee absenteeism:

  • Sickness or injury
  • Family-related issues
  • Personal issues
  • Stress and burnout
  • Bad work culture
  • Childcare

Absconding is the practice of permanently leaving your job without prior notice. It is much worse than absenteeism because it can cause you legal trouble. Employees who abscond usually block all communication with their employer to avoid confrontation, but this only makes things worse. Here are some common reasons employees abscond:

  • Involvement in unethical work
  • Lengthy resignation process
  • Breach of contract
  • Workplace harassment
  • Controlling or abusive manager
  • Unbearable workplace politics

In most cases, simply talking to your HR manager and addressing your concerns is the wisest decision you can make. If there’s something about your workplace that’s making you want to remain absent or want to abscond, suggest improvements to your manager before making an impulse decision.

Related: Things to Consider Before Quitting Your Job

5. Lying on Your Resume

People lie on their resumes all the time, mostly because they feel if they don’t lie, they won’t get called for an interview, let alone be given a job offer. In other words, they feel underqualified to stand out as a job applicant due to the hyper-competitive job market.

These lies can be divided into two categories: lies of commission and lies of omission. Lies of commission is about intentionally including false information to flaunt something. Lies of omission is about intentionally excluding true information to hide something. The latter is more common than the former, but the former is more dangerous than the latter.

Even if you end up getting a job by lying on your resume, your employer can still find out about it later via background checks and observing your inevitably poor performance. Alongside getting fired, lying can also damage your reputation, cause legal action, and limit your chances of finding a job in the future.

Related: Microsoft Word Tips to Polish Your Old Resume

Interacting with co-workers and professionals on social media

It’s normal to get bored at work, pretty much everyone does at some point during the day. So naturally, we turn to social media or the web to pass some time and entertain ourselves. But depending on how often you do it and how lenient your workplace is, this could lead to you losing your job.

While you probably won’t get into too much trouble for occasional glances, prolonged web browsing or social media use that’s unrelated to your work may not be acceptable. It’s likely that you will receive some warnings before the company decides to take action, so be sure to take them seriously.

If you find yourself struggling to put down your phone, you can set up app timers for social media apps that are most likely to distract you at work, like Instagram or TikTok. But you will still need to build discipline, though. Tools can help, but they are not a replacement for a strong work ethic.


Related: Negative Effects of Social Media on People and Users

Be Smart About Your Actions at Work

None of us like the thought of getting fired; it’s heart-breaking and can cause a lot of anxiety. However, ironically enough, occasionally reminding yourself of its possibility can stop you from doing the things that might cause it.

Always consult your HR manager if you have doubts about whether a particular action is considered inappropriate at your workplace. Or better yet, re-read your employee handbook if your company has one.


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