Mistakes that can get you fired

Your job search is finally over – but don’t get too comfortable yet! You have to keep impressing your employers if you want to keep your job – and your paycheque.

To avoid losing your job, employment experts offer a few suggestions about what behaviours to steer clear of in the workplace.


Even in the most frustrating situations, you need to keep your emotions under control. If you lose your cool, you could lose your job. “Employees who have anger management issues, especially if they swear or become aggressive, could end up being fired,” warns Shifana Zaver, case manager at Cave, a youth employment centre in Burnaby, B.C.


Make sure you show up on time every day. Better yet, try to arrive early. Employers will notice if you are even a few minutes late. “By not showing up on time, especially when you’re still on probation, you might get let go,” explains Zaver.

Performance problems

Often times, people lose their jobs because they’re not performing up to the expectations of the organization, says Tina Strehlke, Director of Communications for Burnaby-based Training Innovations. “Understanding the job description, performance measures, the company culture and keeping skills up-to-date can help individuals stay on track with their work and avoid being fired.”

Negative attitude

Even if you meet expectations and perform well, a bad attitude could undermine all your hard work. Employers often remember attitude more than actions. “A lot of it is intangible, but general attitude is so important. If you are always negative or blaming others for problems, you might find yourself without a job,” notes Melanie Hardy, manager at Vancouver’s YWCA Career Zone.

Lack of boundaries

When you’re at work, you must draw the line between your private life and your professional life.

Avoid personal e-mails, phone calls and text messages while you’re on the clock. Instead, save socializing for breaks and lunch time. “A lack of judgment can translate into improper Internet use or bringing too much personal life into the workplace,” says Ms. Hardy, adding that if you overstep workplace boundaries, you could find yourself shown the door.