There are many reasons for getting fired from your job.
Being fired is obviously a setback to your career but the specific reason for getting fired can make it worse depending on the severity of the situation especially when you are trying to get a new job and are asked why you left your last job.
Worse still is if you’re not exactly sure why you were fired!
How can you improve yourself (assuming the firing was your fault…more on that in a minute) and ensure it doesn’t happen again?
Here are some typical reasons for getting fired. If you’ve been fired and aren’t sure why, check out this list and think about what may have happened. If you haven’t been fired, use this list to avoid this same fate.
Sometimes getting fired is avoidable while other times it’s simply out of your hands.
Common Reasons For Getting Fired
- 1. Poor performance and/or attendance. Sometimes people simply get into the wrong job and can’t perform as required and get fired as a result. It does happen. Poor attendance (ie. unexplained or unacceptable frequent absence) can also be a reason for getting fired especially if your job requires excellent attendance and punctuality. Are you a reliable and conscientious employee or are you always last into work and first to leave each day?
2. Political reasons. Some companies are political and if you don’t play along it can cost you. An example of politics in action is when a newly-hired manager fires some staff and replaces them with his/her friends or ex-colleagues from another company. I’ve seen this happen before.
3. Your job is eliminated. Or so you are told…I’ve seen cases where a person is let go and is told that their job is being eliminated but then a new person is brought in to do the same (or a very similar) job shortly thereafter. In other words, the person was likely being pushed out for one reason or another and job elimination is used as the official reason.
4. Inappropriate behavior. This is potentially a very long list but common reasons include: lying, stealing from the company, *** harassment, having an office affair with a co-worker, using company resources for personal reasons, using your work Internet connection to view objectionable/illegal content or simply excessively using the Internet for personal reasons if your company has a policy against it. The list is really endless and the final result might depend on the severity and degree of the behavior and how forgiving your employer is.
5. Corporate downsizing. In other words you were downsized which in the traditional sense of the word is actually different from being “fired for cause. " Having said that, I worked for a company that seemed to use corporate downsizings to get rid of staff that they no longer wanted. I saw people I worked with get laid off as part of the “downsizing" and then shortly thereafter new staff was put in place to basically replace them in slightly different roles.
6. Your contract runs out and it isn’t renewed. If you work on a fixed term contract and it isn’t renewed, it’s pretty much the equivalent of being fired since your tenure with the company ends. Not having your contract renewed happens for many reasons so it doesn’t necessarily mean you were “fired" in the traditional sense of the word. Perhaps it was a budgetary reason or maybe the work you were doing was no longer needed.
7. Personality clashes. If we’re lucky, we’ll get along with everyone we ever work with. Sometimes, this just isn’t possible. A feud with your boss and/or colleagues can often be used as the reason you get fired.
8. For no reason at all. I’ve met with job searchers who apparently were not given any real reason for being fired by their (former) employer and are left wondering what happened. In these cases, I suspect there was a real reason but the employer may not have wanted to incriminate themselves by telling the truth. Or the person who was fired may simply not want to admit what happened. There are two sides of every story.
Fully understand your company’s policies regarding the behavior you are expected to maintain, your Internet usage, your work hours and expected attendance, etc. Not knowing the policy and playing dumb is usually not a good excuse.
Use your common sense.
Try to get regular performance reviews and feedback – positive and negative – from your manager so you get a good sense as to how you are performing.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter who wants to help you find your dream career.
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