5 Sure-Fire Ways to Lose Your Job!
Getting a new job is hard work…and you don’t want to undo it by either adopting or reverting to some really bad career habits! Whether you are new to the job….or you are a tenured employee…here are five habits of highly unsuccessful people. Purge them from yourself and safeguard against them creeping into your daily behavior. These on-the-job-habits are often fatal to jobs …and careers if not corrected.
Fact – when your behavior becomes disruptive to team performance, attitude, moral and overall harmony – the boss’s job is to “fix it”. Often that means firing you if earlier steps of progressive discipline have failed to resolve it.
Fix these five factors in your mind and do a self-examination to see if you are guilty of any of them. Ask trusted co-workers if you are guilty of any of them. Job and career success are dependent on you NOT wearing any of these “hats”.
Keep in mind that the business section of the newspapers and publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Business Week have story after story of CEOs that have lost their jobs due to “management style”. This really means that they couldn’t get along with the right people; they have behavior habits similar to anyone of these five factors!
Ford Motor Company Chairman Henry Ford II fired the very successful Ford President Lee Iacocca with the comment “I just don’t like you” ending years of disharmony between the two. An extreme example of mannerisms costing someone a job!
1. Gossip. Don’t participate in the chatter than can pollute a workplace. A comment or observation leads to someone turning it into a fact. People start discussing the non-fact and speculating on outcomes. At its extreme it undermines reporting relationships, creates distrust and can destroy the harmony of a team. Rest assured if you participate you will be quoted and if your boss catches wind of your involvement one too many times … out you might go. The reason?…. “enough is enough”.
Use as your benchmark the “Momma and Washington Post (or your local newspaper) Rule”. Say nothing that you aren’t prepared to see quoted on the front page above the fold and delivered to your mom’s (or your boss’s) front door.
Stay away from those do gossip and if you must interact with them do so only in conjunction to the job to be done. When they raise the gossip factor, simply say “I do not want to discuss that or get into that….and you’d be wise to also do the same”.
2. Assertive or Aggressive Body Language. When making a point don’t stab your index finger in the air like a dagger – it is insulting and overly aggressive. Don’t cross your arms when others are talking – it says “I don’t agree”. Don’t roll your eyes when someone says something your disagree with – it mocks the point they are making. You need to avoid judgmental body language; when it gets to the point that no one wants to interact with you… it might be time for your boss to clean house.
3. Offensive and Inflammatory Statements. Avoid inflammatory statements such as “Let me tell you something” or “Trust me on this”. It isn’t just the words… they are usually accompanied by an assertive approach. When that occurs, it is a total annoyance at best on the part of whomever you are talking to. Purge from yourself those annoying (and predictable) statements and comments.
4. Mood and Attitude Swings. When you are up and enthusiastic one day and moody and uncommunicative the next, it confuses and annoys people. Consistency of behavior is important to teamwork and understanding co-workers. When your presence becomes a drag on others you have become a supreme annoyance to others. No one wants to work with a team member for whom the glass is usually half empty! When it impacts productivity, it is not uncommon for a boss to step in to solve it…often by termination.
5. Poor Clock Management. Tardiness, late for meetings, reports and work not done on time, not returning phone calls in a timely manner (or not at all!) Reliability and dependability is critical to a team. You waste the time of others when you are not on time. It drives those that are on time nuts! Think “Lombardi Time”* …. 10 minutes early is ON TIME!
OK… unless you have an extremely tolerant boss, five sure-fire ways to lose your job is to participate in any of these areas. Keep them in mind as you go through the work day and be determined to not let any of them represent who you are!
* “Lombardi Time” comes from a characteristic of the legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi (the Super Bowl Lombardi Trophy is named for him). There are lots of different versions of what constitutes “Lombardi Time” as it became known. One is “Ten minutes early or it’s too late.” It became well known that Lombardi expected his players to be 10 (some say 15) minutes early for all meetings – what he actually told them probably varied, so an exact quote may not be possible to determine.
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