It’s pretty hard to get sacked these days, thanks to those strict unfair dismissal rules ‘n’ all.
Still, it seems to be human nature to push the envelope, to test the boundaries of what’s possible — and that means people tend to get fired for doing some pretty stupid shit.
Melbourne-based HR specialist Karen Gately reveals some of the dumbest reasons people get the sack in modern workplaces (and how to avoid them).
1. Getting into a fight.
Oh, it happens. In fact, it happened at Buckingham Palace when one of the Queen’s favourite chefs headbutted a colleague at a staff party.
That kind of behaviour will get you fired quicker than you can say “guilty, Your Honour”, but you need to beware of verbal altercations as well. Company Christmas parties and out-of-office vents tend to be prime environments for those, so make sure you deal with your frustrations as soon they crop up and don’t let them fester.
“Remember how you behave while ‘off duty’ can matter has much as when you are on the job,” says Gately.
2. A good old-fashioned social media rant.
With an audience of thousands (or potentially millions, if you're popular) right there in your pocket, it might be tempting to vent your feels about that shitty boss of yours and get some sympathy from the people of the internet.
But don't. Just don't, OK? It could land your head on the chopping block, says Gately.
"When your blood is boiling and your fingertips are poised over the keyboard, stop. Take a few deep breaths and get some perspective before posting. While it might feel great to let off steam, you might not like the consequences of your actions," she says.
"Consider if there is a more productive way of dealing with the issue."
3. Not doing your job.
It sounds simple, and it is. Remember the US software developer who got caught outsourcing his job to China back in 2013? Basically, don't be him.
After all, by accepting your role you agreed to carry out the tasks outlined in your job description. You may not enjoy doing them, but they're the reason you can afford that G&T at the end of the week.
"If you are so bored in your job that you can’t bring yourself to do it, recognise it’s time to leave," suggests Gately.
"While earning money for doing nothing may seem attractive, reflect on what really makes you happy in life. What gives you energy and a sense of fulfilment? Choose to work in role and for organisations you enjoy."
Watch: Just don't do this when you land an interview. (Post continues after video.)
4. Faking your CV.
Let's be honest; most of us have, erm, ever so slightly inflated our skills or qualifications to land a dream job. Used a computer program once? Surely that can pass as being "proficient". Worked in a deli for a week during Year Nine? "Experienced in customer service".
Totally harmless, right?
"Just don’t do it," says Gately. "Apply for roles you are qualified for and back yourself to get the job without lying. Don’t assume that no one will ever find out you have lied, so present who you are honestly.
"Being authentic in life is entirely more likely to enable you to thrive than cheating your way into positions you probably don’t deserve."
Well now, don't we feel awkward.
5. Ignoring or avoiding feedback.
"Take the opportunities you are given to understand how you can improve. Ask trusted colleagues or advisors to give you honest feedback," says Gately.
Prepare yourself for the fact that the truth might not be positive. After all, even the golden child in the office isn't going to get things right 100 per cent of the time.
"Don’t immediately assume because your manager is giving you constructive feedback that they aren’t on your side," says Gately. "Honest feedback when delivered respectfully is vital."
Featured image: iStock