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15 ways to not get fired from your dream job

Rob Enderle | April 25, 2016
You’ve got your dream job, now how do you keep it? Columnist Rob Enderle shares 15 things you should know before you even start your new dream job in order to not get fired.

Expense reports are a fountain of bad behavior and catching someone is not only fun, but it makes for great stories at the end of the day.   We had one idiot who would buy a ticket for a flight well in advance and another right before the flight. The first ticket was really cheap, the second really expensive. He would use the first ticket but expense and return for refund the second. He was easily caught and fired (systems flag expenses that fall out of cost ranges for review).  

Let’s expand this to say any theft from the firm will get you fired, and don’t think you won’t get caught. And some thefts will land you in jail.

7. If you are upset talk to your manager, talk to your parents, you can even talk to HR. You can’t talk to social media.   Back when I started, what folks used to get fired for was sending emails to every employee in the company talking about a co-worker or manager they were pissed at. These days it is more likely to be social media, likely because it is far harder to send email to every employee (it used to be an easy one-click option). In all cases this will get you fired. Few companies have any tolerance for employees who speak out publically about them period let alone negatively.

8. Don’t have sex on company grounds. Boy you’d think this would be obvious, but I’ve even seen a CEO and a CFO fired for this. For some reason folks think it is exciting to have sex on company grounds. Realize there are security cameras all over the place now and that this generally falls into one of those categories of being fired on the spot. It may not even be a written rule, but you get caught doing anything sexual while on company property, you are gone.

9. Avoid being a prankster. Every office has one and every once in a while things go terribly wrong. There are some legendary pranks like taking one CEO’s Ferrari apart and then reassembling it in his office.   I’m still a little bit awed about that one; and if you are part of a team of top engineers in the company you might get away with it, if you are a first year employee and you even scratch said Ferrari you’ll likely be toast. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen someone being escorted off campus saying something to the effect of, “it was just a prank.”  

10. Don’t bet you are irreplaceable. A really common mistake I’ve seen particularly in younger employees is believing they are irreplaceable.   It is a bad mindset because you begin to think you can get away with anything and you will almost always find that you can’t.   If you continue to believe you can always be replaced, which is true, you are less likely to do something that will force you to be proven wrong.


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