Most of us try to avoid getting fired. For starters, there are certain rules we need to follow and particular things we shouldn't be posting on Facebook. Few of us will argue that social media clearly plays an enormous role in how some people get fired these days, for some incredibly dumb behaviour.
Does it really need to be said that If you want to keep your job it's a good idea not to post insulting comments about your company, your superiors or work colleagues?
Sadly, many people are not getting the message. It's also a good idea not to post offensive racist, homophobic or anti-religious memes. Nor is it a wise idea to regularly post drunken photographs of yourself, or any photos that will be seen as embarrassing to your employer.
People-management expert Karen Gately told The Huffington Post Australia racist, hateful, sexist and generally vile posts on social media have led many people to be fired.
"Not quite so clear-cut are the cases of people being fired for expressing disappointments or frustrations with their employer. In some cases dismissals have been overturned but in many others, social media rants have ended badly for all concerned," Gately said.
"It's astounding how many people will make blatantly stupid comments about things that happened at work, knowing that colleagues, and even superiors, have access to their social media account as 'friends' or even friends of friends," said Mike Irving from Advanced Business Abilities.
"Social media is really the number one dumb way I've seen people get fired."
British chef Adam Steele, was fired for head butting and punching a colleague. While this was extraordinary behaviour in any workplace, unbelievably Steele chose a Buckingham Palace staff party as the moment to lose all control.
Others get fired for simply not doing their job. Gately cites a case in the US where a man was discovered in 2013 to have hired a Shanghai consultancy to do his job for him.
"He went undetected for years, even managing to win employee of the month awards on numerous occasions. A call centre operator was fired when it was discovered that he was sleeping under his desk during night shift," Gately said.
Embellishing and downright lying on CVs has led to many people being sacked.
"There are also cases of people faking their CV. Telstra sacked its chief technology officer Vish Nandlall after discovering aspects of his resume had been falsified. Not so long ago Myer terminated the services of Andrew Flanagan, appointed as general manager strategy and business development, only one day into the job when background checks didn't add up."
Irving said there are five important traits employers need to measure when looking at the attitude of an employee and whether they're able to be a productive member.
- How critical or judgemental the person is. How much do they constantly find fault with people and situations?
- How negative are they? How often do they see things as worse than they really are? They see the glass as 'half empty' when it's really more than half full.
- They blame everything and everybody else and do not accept responsibility for the results they produce. Everything is always somebody else's fault
- Dishonesty. How much are they willing to lie or stretch the truth...or steal.
- Being unsupportive. Some people are more interested in doing things that will look good on their future resume than following the company's stated agenda.
Other dumb ways people get fired include showing up to work drunk, bullying your workmates and not even hiding the fact that you are bored out of your mind.
Despite their employer's best efforts to help them, some people simply don't want to listen or take responsibility.
"Like the guy who, in response to a final warning of the need for him to improve his performance, declared 'I think we'll just need to agree to disagree'. He apparently felt that his contribution was adequate and we were simply wasting one another's time continuing the conversation," Gately said.
"Take the opportunities you are given to understand how you need to and can improve. Ask trusted colleagues or advisors to give you honest feedback. Don't immediately assume because your manager is giving you constructive feedback that they aren't on your side. Honest feedback when delivered respectfully is vital when faced with the prospect of losing your job."