[tweet “The truth is, there are a lot of reasons to be fired that have nothing to do with your age.”]
The other day I read a post about 3 reasons millennials are being fired.
From the discussions I've seen, read, and participated in about the article, people have anchored on the dynamic of the generalization for an age group.
The truth is, there are a lot of reasons to be fired that have nothing to do with your age.
So I thought I'd give you the 14 reasons for firing folks that I've had to use in the last 21 years, and none of them had to do with an employee’s age.
- You actively steal from your company. I know it’s silly to start with such egregious behavior, but let’s be clear. If you do something illegal, like taking property or cash from the business, you'll lose your job. Quickly.
- You demonstrate a pattern of lying. It may start as “shaping the truth” and on business deals with other companies. But it can easily turn into a constant pattern of lying. When your integrity is lost, you make it really hard to find a position where it’s ok to keep you around.
- You passively steal from the business. If you're a salaried employee, there’s an expectation that you will work diligently for an average of 40 hours a week. If your band gig on Sunday nights causes you to ask for every Monday off, or to call in sick consistently on Mondays, or to show up a few hours late every Monday morning, what you're doing (in my mind) is passively stealing from the company.
- You yell at a customer. There are times when customers are a challenge. They frustrate you. Or they are rude. Or pushy. But they're still customers. So while they may not always be right, they are still a customer — which means you can't yell at them. Ever.
- You're always late. It’s not once or twice but a constant pattern of showing up late for meetings and late for work. It’s a pain to deal with, but you can be sure that if the pattern is noticed, it’s going to eventually get documented and you'll soon be looking for work.
- You keep saying you're making progress but it’s all a lie. Whether you're in business development or sales, the name of the game is closing deals. It’s a numbers game and if your number never gets beyond zero, expect the opportunity to work elsewhere.
- You bring your personal hobbies to work. I know, this sounds like a crazy reason to get fired, until you realize I'm talking about porn. But it’s true, if you bring in 50 magazines and fill a 200GB hard drive with folder-based categories of photos that shouldn't be there, you can expect to lose your job.
- You spend more time on smoke breaks than you do working. Now, to be clear, you can’t get fired for smoking. But if you're taking more than 8–10 smoke breaks a day, it’s going to impact your ability to actually get work done. So don't be surprised if you get cut.
- No one wants to work with you. If your job is one that requires you to participate on a team and every one of your teammates requests to be transferred or declares that they won’t work with you, it’s likely the end of the road. Being a team player is critical to playing on a team.
- You go on a rant, yelling at the CEO in front of his executive team. Ok, I didn't let anyone go for this reason, but I was one of the execs in the room when it happened. You lose your authority, your credibility, and support — all in a few minutes. Because you lost your control. Never lose control.
- You put people in physical danger. My summer camp staff once called me telling me how they rescued our campers from a forest fire. What they didn't mention was that they had allowed them to run to the fire, and even suggested they try to put it out by peeing on it. Two kids had to be taken to the ER for smoke inhalation and two camp staff were let go that day.
- You get in the way of progress. If you're the only person who knows how to do something, you likely have job security for a bit. But if you’re never sharing your knowledge, to the point that it’s limiting our ability to move forward, you'll get the opportunity to move forward elsewhere.
- You prey on staff. I know that sounds harsh. But it is really, remarkably, simple. If coworkers are unable to come to work in peace because they fear your presence, or fear that they're next in your attempt to hook up with everyone at work, it’s time to move on.
- You bring more drama than you deal with. Last on the list isn’t least by any stretch of the imagination. The reality is that you were hired so that you could take care of things. In other words, you reduce the drama I deal with. But if you bring more drama to work, in whatever nature you bring it, than you take care for me, eventually this is going to get really old. Really fast.