Words of Wisdom When “You’re Fired”

5 Common Reasons to Getting Fired

“You’re Fired.”

The majority of employees will experience being fired sometime during their career.  The waiting, the uncomfortable silence, and uncertain feeling you are left with in the pit of your stomach are just a few of the roller coaster of emotions you encounter.  When a situation such as this arises, the employee being fired often feels blindsided.  It’s important as an employee to read your employee handbook, ask questions, and make sure you understand company’s policies and procedures.  Most states have what is called “employment at will” meaning that companies located within the state can let go or terminate an employee for any reason.  Coincidentally, employees can also choose to leave their company at any time.

Words of Wisdom When “You’re Fired”

Contrary to popular opinion, human resource professionals and managers don’t enjoy having the involuntary termination discussion.  As a manager, it is the worst part of my job. The decision to terminate an associate’s employment is generally not a decision that is taken lightly. Here five of the most common reasons that lead to Getting Fired.

· Dishonesty or Theft.

Roughly 30% of all candidates are untruthful or dishonest on their resumes even before they being working in new position or career.  Companies are certainly within their legal rights to terminate an employee who was less than truthful about their education or past employment.

· Lack of Productivity or Performance.

Your job responsibilities and how performance is measured is dictated by your management team and job description.  What these responsibilities and expectations are should be no surprise and must be clearly communicated to everyone involved.

· Attendance.

Being punctual and present during your scheduled work shift is two of the most critical parts of being successful in your job.  Calling in sick or failing to arrive to work on time are sure fire ways to put your job in jeopardy.

· Policy Violation.

Knowing and understanding policies, procedures, and rules are your responsibility as an employee.  The company should provide you a handbook, policy manual, or other means to learn about company rules and regulations.  Ignorance is not an excuse.

· Attitude.

Being a team player and having a great attitude that fosters a positive work environment is extremely important in your success as well as your company’s success.  A negative or bad attitudes create drama, lost productivity, and make for an uncomfortable work environment.  Getting fired is a state of mind and being in the wrong state of mind can lend you in the unemployment line.

Getting fired doesn’t make you a failure.  Most people at some time during their life are terminated for a variety of reasons.  Whether your job loss is the result of being fired or laid off, people mourn their job much like the loss of a close friend or loved one.  What is important is to understand the reasons behind your involuntary termination, develop a plan to move forward, and plan to provide a reasonable and honest explanation for your future employer.

***This blog post has been written to honor my 200th blog post as Blogging4Jobs.  Two years ago, I started this blog with the sole purpose of educating job seekers on the unwritten rules of the job search.  Thank you for your continued support.  Please email me or comment below with suggestions, recommendations, and opinions.  I look forward to 200 more.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. David Maguire says

    This post would be taken more seriously if it wasn’t riddled with poor grammer. Might want to hire an editor to proof read your blogs.

  2. SandeeP says

    David Maguire says:
    August 10, 2009 at 5:31 am
    This post would be taken more seriously if it wasn’t riddled with poor grammer. Might want to hire an editor to proof read your blogs.


    David, It is highly suggested that before one places a comment they should use spell check!! It’s grammAr not grammEr.


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