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Six Workplace Mistakes That Can Get You FiredGetting a job in today’s economy is tough enough but hanging on to it is a challenge if you’re not playing by your employer’s rules. While poor performance or blatant violations of company policy are clear grounds for termination, there are some other less obvious things that could land you in hot water. If you’re concerned about unintentionally putting your job at risk, here are six workplace blunders you should avoid at all costs.

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1. Padding Your Resume

When you’re trying to land a job or just get an interview, having a solid resume can give you an edge over the competition. If your resume looks a little skimpy because of a spotty work history or lack of experience, you may be tempted to fudge the truth a little to make yourself a more attractive candidate. While telling a little white lie on may seem harmless, it can come back to bite you big time if your employer finds out. Companies want to hire employees they can trust and honesty is always the best policy when you’re applying for a job.

2. Playing the Gossip Game

No matter where you work, there’s always going to be a certain amount of gossiping that goes on but you’re only asking for trouble if you join in. Trash talking your colleagues or worse, your boss, can do serious damage to your reputation and it can potentially put your job on the line. If you’re engaging in gossip and higher ups determine that it’s affecting your productivity or creating a hostile work environment for another employee you could end up getting the axe.

3. Abusing Social Media

In an age where people document their every move through social media it’s more important than ever to be mindful about the messages you’re sending. Discussing confidential information about your employer on your Facebook page is clearly an offense worthy of termination but it’s possible to get canned for posting things of a more personal nature. Remember, you’re not just an employee; you’re also a representative of the company you work for. If you’re posting inappropriate pictures online or making offensive comments in a public forum, don’t be surprised if your employer hands you a pink slip.

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4. “Borrowing” Workplace Supplies

Taking things from your employer without asking is a guaranteed way to end up in the ranks of the unemployed. Sure, taking home a few envelopes here and some staples there may not seem like a big deal, especially if you work for a large company. It’s not like you’re embezzling thousands of dollars, right? Wrong. When you take things from work without asking you’re basically biting the hand that feeds you. Even if you think of it as borrowing, your employer is going to see it as stealing.

5. Getting Personal

When you’re on the clock, your boss expects you to be focused on work, but that can be hard to do if you’re surfing the Web all day or texting your friends. Once you’re on the company’s time, your personal life should take a backseat to the demands of your job. If you’re constantly talking about your problems with coworkers or regaling the person in the next cubicle with stories about what you did over the weekend, it’s could signal to your employer that it’s time to find someone who takes their duties more seriously.

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6. Being Too Friendly

Developing good relationships with your coworkers can help things run more smoothly for everyone but it’s important to know where to draw the line. Unless you work someplace that takes a liberal view of workplace affairs, dating coworkers or getting involved with your boss is definitely something you want to avoid. Even if you aren’t looking for romance, many employers frown on fraternization of any kind, even during off hours. When you’re used to being a social butterfly, you have to consider whether hanging out with your colleagues is worth putting your job in jeopardy.

If you’ve committed any of these potentially career-damaging flubs, the best thing to do is learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them. Whether you’ve been on the job a few months or a few years, observing the rules of the workplace should always be your number one priority.

Photo Credit: flickr

Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She's worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.
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