Did you hear about the layoffs happening at Macy’s? They’re letting print edition go and 25 employees with it. With national unemployment still at an all-time high, no one wants to lose access to a steady paycheck.
If you pull any of the baloney listed below though, you’re as good as filing for unemployment, says Roy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide and a New York City career coach.
1. EMBELLISH ON YOUR RESUME
There’s a difference between making yourself sound impressive and stretching the truth, and your employer is going to find out which you chose pretty early on. So, don’t ever lie on your resume or you could be packing up before anyone has learned your name. Says Cohen, “If they’re dissatisfied with you and then they find out that you lied, that’s an easy ticket for them [to let you go].”
2. MAKE YOURSELF INVISIBLE
You may find it easier to keep to yourself during work hours, but if you don’t make the slightest effort to interact with your colleagues or contribute to group meetings, you’ve just made yourself the “E” word every employee dreads: Expendable.
Says Linda Farley, founder of management coaching firm Farley Management, “It’s not enough to just work hard, stay late, and be intelligent. People need to know you as a person before they can trust you as a worker.”
3. ANNOY YOUR COLLEAGUES
Want to be the first one on the chopping block? Just piss off your co-workers with these disgusting workplace behaviors. According to Cohen, “Not bathing, being unkempt… You have to be very careful, especially if you’re in a client-interfacing role.” And when it comes to downsizing, Cohen reveals the unkempt and smelly are the first ones to go.
4. SHRUG OFF BLAME
If a mistake was made and the finger is unjustly pointed at you, it’s fine to defend yourself if you have the proof. If the error was clearly your doing though, fess up—fast. Hurwitz, of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing says, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” that gets employees into trouble. You’re more respected by your peers—and your manager—if you admit the mistake early on and don’t repeat it again.
5. USE SICK LEAVE AT SUSPICIOUS TIMES
Most employees these days are terrified to stay home sick and miss work. Then there are those special employees that can’t come up with enough excuses for missing a solid day’s work at the most inconvenient of times. Like right before a 3-day weekend or major deadline.
Randy Merrell, vice president of operations at Elite Network says calling in sick on a Monday morning is a dead giveaway to a weekend spent partying too hard. “Muscle up and get yourself in there. Hangovers are no excuse.” And, your colleagues who had to shoulder the burden of your workload won’t be too thrilled with you either.
6. GOSSIP TO ALL THE WRONG PEOPLE
There’s nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam with your co-workers during legit breaks in the day. Still, there’s a difference between venting and spreading rumors. If you’re the go-to office source of information, no one will trust you. “If you are associated with the gossip, it’s going to be assumed you are spreading rumors too,” states Hurwitz. Know what happens to untrustworthy workers? Yep, us too.
7. BE A MULE
Part of being a team player is listening to others ideas and working them in with your own. If you refuse to acknowledge that anyone’s idea might be better than yours, you’re going to find yourself at the end of a very long plank, alone. Says Cohen, “Those who always need to do things their way come across as single-minded and critical of others’ ideas. If your ideas are smarter than everyone else’s, they’ll rise to the surface and be appreciated–unless you don’t listen to anyone else, ever.”
8. TAKE WHAT ISN’T YOURS
Remember back in kindergarten you learned not to touch your classmates’ stuff? The same kind of thing applies in the workplace. If you didn’t come up with idea or work on a project, don’t act like you did. Taking credit for someone else’s work is akin to stealing in the workplace. You know how thieves go to jail? Freeloaders go to the unemployment office.