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5 Innocent Career Mistakes that Can Get You Fired

It's no secret that certain outrageous and terrible behaviors can get an employee terminated (and sometimes escorted out of the building) before the end of the day. Violence and aggression don't go over well in most professional workplaces, and neither do vandalizing company property, breaking the law, or simply refusing to show up. If you're guilty of any of these behaviors, then you don't need us to tell you that your job is in jeopardy (if you still have one).

But there are a few other moves that can lead to the same results, even though they may seem perfectly innocent or even accidental. If you're committing any of these blunders on the job, here's our advice for you: stop now. And if you're falsely accused, enlist the help of your shop steward or a legal advisor as you work to clear your name and keep your livelihood.

1. Sleeping

The post-lunch slump can be more than just an annoyance…it can actually be a job killer. This is especially true if the nature of your work requires vigilance, which applies to many jobs in security, transportation, and healthcare.  But even if you're just sitting at a desk in an office, do whatever you need to do to stay awake when you're on company time. Start by getting enough sleep at night.

2. Snooping

If you wouldn't walk right into your co-worker's office and start poking through her desk drawers as she sits there, then don't do this while she's gone. Screens, drawers, inboxes, lockers, pockets, and other nooks and crannies that don't belong to you are off limits, even if you're in the workplace after hours and nobody else is around.

3. Stealing credit

Taking credit for work completed by someone else is more than an innocent faux-pas. This isn't just rude and socially awkward; it's a terminable offence. Before you elbow your way toward a promotion by claiming responsibility for work that isn't yours, think twice. If in doubt, put your integrity first. Always share credit and thank others, even when you actually did do most of the work yourself.

4. Disclosing protected and proprietary information

Far too often, employees involved in finance and money management "accidentally" share information about pending mergers and stock sales while they're off the clock and relaxing with their friends. The same innocent slips happen among healthcare workers who share patient information, and among product developers who leak the details of projects before they're officially released. Watch what you say and share, even during casual conversations outside of the workplace.

5. Lying on your resume

Some employees don't realize that after they're hired, their resumes are kept on file for the duration of their tenure with the company. Years after their first day, they may be up for a promotion or their records may be subject to review for any number of reasons. And if misrepresentations are found in the resume, this can lead to termination. Keep this in mind as you move forward with your job search.

Keep Your Record Clean & Your Career in Motion

Visit MyPerfectResume for tips and job search tools that can help you get ahead while avoiding serious career missteps.

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