Many people don’t realize this but keeping your dream job actually takes more effort than actually getting the job. While getting your dream job involves many hurdles you’re actually prepared for, keeping the job involves hurdles you don’t see coming.
What might seem like simple infractions to you may actually carry more gravity than you’d expect. However, this all depends on the type of office you find yourself in, there is no universal formula for this as different companies have different rules.
Below is a list of a few simple rules (that cuts across fields) to keep in order to keep that job and keep the paychecks coming:
1. Don’t Tell Lies To Get Days Off Work
This one goes without saying but based on the number of people who have lost their jobs for this simple reason alone – it needs to be reiterated. You’ll find yourself in a pickle when you tell an excuse and your boss/supervisor requires proof.
While you may not lose your job on the spot (many do), the trust will be lost and once trust is lost – your days at the company are numbered.
2. Don’t Get Romantically Involved With Coworkers
This is practically a staple in most professional rulebooks and company guidelines because it is better for everyone, really, when coworkers don’t get romantically involved. First of all, it is unprofessional and tends to make things awkward and messy when the relationship doesn’t work out.
Furthermore avoid sending inappropriate or romantic messages to your coworker through your work email or computer system, especially if the feelings are unrequited. This can be used as evidence of harassment and can be the final straw especially if you have a previous infraction in your files.
3. Don’t Spill the Tea on Social Media
Too many individuals all over the world have lost their jobs as a result of this. Even if it seems your office does not have much of a social media presence, avoid sharing your grievances with the job or the company on social media.
Better still, don’t gossip about your coworkers or manager over official channels. Either way, this is enough to warrant a dismissal. Not a lot of companies have a high tolerance for employees who are not only unappreciative of their jobs but go as far as bad mouthing them publicly.
If there’s something about the job or company that especially bothers you, you can set up a meeting with Human Resources, you can also confide in your therapist if you want but do not rant on social media.
4. Don’t be the Funnyman
In theory, this may seem like a good idea – in reality, it’s not. To start with, once you wear the ‘funnyman’ hat or are deemed as the ‘office clown’, your respectability in the eyes of your superior and your co-workers will decline.
There’s nothing wrong in making your coworkers smile every once in a while but if you go at it everyday like its what you were employed to do, you instantly become an annoyance and are not taken seriously anymore.
Another way this idea becomes a problem factor is the type of jokes told. In today’s politically charged atmosphere, every word you say matters. A lot of companies now have zero or limited tolerance for racial or gender insensitive jokes, ethnically biased jokes, sexual or raunchy jokes, and politically incorrect jokes.
Some of these jokes may fall into the sexual harassment category or may simply make the work arena uncomfortable for fellow employees and this then constitutes a big enough problem that might cause you to lose your dream job.
5. In a Similar Vein, avoid Being the Office Prankster
While pranks are usually funny, there’s a place and time for it – that place and time is not in the office and it’s not during office hours. There’s also always that one that goes terribly awry and you never see it coming. One can never tell which prank will be the prank too far so its best to just avoid it.
Another problem with pranks is that you can never really tell how it will be received, sometimes they just come off as funny and other times they come off as insensitive and offensive and this will no doubt lead to a scorch in your file.
Another thing and this is very important, never prank your boss, even if you have seen others get away it…especially if you’re a new hire.
6. Say No to Drugs
Especially if it’s listed among your company’s zero tolerance infractions. If your company organizes random drug tests, this is a sign they are very serious about it. Drugs generally impair the senses and thus impairs productivity and judgment. If you fail a company drug test, you can be sure you’ll say goodbye to your job. In some cases, you might get red flagged and not be employable anywhere else.
Another thing within this parameters that is frowned at is drinking on office premises. This is a big no-no and is enough to guarantee you losing your job on the spot.
7. Do Not Have Sex In the Office…Just don’t
While this might seem like an exciting notion and can be more than a little thrilling for some daredevils out there, this is a fast track ticket to unemployment. No matter how high up on the food chain you are, no one is exempt from this rule – especially in an office or company with security cameras here and there.
Even if this is not written in any company handbook – it just goes without saying. There are other exciting things you can do on company time, for example – your job.
Think about the Future
If you’ve been lucky enough to land your dream job or at the very least, a job that pays well – try your very best to do what it takes to keep it. Be smart and avoid colouring outside the lines, no matter how fun it seems. One clear way to keep your eye on the prize is thinking about the future.
When you realize all that will be out of your reach (such as paying rent, helping out your parents, paying off student loans) when you lose your job then it becomes easy to hold on to that dream job that many wish they had.