There are generally two types of concerns leading to termination:  Performance and policy violations. Sometimes the concern is a judgement call in the eyes of the beholder.  So, what are the causes, signs and types of termination, and for what?


A survey from “Career Builder” defines some surprising causes of termination:

  • 22% are fired for calling-ins to your boss as “unavailable for work” with a fake excuse
  • 24% are fired for using the Internet for a non-work-related activity
  • 41% are fired for being consistently late
  • 17% are fired for posting something on social media that’s unauthorized or negative

One question to ask: Are these reasons a result of working remotely, but the policies are a legacy from an office environment? Have the policies changed with working remotely?


So, what are other common reasons for employees being terminated?  Here are some:

  • Fibbing on your resume. The implications to fabricating experiences or past results can lead to termination and even a lawsuit.  It’s not worth it.
  • Drug or Alcohol Possession at Work. Most policies state that under the influence at work shall be cause for termination or prosecution by the authorities
  • Sub-standard performance. Check in with your boss periodically so you’re not surprised. However, make sure the results expected are not impossible.
  • Stealing or destroying company property. This can range from a ream of paper to pulling the fire alarm as a prank.  Be careful about “borrowing” company equipment.
  • Taking too much time off. There’s usually a policy about sick days and absences. Intermittent time off is a problem when others are dependent upon you.
  • This can be a grey area unless confrontational. Refusal to follow instructions, obstructing the work of others, or counter-communications are examples.
  • Using a company computer for personal use. Have both a personal and company computer.  Never watch a movie, send emails or play a game on company equipment.
  • Violating Company Policy.Know what the policies are.  If a question arises, ask your supervisor. Sticky issues: Office dating, social media comments, company information.


What are some of the signs that there’s a problem?

  • Your role or responsibilities shrink Instead of expanding
  • New assignments, tasks or opportunities pass you by
  • Feedback is negative and performance appraisals are less than satisfactory
  • You are given tasks that are beyond your capability or training.


Termination “for cause” is much more problematic than a termination due to a reorganization, merger or even performance.  “For cause” means a major policy was breached like sexual harassment, stealing, insubordination or drug use at work.  A termination for performance can be toned-down during an interview by relegating the issue to the company’s lack of training, unreasonable supervisor or unusual circumstances.


Summary:  Very seldom is termination a surprise.  The indicators and steps toward termination are visible.  Know company policies and check out performance periodically.


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By My Greener Future

My Greener Future is a Job Search Strategy and Career Coaching Company. At My Greener Future, you will be connected with industry coaches who care about you and your career as much as you do. They will work with you to create your very own custom career plan and support you in achieving your short term and long term career goals. Join My Greener Future TODAY and see how it will change the way you think about your career.

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