For many of us, having to work for a living is a stone cold economic reality if we want to put a roof over our heads and provide for our families.
Living on one salary alone doesn’t always cut it in this day and age. But what happens if you find that you lose job after job? and you just can’t seem to keep a job.
If you are working as a casual, or even if you are made permanent full-time or part-time, you don’t have job security. Casuals can be let go without a reason. If you work for a business with 15 employees or fewer, you can be let go in the first 12 months of employment. For other organisations, you have a probation period of six months where you can be let go without the employer giving a reason. You cannot claim for unfair dismissal if you haven’t satisfied these minimum employment periods.
If an employer lets you go in your probation period without telling you what you did wrong, it can be hard to know what mistakes you may have made to avoid in the future.
Most of us, at some time or another, have had a job that totally sucked. So if it was a one-off time you were let go, it’s probably safe to chalk it up to bad luck and, although it’s shitty to be out of work, in the long-term, you may have dodged a bullet not working there anymore. It might have been that you just weren’t the right fit for that organisation.
However, if you start getting let go from job after job, then there’s probably a good reason for this pattern. The truth can be harsh but it can lead to a breakthrough for your career.
1. You don’t try to make the job work.
If you get stuck in a negative head space where you can’t find ways to make the job work for you and you just mope about it and how much it sucks, even letting on to your colleagues and bosses you feel this way, your attitude stinks and they aren’t going to be thrilled about keeping you on long-term.
2. You slack off too much.
If you spend all day Facebooking or sending texts to your friends, and your job isn’t getting done, you’re not a keeper. Reasonable employers don’t mind you doing this stuff if you have a bit of down time on your hands. But if your productivity is suffering, why would they keep you?
3. You are always late.
Sometimes, there are five car pile ups on the freeway or the public transport system in your city completely craps itself. When this happens, you aren’t going to get to work on time. But let’s face it, this stuff doesn’t happen every day. If you are always late, day after day, call in sick all the time, leave early, take long lunch breaks or do all of these things, the boss is going to notice. And the boss is going to be annoyed.
4. You’re not a team player.
If you refuse to work as part of a team, have little diva moments because you think it’s all about you, spread gossip, start sh*t with other employees or refuse to pitch in when all hands are needed, you are not going to be a valued employee. It’s bad enough if you’re like this at all, but if you’re like this when you’re new to an organisation, WTF?
5. You’re not flexible.
Unfortunately, for those of us with family responsibilities, this is a tricky one because we can’t be as flexible as someone with no kids/dependent spouses/elderly parents to care for. With an increasingly casualised workforce, often, employers want you to be able to work on a rotating roster with different shifts at different times on different days from week to week.
This can make organising things like daycare a nightmare, and is a disincentive for many mums to apply for certain jobs in the first place. In Australia, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees with a carer status. However, if you’re on probation, it can be hard to prove this is the reason you were let go.
6. You whinge too much.
We all have our moments when we crack the sh*ts with the office printer or lousy IT. But if all you do all day long is whinge, whinge and whinge about everything, you’re pissing everyone off around you with your negativity. Sucking every last bit of joy out of the room you are in for everyone else makes their work day a nightmare. If this is you, you may be told to walk the plank.
7. You’re applying for the wrong jobs.
You get caught up in applying for any job that sounds decent because you need to find a job. You find you’ve got a job that pays the bills, but you might be in over your head in a role you exaggerated your skills in order to get. Or it wasn’t what you thought it would be. Or you’re not a good cultural fit. And when you’re eventually let go from that gig because you didn’t work out, the cycle starts again.