Bad Behavior That Can Make You Lose Your Job

Watch what you do during and after work

We frequently hear about celebrities behaving badly or even getting arrested. The media talks about how damaging these actions may be to celebrities' careers yet time after time we see them becoming even more popular. The public may be very forgiving but will your boss be if you behave badly? Can your actions in or out of your workplace damage your career? It depends on what you did, who saw you doing it, and how it affects your employer. Avoid these behaviors, and you may save your professional reputation.

Get Arrested

Bad Behavior
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If you get arrested, particularly if it makes the news, you can count on people including your boss, clients, and coworkers looking at you a little differently. Your boss may not fire you unless you are convicted, but he or she may refrain from giving you desirable assignments until your name is cleared.

Post Risque Content on the Web

drunk man with taxidermy animal heads passed out on couch
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You may think that picture of you, drunk and incoherent, on Facebook, is funny, but if your boss or prospective boss comes across it, it could be very embarrassing. Think of the image you are trying to convey. Is this it?

Disclose Your Employer's Secrets

business man wispering into colleagues ear
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Revealing proprietary information is a breach of ethics and could harm your employer where it hurts most—on the bottom line. This won't bode well for you as far as your current job is concerned, and it can tarnish your reputation with future employers as well. Even competing companies that may have benefited from your indiscretion may be reluctant to hire you.

Badmouth Your Boss, Co-workers or Clients

Two employees gossiping in office cubicle
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No one likes it when people say mean things about them. If you say something that isn't nice about an acquaintance he or she may stop talking to you. While that will affect your social life, if you say something nasty about your boss, coworkers, or clients, it can affect your livelihood. Your boss may fire you, your coworkers may make going to work unpleasant, and your clients may decide to take their business elsewhere.

Post Harmful Information About Your Employer on Social Media

Businesswoman using cell phone in cafe
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Be careful of what you post about your job. If you wouldn't say it in front of your boss, don't share it on social media. As mentioned earlier, don't badmouth your employer or the people with whom you work and don't give away company secrets. If your reason for posting is to vent about your job, talk to a few trusted friends instead of putting it out there for everyone to see.

Moonlight for a Competitor

Businessman working at night
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If you moonlight for a competing company, you could be violating your employment contract if it includes a non-compete agreement. Check your contract and your employee handbook. Even if there isn't anything that forbids you from working for a competitor, you should check with your boss first. He or she could see it as a conflict of interest.

Get Drunk in Front of Your Boss or Colleagues

Drunk worker
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Whether you're out to dinner with your colleagues or at an office party—which by the way is technically a work-related event—don't get drunk or misbehave in any other way. Maintaining a professional demeanor is imperative whenever you are around those with whom you work.

Make Racist, Sexist or Other Statements that Reflect Your Prejudices

A diverse group of coworkers
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While freedom of speech allows you to say whatever you want, the question is, should you? Remarks that reflect intolerance toward groups of people are hurtful and can reflect negatively on your employer if you are seen as a company representative.

Stalk or Harass a Colleague

Man stalking a woman in a parking garage
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Your boss is likely to disapprove if your colleague reports that you are doing something that is making him or her uncomfortable. Should your boss conclude that your colleague may be so uncomfortable that it impedes his or her performance at work, you may be out of a job. If it's ​sexual harassment, you may find yourself in legal trouble as well.

Get Caught Out and About on a Sick Day

Woman carrying shopping bags
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You want to spend the day on the beach or at the mall shopping. Do you call in sick or take a personal or vacation day? If you picked "call in sick," think about what will happen if your boss or someone who might tell your boss, sees you enjoying your day off.