How to Lose Your Job
It’s no secret—no workplace is perfect. Every job comes with its own challenges—usually with other employees—making it difficult to do our jobs well. When problems arise in your workplace, what’s your course of action? Our general advice: don’t dump your problems with another employee on your boss!
Of course, there are times when a situation requires you to speak up, for example, sexual harassment, posing a threat to oneself or another’s well-being, or breaking serious organizational policies or laws.
However, if the issue at hand doesn’t fall within those categories, perhaps it isn’t wise to bring it to your boss’s attention. The types of situations we’re describing are interpersonal in nature, such as:
- Arguments or disagreements between coworkers
- An employee who spends their workday online shopping or playing on their phone
- Someone’s annoying habits make being productive difficult
- Rumors that spread throughout the office
You may believe that you’re being helpful, or preventing a crisis by discussing the above with your supervisor, but you could be causing more issues by bringing it up.
Consider the following:
- Your boss has other problems to manage. Think about his/her perspective. They are more focused on the big picture; taking time away from their work to hear your concerns could be low on their priority list.
- You can lose your job, and/or damage your reputation. Your boss may think that you’re more concerned about others’ performance instead of your own, when you could be proactive and working to find a solution. In addition, others may hear about what’s happened and label you as a “tattletale,” which can stir the pot even more.
If you’re faced with a dilemma like this, there are ways to help solve the problem without risking your reputation or job.
- Ask yourself: is it your concern? In our experience, the conscientious and hard-working employees are the ones who notice when another individual is costing the company time or money. However, if this is the case, it’s their manager’s responsibility to take action, not yours. If no one else seems worried about the problem at hand, consider whether it’s worth pursuing in the first place—let it go!
- Try to find your own solutions. Before approaching the subject with your colleagues, talk to a trusted friend outside of work to offer you a new perspective. If you feel confident in your approach, then try to work it out with the individual directly—you might be able to resolve the situation without approaching management. (See number 1 above!)
- Ask your boss for guidance or coaching. If you believe you’re unable to work through the problem yourself and need to involve your boss, ask if they have the time available and can coach you on how to resolve it. Remember—the main purpose of bringing it up is to create a better work environment for the future, and not to complain about the past.
It’s tough to know what to do when problems arise at work. We get it! You want to do the right thing, but there’s a fine line between helping and hurting—your own career. At Staffing Solutions, Inc. we’re here to talk you through these situations to find you the best path forward—keeping your success in mind.
Questions? Call us!