How Do I Prevent Being Fired from a Job?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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The possibility of being fired from a job is a source of stress and anxiety for many people, and may cause damage to both personal life and current job performance. While there is no foolproof way to avoid being fired from a job, there are many strategies that can help reduce the likelihood of this unfortunate event. Being a positive force in the workplace, staying on the cutting edge of industry developments, and having a quick response to mistakes can all help improve chances of retaining a job. If the ax is about to drop, however, consider taking proactive action with employers to help soften the blow.

One of the factors that can greatly affect firing decisions is an employee's place in the workplace atmosphere. Workers who make the work place difficult for others, through gossiping, whining, or a bad temper, are unlikely to soften the hearts of a boss faced with downsizing. While being a friendly and positive person in the workplace can't make up for poor job performance or inadequate skills, it can go a long way to preserving a job in a workplace where most workers are on an equal skill level. Volunteering with morale projects, bringing in a box of cookies, or gaining a reputation as a great communicator may help preserve a job when downsizing is required.


Mistakes are inevitable in the workplace, but how an employee responds to a mistake may save him or her from being fired from a job. Pointing fingers at others or refusing to admit a mistake can make a problem situation drag too long and establish a poor reputation. Responding to mistake with a fast acknowledgment and an immediate plan for recovery may actually help an employee gain points, instead of losing them for making a mistake in the first place.

One factor that can lead to being fired from a job is a lack of continuing education. Many industries see major developments on an annual, if not monthly basis, and employers may be quick to replace loyal, existing employees with newer workers who have the hottest, freshest training. Though it can be difficult to balance work with continuing education, subscribing to industry journals, attending new development seminars, or taking night classes can help an employee remain relevant, and thus highly valued, on the job.

In cases where a parting of the ways is both imminent and unavoidable, an employee can still take some of the sting out of being fired from a job by taking direct, fast action. Firing an employee can harm workplace morale and productivity, and many employers will be willing to compromise with a departing employee in order to create a mutual decision agreement to part instead of an outright firing. Savvy employees may even be able to bargain severance packages, benefit extensions, and even retraining funds by offering to resign rather than be fired. If unemployment is certain, an employee has little to lose by attempting to negotiate a better deal with employers.


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