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When 'little' things could hurt our careers

By | July 1st 2011


 Some employees weather big crises like allegations of graft but fall victim to minute mistakes that eventually lead to their sacking.

This normally happens in their last years of employment, putting their terminal benefits in danger.

A frequent eyesore is some drunken employees wearing the branded T-shirts and caps of their workplaces in social places.

Others routinely park their official vehicles bearing company logos in dubious neighbourhoods.  Such reckless behaviour gives one’s profession a bad name.

It also casts a long shadow across one’s career path and can lead to a censure if not outright sacking.

The sheer volume of classified workplace information that flows freely in social places courtesy of some employees’ enthusiastic gossiping is staggering.

This is a gross breach of work ethics. Such acts can tarnish one’s reputation with future employers as well. Besides, such indiscretion can benefit competitors who, ironically, may be reluctant to hire such gossips given the ease with which they reveal confidential information.

Many employees often moonlight to make an extra coin and this can lead to the sack if one is discovered. Actually, many may have been doing it for long to an extent that they are no longer cautious.

But it can be even worse when some employees offer their services to firms that compete with their employers. This creates a conflict of interest and violates a cardinal and often unwritten hiring rule of loyalty.

There are situations where some highly trained specialists have to work for several employers as in the health, IT, teaching and aviation industries. But in such cases, one should clear with his or her formal boss first before working for a competitor.

Charo Mwajefwa, a junior manager with a multinational company says that an innocuous thing like visiting the social places where one’s boss frequents can be misconstrued as snooping on him or her and lead to the sack.

“Many bosses often disapprove of such behaviour because it makes them uncomfortable”, he says. And often a stalked boss may conclude that a snooping employee is on someone else’s payroll.

Mwajefwa adds that posting harmful information about one’s employer can go round and come back to haunt one. “People should be careful of whom they chat with on social media,” he says.


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