How to Get Fired! Or keep your job, whichever you’d prefer

So, your formal education is coming to a close. You’ve had a wonderful time in school, and you’re in no hurry to trade that for a life filled with stress and responsibility. In fact, this whole ‘getting a job’ thing isn’t even your idea; it’s your parent’s or school counselor’s idea, it’s the entire seething mass of society trying to crush your freedom.

Well then, fight back! If you would rather play video games all day than suffer through a lifetime of stable employment, here’s exactly what you need to do:[wcm_restrict]

  • Dress every day as though you’ve just woken up. Nothing says ‘disinterested in advancement’ like a man or woman too lazy to bother with basic grooming.
  • Treat your job like college! In other words, do what you like when you like and ignore the rest. Show up when it suits you, skip meetings you expect will be boring or inconvenient, and save all your productive energy for the night before any project is due. You’ve had several years to perfect these skills, and if you continue putting them to good use you should ensure that the IRS never bothers to audit you. After all, why hassle a person without assets?
  • Gossip! Remember how you’ve used your Facebook account to complain about the various problems of others? Well, no need to stop now! And since nothing on the Internet stays private, it’ll only be a matter of time before word trickles back to your boss about what you’ve been saying about him/her. And when it does, congratulations! You’ll never miss another mid-morning cartoon marathon in your life!

In all seriousness, those techniques are very effective at helping people lose their jobs. And if that’s your goal, you can stop reading now. However, if you actually want to keep a job – any job – for any length of time, here are a few things to consider:

  • Under no circumstances should your parents accompany you on any interview. Nobody will hire anyone whose mommy and daddy need to do all the talking. Seriously, if they’re coming with you, why not just sit in the car and wait to see how it turned out. Then maybe they’ll take you out for ice cream afterwards!
  • Do not use your social networking email as the contact email on your resume. It’s awfully hard to take anybody seriously when they ask you to contact them at [email protected]
  • Show up every day, on time. Not terribly profound advice, but it’s a habit school – especially college – doesn’t require you to develop. Your job will, though.
  • Understand that you’re not going to start at the top unless you’re related to the person who hired you, of course. Otherwise, yours will be a slow and steady progression like everyone else’s, and if you want that progression to happen faster, you’ll concentrate on proving yourself first. If you expect to advance before you’ve demonstrated an ability to handle more and more difficult assignments, then you’ll be waiting for a long, long time.

There’s more to know and plenty of other behaviors to avoid, but this should get you started. So get out there and enjoy yourself because the ability to determine the path of your life, which your education has just given you, is a more incredible experience than you might expect. Don’t blow it.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

Jeff Havens is a former comedian turned college and corporate speaker. His latest comedy lecture, How to Get Fired!, helps prepare college students for their professional lives by ‘encouraging’ them to do each of the top ten things that most commonly cost people their jobs. The accompanying book, How to Get Fired!: The New Employee’s Guide to Perpetual Unemployment, is available in all popular retail outlets and online at and

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