10 Reasons Why You Got Fired From Your Previous Job

Written by Benny Koteeni

Getting a befitting job these days is way more difficult than it used to be two decades ago. If you eventually get a job with some semblance of self-satisfaction, keeping the job becomes a struggle. 

Have you ever felt like the reason you lost your previous job was because your employer hated you that much? 

Or have you ever felt like you weren’t competent enough for the position? If you fall into this category, this article is for you. 

Within this post, you will learn about 10 reasons why you got fired from your previous job and how best to avoid these mistakes and habits. 

For those quick readers, I’ll outline the various reasons.

10 Reasons Why You Got Fired From Your Previous Job 

  1. Constant complaints from clients about you 
  2. Lateness to work
  3. Poor dress sense 
  4. Your constant complaints about working conditions
  5. Untidy desk
  6. Eating during work hours
  7. Eavesdropping
  8. Poor office ethics 
  9. Lying to your boss or colleagues 
  10. Bad personal hygiene practices

With that settled, be sure to read each point to get the information in the right context. Also, there will be tips on how to treat each problem. Be sure to keep reading.

Now then, Let’s go!

1. Constant Complaints From Clients About You 

Every organization or company cannot function without having a customer base. If you work with service-oriented companies, there’s a high possibility that you’ll have to deal with various clients with distinct temperaments.

It’s important to note that not every client you meet would treat you respectfully. Some clients are aware of their importance and would exploit it to the fullest. They would often use rude words even when it’s unnecessary.

Unfortunately, you know what they say… ‘the customer is always right.’ 

Whenever you try to ‘pay them in their coin,’ they get offended and ask for the manager. Like it or not, rude clients can get you into serious trouble if you don’t handle them with caution. 

In another scenario, you could be the cause of this issue. We all wake up on the wrong side of the bed now and then, but you must learn to control yourself even when you don’t feel like it. ‘

So what are the recommended tips to prevent this? 

  • Learn to say sorry to your clients even when they are clearly at fault – saying sorry can save you a lot.
  • Put up a smile even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Talk to clients nicely even when they’re rude. 

2. Lateness To Work

Lateness in any work is a trait that most employees pick up, especially when working for the money alone. It’s a huge turn-off for every employer, and no employer wants to deal with any worker who is perpetually late. 

Even in family events, we all have that one family member who always seems too busy to attend family functions early. The entire family is never happy with these sets of people.

In the same light, even if you work overtime after coming late, it doesn’t justify your lateness to work. 

There are many reasons you’re always late to work or any other activity. Understanding these reasons will give you a clearer path to fixing the issue. They are 

  • You don’t sleep early enough.
  • You don’t set your alarm, or you ignore your alarm when it sets off.
  • You eat late at night: This ultimately wears you out.
  • You don’t close from work on time and consequently, return home late at night.

There are more reasons, but I’m sure you know better.

Let’s look at practical ways to avoid lateness or stop it altogether. 

  • Don’t eat late at night – your last meal shouldn’t exceed 6 pm for obvious reasons.
  • Set your alarm, and learn not to hit the mute button every time it rings.
  • Try to sleep early enough. 
  • Close from work early enough.
  • Exercise every morning once you wake up. It will give you a boost of willpower and energy.

3. Poor Dress Sense 

Now you’ve got to admit, everyone loves someone with a good dress sense. 

When working in a company that allows you to dress the way you like, you have to make sure you’re not under or overdressed.

Bad dress sense could make people avoid your company, while overdressing could make some clients feel inferior while trying to relate with you. 

Neither of these is good for business. You have to know how to strike a balance. Don’t look too shabby, and don’t look overdressed. It will make you more acceptable in the eyes of clients.

Hey, don’t say I told you this, but most business owners may get mad at you if you dress more than they do. So you shouldn’t actively try to step on their toes. 

So with that said, let’s drop some tips on tackling this.

  • Try to dress moderately. 
  • Wear a jean if it is allowed by your employer.
  • If you work in an office, a tie won’t hurt (if you’re male).
  • Try not to wear multi-colored shoes. It’s not the best for official settings.
  • Don’t wear clothes that reveal sensitive parts of your body. Some clients could find this offensive.
  • Wear clean clothes (obviously).

4. Your Constant Complaints About Working Conditions

This office is always too cold, this office needs more fans, the customers yell too much, there are too many rules in this office, I don’t like the color of my desk (lol).

There are all sorts of complaints you may have about your working environment.  Trust me, no one loves their workplace 100%. We all just have to work with what we have. 

Although making periodic observations can be a good thing for the company, as it can help detect flaws on time, you shouldn’t do this often.

Always dropping observations can present you as a nagging fellow, and trust me, you want to avoid this to prevent victimization by your employer and other colleagues. 

To remedy this, I have a few tips for you:

  • Do you want to drop a suggestion or complaint? Use the suggestion box (try to alter your handwriting a little)
  • Never go to your boss to complain about another employee directly on more than one occasion. Trust me, your intentions will be misread.
  • Try as much as possible not to make observations in the form of gossip. It always ends up wrong.
  • Try to manage your workspace as possible.
  • If there are things you can change without spending too much money, without altering the current setting put in place by your employer, go for it! 
  • Don’t be afraid to quit the job if the working conditions are too bad. Just find another job before quitting to avoid being stranded.

5. Untidy Desk

Let’s pretend you’re just a regular customer right now. Imagine walking into a customer service unit office to find the office desk in a mess; Calendar misplaced, pen and papers all around, visible cables everywhere, and food crumbs and stains on the desk.

This is a huge turn-off. I would never want to work with someone whose desk is always untidy and trust me, no employer would want that either. 

It gives a terrible impression about the company and how things are done. 

  • Keep your desk clean.
  • Just keep your desk clean!
  • Try to get air fresheners even if your employer doesn’t provide one.
  • Get a short calendar and a short notepad. It gives your desk a good look
  • Get only simple flowers. 
  • Don’t keep cables on the desk. If you have a drawer, make use of it. 
  • Get furniture cleaning sprays. It would help a whole lot. 

6. Eating During Work 

Now don’t get me wrong, nutrition is an indispensable part of human existence, and not even your employer can take that away from reality. However, doing the right thing at the wrong time will get you in trouble.

Every workplace has rules that direct its affairs, and you should abide by them. Within these rules and ethics, lunch/break time is included.

Most offices have shifts or some sort of system in place that gives you a break now and then.  Within these breaks, you can satisfy your stomach.

From a customer’s standpoint, food is important, but I feel I’d rather be attended to than have to wait for the attendant to finish a meal. I honestly wouldn’t have that much patience in me, and the same applies to millions of people just like me. 

So what should you do?

  • Don’t eat during working hours (obviously)
  • Arrange breaks that work best with you and are accepted by your employer.
  • If you constantly need to chew something, a chocolate bar won’t hurt. Just try not to take too many of those to avoid getting diabetic.
  • Don’t do it while a customer is waiting if you must eat. It will piss your customer and your employer as well.
  • Try to eat before starting work in the morning.

7. Eavesdropping

For non-English natives, eavesdropping refers to listening in on the conversations of others. Now, you don’t have to be an employer to hate this particular trait. 

For gossip purposes, eavesdroppers generally want to know what’s going on with others. It could also be when you listen to others talking and jump into the conversation uninvited.

When caught constantly, this will make you lose your job, but aside from this, even eavesdroppers don’t ever like being eavesdropped on. It is a generally hated trait. 

So how do you deal with this?

  • Walk away from conversations that have nothing to do with you. 
  • Resist the urge to listen to random conversations.
  • Feel tempted? Get your earbuds on, and listen to Alicia Keys, Opera, or whatever it is you would prefer.
  • Resist the urge to gossip.

8. Poor Office Ethics 

We all want the liberty to be ourselves and act the way we want at every single point in time. Unfortunately, the office has quite a number of rules and ethics that you have to follow to avoid getting into trouble with your employer now and then.

An entire post on office ethics will be updated soon enough, be sure to check it out and learn how to behave in office areas. 

Office ethics starts from how to knock on an office door, to how to shake hands, down to how to sit when you walk into an office.

Knowledge of this will set you apart as an employee and help you communicate with clients better.

So what tips do I have for you on this?

  • Learn to talk politely. 
  • Learn to sit properly.
  • Read our post on office ethics to get up-to-speed on acceptable office behaviors.

9. Lying to Your Boss or Colleagues 

Lies, lies, lies.

Something we all do but refuse to accept. Everyone lies but hates being lied to.

We may want to argue by saying, ‘well, I told a white lie, it’s not going to hurt anyone…’

As much as I would love to say that too, a lie is a lie. 

You’ll get into trouble every time you get caught telling lies, especially in your office and to your boss.

Trust is one thing that should be upheld at all costs: when the time comes, someone may need to stand in for you. And no one would want to stand in for someone who constantly tells lies to save themselves.

So I have these tips for you based on this.

  • Learn to tell the truth 
  • Only use lies if it is absolutely necessary-  Because sometimes, lies could save you. As long as it doesn’t implicate someone else, telling a little lie once in every blue moon wouldn’t hurt. We will also have a post about lies and when to tell them. 

10. Bad Personal Hygiene Practices

Bad hygiene practices are almost too numerous to be captured within the context of this article. However, for context, I will narrow it down to body odor and mouth odor, as these are the most common.

Now forget about being an employer. I definitely wouldn’t want to talk to a customer care agent or any mall worker with this skillset (if you know what I mean). 

Having bad hygiene practices can prompt clients to report you to any channel available to them consistently. And trust me, it won’t take long before you eventually get fired. 

So what do you do if you ever find yourself in this category?

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Mouthwash won’t hurt
  • Always use an antiperspirant. It helps kill sweat odors.
  • Try a nice perfume
  • Bath at least two times a day
  • Mind what you eat, and you should be fine.


Conclusively, your career path is important, and every single job you take on the way is vital for gaining that experience you need. 

There may be other reasons why you may have gotten fired from your previous job. If you know of any, be sure to let me know in the comment section. 

I might consider writing a second part of this article if I get several suggestions on why you may have gotten fired from your previous job. 

Feel free to look around, and find other related articles that can equip you with the relevant knowledge you need in your career journey, to avoid getting fired repeatedly. 

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