I have remarked on more than one occasion on how people are
getting fired faster and with less cause today than ever before. Whereas at one
time, people were only fired for incompetence or a crime, today it might be
because a new manager just doesn’t like how you make them feel.

One of the more common reasons for letting someone go is by using that “you
don’t fit with our company culture” statement. Sometimes that is a good thing
for you; sometimes it is a cop out for the employer.

Here are some issues you might want to be aware of:

      • Treat overly friendly people with normal, realistic behaviour and don’t


      disclose too much about your personal life. Know the difference between


      associates and friends. Charming people make it easy for you to open up about


      yourself, but you never know where or when they may use that information to your



• Watch for people who can only see one side of an issue, it
might not be the same side as you’re on. Short-sighted colleagues or bosses can
make you look bad or incompetent even when you’re not.

• Listen out for peers who badmouth anyone behind their back. What might they
be saying about you? Shut down gossipers as soon as they start denigrating
someone by changing the topic or walking away.

• Look at criticism as a gift. (After assessing whether it really is you or
the criticizer). Ask a criticizer to give you an example of your difficult
behaviour, and then act accordingly. It is ok to be wrong. It’s okay Wear
elastic around your wrist and every time you resort to your old bothersome ways,
snap the elastic on your wrist for a quick behavioural modification

• Keep a file folder of all your accomplishments and tasks or assignments you
volunteer for or contributed to especially those that are over and above your
job description. Keep thank you emails and letters from customers and
colleagues/bosses on file. When you are having a low self-esteem day, pull out
the file and read the wonderful things people had to say about you.

• Pay attention to moody people – colleagues who are quick to argue and
defend, and bosses who make arbitrary decisions. Give these people lots of
space. You don’t want to not trust people, but you can’t always take behaviour
at face value either. People can put on convincing masks in the workplace.

• Be cautious and patient with naysayers and those who are overly cautious.
Acknowledge that their concerns are certainly legitimate, show statistics and
show them that their fear is highly improbable.

Understand that people’s perception of you is based on their own reality.
Once someone decides you are not their cup of tea, it is extremely difficult to
get back into their good books. Be true to yourself, be real and work on your
emotional intelligence on a daily basis.

Colleen Clarke
Career specialist and corporate trainer
Author of: Networking: How To
Build Relationships That Count
and How To Get a Job and Keep