How to Keep your Job


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How to Keep your Job is a guide to staying in employment and avoiding the pitfalls of starting a new job covering everything from sickness to lunch breaks to appearance. There is no need to lose your job over a discrepancy so make sure that you read our guide to keeping your job.

For more information, find out about starting an Apprenticeship or Traineeship or for more advice visit: or call: 0121 707 0550 or e-mail:

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How to Keep your Job

  1. 1. How to Keep Your Job? Pathway Groupputting you first
  2. 2. Introduction Sometimes when people start new employment they make a number of mistakes that can mean that they get off on the wrong foot with their employers and this could job, due to making some basic mistakes. At Apprenticeship Recruitment we don’t want you to become one of these statistics so we have created this booklet to guide you through the basics of starting employment so that you can impress your employer and make you stand out, in a good way, and become a valued employee. ‘Do’s &‘Don’ts Attendance Being Late For Work Being reliable is a number one priority to an employer! If you are not there, then you can’t do a job, no matter how good you are at it. You are paid to be at work at a certain time and that means you need to be there on time no matter what. However, this also doesn’t mean that you can come rushing through the door minute before you are due to start because you won’t be ready to‘start’ Un-foreseen circumstances pop up from time to time and if this is the case, apologise for being late and offer to make the time up after work or at lunch-time. Lunch Breaks Everyone is entitled to a lunch break however it shouldn’t be abused! • DON’T take your lunch break without checking with your Manager/Supervisor first. Other people in your team will also have to take a lunch break and while they are away the office can’t just be left empty if you disappear too. • DON’T take your full break AND THEN eat your lunch at your desk when you should have been working. Lunch Breaks are a time for you to have a rest and eat your lunch at the same time. • Don’t be late: If you are entitled to a 30-minute break, take a 30-minute break but DON’T be late back! There are too many incidents of people having been warned or sacked for persistent lateness. Don’t be one of them. 1.
  3. 3. Doctors, Dentists & Other Appointments Everyone has to go to the Doctors and Dentist from time to time however when you are working full-time it is important that unless they are an emergency then you arrange the appointments outside of your working hours or arrange a time which suit your company. Check with your manager when would be convenient BEFORE you book your appointment and once you have booked your appointment present your appointment card to your Manager so that they know you are telling the truth and have evidence. Note: Usually it is better to make your appointments at the start or end of the day or even if in a lunch break. Cigarette & Coffee Breaks Every place of work is non-smoking however; some companies will allow you to take cigarette breaks during the working day. • Make sure that you find out from your manager/supervisor what the acceptable number of breaks is/time restrictions and DO NOT exceed it. • DON’T take breaks at times when it is going to cause difficulties to other members of staff who will have to cover for you. Breaks to make coffee are acceptable within most workplaces. Once made, the drinks should normally be consumed whilst you work. Don’t forget to be polite and offer to make drinks for others in your office when you are making one for yourself! Leaving Early/Clock Watching In general leaving early, without permission is unacceptable. If there is a genuine reason that you need to leave early then discuss it with your manager/supervisor but do not expect it to be automatically granted. Managers might not mind if it is a one-off occasion for a genuine reason but make sure that you are not packing up five or ten minutes before you are due to finish work, so that you can rush out the door. Finish the job you are doing and then tidy your desk before leaving. 2. ke o ma uld Do drin makin g Early eral leavi ceptable ou need to our manag t it to be aut ers might not on for a genuine s before you are you are doing and on rkin e the ur com with you ntment an ntment ca evidence. N of the day o igarette & Coff Every place of w take cigarette b • Make sure t number of • DON’T take members Breaks to ma drinks shou you work. to make d you are m Leaving In gene is unacc that yo with yo expect Manage occasio minutes the job y 2. Doct eryo e wor ange t you heck w ppoin appoin have e end o Cig D Eve are arra suit Ch ap a
  4. 4. Sickness Nobody can help being ill however employers want a reliable employee! Sickness will be closely monitored, especially in the early days of your employment. Simply wanting a day off from work is not an acceptable reason to ring in sick! Being off un- expectedly could cause your employer serious difficulties, as they have to find someone to do your job at short notice while you are away or get others to cover your role. Remember you are part of a team and by ringing in sick could be letting people down or making others suffer. If your illness is genuine but you have the energy to go into work then it might be worth you doing this and then being sent home if you feel worse later in the day. This will make the right impression that you are dedicated and your manager will see that you are not‘Pulling a Sicky’! You can feel better once you are busy at work. However, if you are really un-well make sure that you ring in early and inform the company so that they will be able to make the necessary arrangements to cover your absence. This will show that you take genuine care over your work. Note: If you are ill for a period of time then you may need to provide a doctor’s note as proof. Each company will have their own policies and procedures relating to sickness so make sure that if you know your illness won’t be over in a couple of days that you know what you need to do to avoid inconvenience or annoyance to your employer. Also, make sure you ring in yourself: Don’t get your boyfriend/girlfriend or sister/ brother/friend to ring in and don’t get someone to pretend to be one of your parents, you’ll get found out and it’s not worth it. Finally, you must ring DAILY! Sickness is one of the biggest reasons for a young employee receiving a disciplinary at work. Don’t pretend to be sick, you will be caught out. Here are a number of examples where people have got caught out in the past • Being in town shopping, having lunch or going out in the evening: You might not have booked the day off but others could have and if they see you they are very likely to tell someone. . ar co ha ee ke su frien you’l you mu ss is one o k. pretend to b re a number o g in town shopp booked the day o to tell someone. dy yee ays o not a edly co ave to fin e away or re part of a ple down or our illness is g worth you doing This will make th see that you are However, if you company so th your absence. Note: If you a proof. Each co make sure th what you ne Also, make brother/f parents, Finally, y Sicknes at work Don’t p Here ar • Being have likely t Sick obod mploy rly da ork is pecte hey ha ou are you are peopl If yo wo Th S No em ear wo exp the yo y 3.
  5. 5. • Name appears in the local paper in regards to something you have been doing while you have supposedly been ill e.g. volunteering, sports activities, attending community days etc. • Seen at a part-time evening job: If you are well enough to work this job why weren’t you well enough to work your full-time job earlier in the day. • Stories that don’t match up or repeated stories week after week: These will draw attention to you and make people question and investigate if you are telling the truth. Remember: If you are telling the truth you have nothing to hide or worry about! Holidays Everyone deserves a break from work especially after working hard for a long period of time. However, follow the following do’s and don’ts so that time off doesn’t become an issue: • Always give your company as much notice as possible if you would like to take a holiday. • Don’t book your holidays until you have checked with your manager/supervisor. If the office is expected to be particularly busy or other members of staff have already booked to have the same days off, then your request may be declined so there is no point wasting your time and money. • Do not expect that any last minute plans will be authorised. Make sure your partner knows how important your job is to you so that they don’t waste their money booking a surprise holiday in a period you are meant to be working. Book early to avoid disappointment! Attitude Don’t Be Lazy! If you’ve finished your work then ask for something else to do. Being proactive will mean you’re your managers will respect and trust you and you working days will go more quickly. Also your manager will be impressed by your enthusiasm which is great for working your way up the career ladder! Not being lazy includes turning up to work on time, having a positive attitude and not taking off fake sick days. 4.
  6. 6. Repetitive & Boring Tasks All jobs have some mundane tasks and just because you think a task is boring doesn’t mean that it is unimportant. They might be the make or break of the administrative way that your company functions. Concentrate more‘the boring’ tasks as your mind might be prone to wander, or you might get bored and miss information or not check it properly and therefore more likely to make mistakes! Also, being asked to make drinks, get the mail, or do the filing or photocopying may seem boring but it is could be vital to the success of the business or customer service and is also something that is expected just like any other tasks in any other part of your job. Have a positive attitude whatever the task is that faces you. Taking On New Responsibilities Be eager to take on new responsibilities as it will make your day more interesting and varied. Don’t expect to always be doing the job that you are doing at the moment. Note: If you want to progress, your managers will be able to see your potential if you take on new tasks. You Are Part of a Team Being part of a team means that you should perform your tasks correctly, on time and communicate effectively with the rest of the team. If someone in your team needs help and you can offer that help then help them out. This will build others confidence in you and mean that good reports go back about you to the manager. It is also important to respect your colleagues. In life there will always be people you get on with less well than others however in a working environment you must be polite and professional to everyone, regardless of your personal views. If you have a problem either with the work you have been told to do or someone or something else, talk about it to either a manager. It is best not to become involved with work gossip so make sure that you always speak about people well because you don’t want your manager finding out you have spread gossip or involved in things that you shouldn’t be. However, DON’T bottle up your emotions as eventually you will crack and the problem will be bigger than it needs to be. You will also suffer from stress and ill health if you let problems linger. DON’T roll your eyes or‘tut’when asked to take on a task that may be repetitive or boring. Remember it might be boring but it might also be vital. a of un p a ce in impo with le nd prof have a pro hing else, ork gossip on’t want yo that you sho ll crack and th ress and ill hea roll your eyes or‘t Remember it migh bs h t m strat your ation o eing ask eem borin e and is al of your job. king On New Be eager to take and varied. Don’t expect to Note: If you wa take on new ta Being part o and commu needs help confidenc It is also get on w polite an If you h someth with w you do things you wil from str DON’T ro boring. R Repe l jobs esn’t minis ks as forma so, be may se service part o Tak B R All doe adm tas info Als m s 5.
  7. 7. Communication E-mail & Internet Your E-mail and Internet access at work should be used purely for business use and not for you to contact friends/family or to surf the Internet. Always ensure that the e-mails you send are polite. If you are fortunate enough to be working for a company where personal use is permitted then use your common sense and follow the following guidelines: • NEVER send rude or offensive emails to anyone inside or outside the company about anyone inside or outside of the company. • DON’T use the Internet or E-mail to harass another member of staff, client or customer. • ONLY go to appropriate websites: It is likely that your company will be monitoring where you visit. • If you are allowed to use the Internet for your own personal uses DON’T excessively use Internet or e-mail for things that don’t directly relate to your work. Your usage will be monitored and if you are spending more time surfing then doing your job your employer won’t be happy. • Remember Social Media Sites like Facebook and Twitter are likely to be restricted or not allowed to be used during working hours so don’t get yourself into unnecessary trouble. • And finally, ONLY use these privileges during your lunch break or when you have been given permission. Remember: These are not your computers! Telephone & Mobile DON’T use your office phone for personal calls without first checking with your supervisor or manager. The office phone should ONLY be used for making important calls, not general chatting. Most companies expect you to switch off your mobile phone during working hours or at the very least ensure it is silent. Do not accept or make calls on your mobile phone unless it is important or within your lunch break and the same applies to text messages. If someone needs to get hold of you in an emergency, then they should call the work number, not your mobile. 6.
  8. 8. DON’T try to hide what you are doing: Texting under your desk will be noticed! If you need to make a personal call, ask first! Listen If anyone is informing you of something relating to your job it is important to listen carefully! NEVER be afraid to ask someone to repeat or elaborate on what they are saying if you don’t understand because you don’t want to make costly mistakes later. It may be helpful to take notes, which you can refer back to later because this will mean that information is fresh in your mind and recorded so you know that you are doing the right thing and following instructions. Buy a notebook and write it down. Talking, Shouting, Swearing and Other Inappropriate Language You are being paid to work and you are a professional employee who is a representative of the company at all times. It is therefore very important that you get on well with everyone you work with and clients. Shouting, swearing or other inappropriate language are all things that you ahould never do in the working environment or anytime where you are representing the business. This includes going to other companies, on public transport etc. Something that you might think is fine to say others may find offensive. You don’t know everyone’s backgrounds, families and views about right and wrong so keep everything polite and appropriate. Don’t do anything during or after working hours that could potentially cause the company to gain a bad reputation and to therefore lose business. At the end of the day they employ you and to be able to continue to employ you they need to be successful in their business. Inappropriate Jokes/Banter Remember that something you may find amusing could cause offence to others you work with. No one wants to stop you enjoying yourself at work, but it’s important that other people are not made to feel uncomfortable, isolated, singled out or hurt by any comments that you make. This can include but is not limited to: ageist, racist or sexist remarks as well as any other form of discrimination. If you are accused of any of these things it could lead to disciplinary action being taken against you which isn’t good on your record. Think before you speak! i e t he g th ryo ng p ld po iness. you th mber that with. No on her people comments t n include but is orm of discrimin plinary action bei fore you speak! ne ne is in ly! NEVE if you do ay be helpfu ean that inform oing the right t Talking You are being p representative get on well wit inappropriate environment going to oth Something know ever everything that could lose busi employ Remem work w that ot by any This can other fo to discip Think befo DON you n anyon arefully aying ater. It ma mea do D If y If a car sa la 7.
  9. 9. Appearance Work Dress Code Always wear smart clothes to work, if you are working in an office. Most businesses do not accept jeans or trainers. Ensure that your clothes are not too skimpy and do not show your thong or your bare belly! Tattoos & Piercings Most companies would expect or would prefer if you covered up tattoos and piercings for work, particularly if you are dealing with customers or clients. If you have piercings other than one pair in your ears, e.g. multiple ear piercings, eyebrow, nose or tongue studs, and then some companies may request that these are removed during office hours to ensure that the professional image of the company is maintained. If you choose to have a piercing done after you start work then ensure that it is either out of sight or check in advance with your employer, as you might not be able to remove it for the first six weeks. Overall Your job should be enjoyable and, if you follow the suggestions within this booklet then it should remain so. Working relationships can easily be compromised when people behave in an inappropriate manner. Remember in all situations that the employer is paying you to do a job and so you need to respect them to keep it. Want More Information? If you would like any more advice on jobs, interviews, applications and Apprenticeships or Traineeships call Apprenticeship Recruitment today on: 0121 707 0550 Fax: 08444 127362 or E-mail: 8.