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10 Tips for keeping a job once you get it

Updated on August 22, 2013


So you got that job, Congratulations! Now you want to keep it! Some companies will ‘over-hire’ when they are seeking new employees to ‘weed’ out the bad ones. Why do they do this? Because a lot of the people of today do not know how to keep a job once they get it. They may feel that now they have the job, made that first good impression and that is all they needed to do. This is not true. Once you have the job you will have to work to keep it.

The term “It’s a Jungle out there” has never been more appropriate in today’s economy. In a Jungle it is hard to survive, in the work force that too can be difficult to keep your job. I have complied a few tips that will help you keep that job once you get it

Arrive on Time

1.  Scheduled time - Always arrive to your job ON TIME, if you arrive 10 minutes early that is even better.  If you are replacing someone (switching shifts) it will let the person know that you are there and they will be able to finish up there shift without worrying that you won’t show.  You may not be able to punch in, and those 10 minutes will be lost forever, but your mind will begin to prepare for the job at hand.  Do not come in daily being harried, this shows not being prepared for the job.  Is your life so busy that you can’t find the time to show up?  Then maybe you shouldn’t have the job.  When it comes time for ‘weeding’ you may be the first to go.


2.  Appearance - You should always look your best.  Your clothes should be clean and wrinkle free.  No one wants an employee who looks like they just stumbled out of bed, and slept in their clothes.  Your body should also be clean and free of odor.  Use a deodorant there are plenty on the market that work just fine.  Your fellow workers will notice if you continue to come into work smelling like a garbage truck and they will complain.  If you have facial hair, you should keep it groomed in the appropriate manner as may be stated in the handbook or manual.  Make-up worn by women should be kept appropriate for the job, do not come in looking like a street walker.  Hair and nails should be cleaned and well groomed, for both men and women.


3.  Attitude - When working with others and the public you will need to keep a good attitude.  If you have had a fight with your significant other, leave it at home.  We do not want to hear about it, we are at work to do a job.  If you do not like some  of the people you work with that is tough.  Not everyone always gets along, you will just have to adjust your way of thinking.  Keep the drama out of the work place.  If you should have a serious problem with another employee, rather than talk behind their backs (which is guaranteed to get back to them) you should go to your boss or someone in charge and explain the situation.  Maybe they will change your hours to make work easier for you.  No one wants an uncomfortable employee either.  


4.  Your pay.  When you were hired, you were told your rate of pay.  You agreed to take the job for this amount of money.  If your boss tells you to mow the grass, do not complain!  Look at it this way, you are getting paid X-amount of dollars per hour to mow the grass.  If you think you are being worked too hard for the amount of money you are being paid, you will be free to look for a new job.

Sexual Harassment

5. Sexual Harassment - This will not be tolerated at any job and can not only be cause for dismissal but possible criminal charges being brought against you. For many this can be something as simple flirting. If the person does not flirt back with you, DO NOT continue. Flirting happens, but should not happen at the work place. You do not want to be uncomfortable, neither does anyone else.

Use appropriate language

6.  Appropriate language - Keep your tongue in your head, sarcasm is fun with your friends but should not be brought in the work place.  Watch what you say, swearing is not tolerated in many places.  If you should be working with the public and swear it can be and usually will be cause for immediate termination. 

Doing your Job

7.  Doing your Job - You were hired to do a job.  Do it.  No ifs ands or butts about it.  Leaning and walking around with your hands in your pockets are not tolerated in most places.  If you don’t know what to do next, ask someone.  Think of it like this, if you were paying someone to do a job, would you want to pay them for doing nothing?  If you have done absolutely everything and you cannot see anything else to do, pick up a broom and sweep.   Pick up a cloth and wipe things down.  Keep yourself busy, this will impress your employer.

Follow directions

8.  Do what you are told.  This cannot be stated enough.  If you are asked to do something, get to it right away.  Do not argue, do not complain, do not say “So and so never has to do that.”  Just do it, and do it right, and do your best at it.  Do it the way it is supposed to be done, not the way you think it should be done.  If at a later date you can see a change that might be beneficial, you may suggest it to your Supervisor.  If they do not accept this, do not argue, just accept it.  They may want it done that way for a reason, of which you are not privy.


9.  Smile - Most employers want to see a smiling face of their employee.  Smiling shows your employer that you are happy with your job.  Smiling makes you approachable, others will feel comfortable around you. 

Do Not correct your Supervisor!

10.  Do Not correct your boss - You have no idea what his/her job entails, therefore do not try to tell them what they are doing wrong.  Most bosses have some sort of Supervisor as well, and if they are doing things wrong this will be noticed.  It’s not up to you to point it out. 


Keeping these few things in mind when starting any new job will show your new employer that you are prepared and willing to do the job and be successful at it.  When it comes to ‘weeding’, you will be more than likely to remain than the other employees hired at the same time. 


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    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Well when this was written that particular statement had come from a conversation that I had with my Dad many years ago. He was a Fire Protection Engineer and made very good money. I thought it was a bit demeaning for them to ask him to mow the grass, at the time. Then he pointed out he was making around $20 per hour to mow the grass. It put it in a better light when he put it that way.

      Well of course if your a 75 year old woman who is asked to shovel snow that is not appropriate. A little common sense goes a long way.

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 

      7 years ago from Aurora

      I have to disagree with your statement in the "Pay" section:

      If your boss tells you to mow the grass, do not complain!

      I know of a 75-year-old woman who was asked to shovel snow in Denver. NOT APPROPRIATE.

      Also, anyone asked to mow the grass that is unfamiliar with the machine and gets injured most definitely has the right to sue the owners. Many machines need TRAINING which if not given generate liability.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      This is so true and not just in your area. In Michigan there is no longer any type of company loyalty. They have what is called 'at will employment' which means you can be terminated for anything, short of 5 or 6 Federal regulations such as certain discrimination's. It's become a very sad state of affairs that is for sure.

      My husbands former company began letting go drivers who were close to retirement so they could hire lesser paid employees to save money. In the long run it costs more because the 'youngers' don't take care of the equipment and have more accidents than the seasoned drivers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good advice. Unfortunately where I live (Los Angeles, CA) with the high unemployment rate and businesses leaving the unfriendly business environment of CA, jobs are hard to get and once gotten, some employers feel the need to really crap on employees. Many employers break all HR laws. Refusing to pay overtime, over working employees without any appreciation, discriminating based on age, replacing seasoned employees with younger and cheaper workers regardless of the inferior work product these inexperienced workers produce.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks!! Yes, jobs are becoming harder to get, so we have to do what we can to keep them once we get them!!

    • funmontrealgirl profile image


      8 years ago from Montreal

      Good suggestions. It's tough times. Do everything you can to protect what you have.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Michigan

      @ Tranquilheart - My mistake!! I am so sorry I missed your comment!! Chemistry, yes, this is true!! It can be needed to keep that job as well...

      @ PegCole17 - Thank you! These are all things for me that were self taught! I did not learn them in school, that is for certain!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      These are good ones Sweetsusieg. You're right. No one teaches the skills necessary to Keep a job. I like this hub.

    • Tranquilheart profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      "Do not correct your boss" -- this is probably why I can't keep a job for long ;p

      At times my manager will ask for my opinion but I keep my thoughts to myself, which can be another no-no.

      In many cases it just boils down to "chemistry".

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for your comment! I too have tried to pass these tips to my kids to help them be successful in the workplace.

    • olgakhumlo profile image

      olga khumlo 

      9 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Wow! Well written, humorous absolutely practical and handy. I' ve passed down these tips to my kids.

      Thank you ,God bless you.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks! I have discovered that a lot of people get comfortable too soon in jobs! It usually will cost them their paycheck.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • mcwriter profile image

      MacDonald Chaava 

      9 years ago from Lawton. Oklahoma

      I fully agree, once you have that job, it is time to prove your worth! As they say once you are in there work to make yourself indispensable!

      Great post.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      9 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Sweetsusieg: I thought of this too, the only thing is when employers see a huge gap and no reasonable explanation, they automatically think "Jail Time" so they ask. I faced it once, and learned my lesson.

      In the meantime, I'm collecting my Company and Canada Pensions, awaiting old age security at 65, another three years. The way I see it is "It's their loss if they don't wish to hire experience."


    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Yes it is Dave. It's sad when someone over qualified applies for a job then told no. Sometimes I wonder if wouldn't be better to leave a few things out of your resume` just so you have a better chance!

      Not that I advocate lying mind you, but wouldn't it be better to omit something, get the job, show them you can do the work, maybe make things better for others. It's better than going hungry for sure!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      9 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Sweetsusieg: "Tongue in Cheek" Ha Ha Ha! Since I have been unemployed for the past 2-1/2 years, I was wondering if it was OK to order the Human resources manager to hire me? It's so difficult to always hear,"Sorry you are 'Over qualified' for this position."

      In other words you know to much, have to much experience, and people already working for us would feel their jobs being threatened if we hired you. What a sick attitude.

      Brother Dave.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, these are very simple things that young people are not being taught in school today. And they wonder why they get fired after looking so sullen when they ask "Do you want fries with that?".. Ok, that maybe was wrong to say, but dang it.. It's true!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

      Very Wise Advice! It seems simple, but in these times it is not so easy for employees to understand, "what happened?" Voted up and shared.


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