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Life Skills Academy: How Not to Get Fired from Your First Job

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 02/11/2018 - 12:02 PM

Desk with pens, pushpins, a tablet, and a sticky note with text: Good Job 

How Not to get Fired

Getting the job is only half the battle. Keeping it can be just as hard. Time management, multitasking, networking, and getting along with coworkers can be just as important as your ability to staple a paper, write a line of code, or flip a burger. Learn the skills you need to make sure that once you get employed, you stay employed.

Our expert Caroline Schopf will share the most important skills to bring to your first job in order to succeed and continue to get that paycheck.

Recommended Reading 



  • SJPL Works
    San José Public Library's business and career center website. It's full of tons of information about finding and keeping your first job.
  • 10 Must Reads before Starting your First Job
    A collection of 10 articles designed to help a first-time job go-er succeed. It covers a lot of the soft skills that aren’t explicitly stated in performance reviews or job expectations but are vital to being a good worker.

Tips and Tricks 


  • Be punctual to work sites by planning ahead.
  • End work shifts at designated times.
  • Notify employers of absences or late attendance with sufficient time.

Time Management 

  • Set specific, concrete goals for each day.
  • Stay focused and set priorities (avoid multitasking).
  • Make detailed lists of necessary steps to achieve goals.
  • Manage or reduce distractions, such as saving personal calls/communications for breaks.

Job Performance 

  • Have a thorough understanding of expected job functions and duties.
  • Ask questions and solicit feedback and suggestions for job performance.
  • Perform work at designated stations and times.
  • Eliminate or reduce distractions, such as conducting personal communications.

Interacting with Others 

  • Show respect and consideration for differences.
  • Manage difficult emotions, especially under stressful working conditions.
  • Exhibit empathy to customers and coworkers when needed.
  • Create trust with others through honest communication.
  • Make necessary reparations after recognizing harmful acts.
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