Why Can’t I Keep A Job? (11 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

Jobs and continued employment keep the economy going and provide the employer with a stable income for proper housing for them and their families. For decades, it has been established that having and keeping a job is necessary.

If you have that one friend or family member in your life, or maybe this is you, that is not unable to keep a job, here are 11 reasons why this might be!

Why Can’t I Keep A Job?

1. 9-5’s Aren’t For Everyone

A 9-5 job isn’t for everyone, which is why entrepreneurship exists. Clocking in daily and having to clock out and work alongside people you do not get along with can be draining and off-putting.

Sometimes people would instead work on their own and conduct their hours without needing permission from a higher-up and feel disrespected.

2. Too Much Tardiness

While it is OK to be tardy on a few occasions, or if there is an emergency, consistent, unexplainable tardiness is not tolerated in the workplace. If you are taking longer than usual lunch breaks, that is also unacceptable.

Lack of bettering your time management skills will contribute to your inability to keep a job for extended periods because you will seem incompetent and unreliable to employers.

3. You Underperform

You are not performing to the best of your abilities. This will show employers that you are unqualified for the job you applied for and are likely to be fired.

Unprofessionalism being exhibited along with underperformance will make employers think twice about hiring you and keeping you on the job if you continue the same behavior with no justifiable explanation.

4. You Have Unrealistic Expectations

Your eyes fully open once you’ve entered a job and realize it was not what you expected. You become shellshocked and don’t know what else to do except leaving and find something new.

There is a high expectation with your salary and the benefits that come with your job due to a lack of research, only going by the job title itself, which is a red flag and should be avoided.

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Being disappointed when a job does not meet your expectations can make it difficult for you to be able to adapt to the job and the people around it.

5. You Are Not A Team Player

You Are Not A Team Player

While you do not necessarily have to enjoy working with a team, there is the phrase, “Fake it until you make it,” especially if it’s only for a couple of hours a day. However, not everyone can do this.

To be a good team player, you have to have a more open, rather than closed, mindset considering you deal with multiple opinions and perspectives and various roles amongst the employees.

Lacking professionalism amongst a team of employees while being under deadlines is an easy way for you not to keep your job or any other job if you have difficulty playing nice with others and remembering your role within your job.

6. You Are Picky

Tying in with high expectations, your expectations can lead you to be picky about what jobs you want versus what is out there.

Knowing what you want is fine, but becoming overly picky and underperforming once you get the job because you do not like your jobs subjects you to bounce from job to job.

While it is essential to know your worth and what you want, it should not be at the expense of lacking in your job and making yourself look unreliable and incompetent.

7. You Are Overqualified

Sometimes your inability to keep a job can be because you are overqualified for the job, and it is not realized until you’ve entered it how easy it is for you. However, some are overqualified and expect more.

Someone who is knowingly overqualified can expect that they will have a higher salary or better benefits than the average employer. Sometimes, it will cause the employer to be purposefully overlooked, preventing them from keeping or getting the job.

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Communication between employers and employees about clear indications and negotiations can be overlooked and create unrealistic expectations for the employer.

8. You And Your Boss Buttheads

Bosses and their employees are not supposed to be the best friends, but there should be mutual respect so businesses can run as smoothly as possible.

Personality differences, a difference of opinions, and many more reasons can be why bosses and their employees tend not to see eye to eye, and, for some, it can escalate into a firing of the employee.

Lack of respect for your employers shows a lack of professionalism and that you can be challenging to work with, which can result in you not having a steady job if this continues.

Knowing your role within the workplace, aka you are not the boss and your boss is the boss, can be difficult for some who take notice of things that do not sit right with them or disagree with.

Reporting these concerns to higher-ups is fine, but taking it into your own hands and not taking responsibility for why things have faltered lacks you in keeping a steady job.

9. You Overstep Boundaries

Personalities do not necessarily have to mesh well enough for the job to get done and for you to keep your job, but boundaries should be kept in check.

Overstepping your boundaries amongst your fellow employees and employer can make them uncomfortable. Continuing to do this can result in you getting fired repeatedly.

Boundaries being overstepped, on numerous occasions, will result in you not only getting tired and bouncing from job to job but prevents you from developing a healthier relationship with your fellow employees and employer and showing incompetence and lack of comprehension.

10. Lack of Self-Reflection

Going from job to job can prevent you from taking the time to self-reflect on yourself. Instead of always being on the go, taking that time for yourself can give you time to figure out what you want.

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Lack of research of the jobs and not considering your strengths and weaknesses will prevent you from finding and sticking with jobs that you feel more entuned with.

Working jobs that you feel incompatible with can cause you to become underwhelming in your job performance.

11. Your Social Media

Social media can become your biggest downfall. Nowadays, your social media posts can be a determining factor if whether you will be keeping your job or not.

What you post on social media should be appropriate enough that it doesn’t contain anything that can be deemed too foul of language or having anything inappropriate posted.

Aside from your social media posts, using too much of it at unnecessary times during work hours can determine your job’s status. Using social media on the job lacks professionalism and shows that you cannot separate your work from your personal life.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why jobs pay so little, why entry level jobs require experience, and why we have to work.


Sporadic unemployment can become stressful and detrimental, and hard to figure out the ‘why.’ Still, it can be overcome by recognizing various red flags that consistently become apparent during your job stints.

Once you’ve figured out what the reason could be for why you are unable to keep a job, then taking the steps towards preventing these happenings from appearing again will help you not repeat the same cycle of bouncing from job to job over and over, again.


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