Tips for the New Employee – Job Skills for Teens

Congratulations! You’ve landed your first job as a paid (or possibly unpaid) employee!  You’re one of the few. The proud. The useful. Whether you’re babysitting or filling lunch orders, here are some helpful tips to keep your job and become a highly regarded worker by your employer (think references!)

Lifeguard on duty

1. Be on time. On time doesn’t mean, ‘on time’. On time means 5 minutes before you’re supposed to be there. Employees who are dependable are looked upon favorably by employers and being punctual is one of the best ways to prove you care about your job.

2. Don’t talk/text/browse on your cell phone while working. Steer clear of the temptation to chat by leaving your phone in the car or at home. Your employer is not paying you to socialize with your family/friends. They’re paying you for your work. This is one of the biggest pet peeves employers and customers have about staff.

3. Work as if everyone’s watching. It’s easy to slack off when it seems that no one is paying attention. Your hard work, regardless if people are watching, will set you apart from those around you.

4. Smile. Check your attitude. Enthusiasm about your work cannot only help you get through the day, but improve your relations with customers, co-workers and your boss. It’s simple, but if you look as if you have better things to do, you might just get the opportunity, whether you like it or not.

5. Dress appropriately and be clean. Present yourself well! People appreciate neatness. Especially if you’re serving or making their food.

6. Don’t spend excessive time socializing with co-workers or visitors. People may want to come visit you while you work, but taking time to talk excessively with them or to give them ‘free’ things is not in your job description.

7. Think ahead. Do tasks that you haven’t been told to do yet. As a wise man once said, “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”

8. Be ready to take criticism. Listen, ask questions and adjust as necessary. It might be hard to take, but criticism can help you improve.

Work is a great way to build up to what you ultimately want to ‘be’. Use each opportunity as a stepping stone for the next. Having a positive job experience can lead to strong references and support for the next position you’d like to hold. As a last rule of thumb, be the worker that you’d want to manage.

Any others we might have missed? Comment below!

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