Posted on 28-08-08, under Uncategorized.
If you are the parent of a teenage child who is about to get a job for the first time, there are several things you should do to prepare them and improve their chances of employment success. If you don’t teach them, no one else will.
Here are thirteen powerful lessons to get you started:
1. Professional Look – Your teen may not accept your advice on social fashion and style, and that’s fine. But when it comes to clothing and appearance for the work-place, you should insist on taking the lead. Unless they’re getting a job as a fashion model, a clown, or a rock-star, the object is to blend in and be very conservative, clean, and attractive. Make sure that hair, fingernails, and piercings are all appropriately cleaned and/or concealed if necessary. Clothing should be modest, always clean, always ironed, and always properly fitted and fastened.
2. Make Eye-Contact and Smile – This one is tough for some kids and is no problem for others. But if your teen has not had a whole lot of interaction with adults other than you, you will probably need to work on this one. They need to understand that while they are at work they are stepping into the role of a humble, happy, energetic servant. If they can learn to play this role well, they will go far. When dealing with a customer, the boss, or even a co-worker the servant makes direct eye contact, smiles really big, and happily does whatever they can to help. Experience and wisdom have taught me that, ultimately, the humble, happy servant is the one who succeeds and reaps the rewards.
3. How to Properly Count Back Change – If they’re going to be dealing with money, make sure they know this. Hardly anyone does this any more, and it drives me nuts. You’ve probably all had a cashier who froze under the pressure and became completely incapable of figuring out what to do with the handful of money you just gave them. Here’s the proper method.
a. Announce out-loud how much money is due. Don’t force the customer to read it for themselves.
b. Count the money given to you by the customer, announce the amount out-loud, and get the customer to acknowledge that it’s correct.
c. Take the money given to you by the customer and sit it in a safe, secure spot on or near the cash register. Don’t mix it in with the other money yet because you want to be able to prove to them that they gave you a twenty and not a fifty if the question comes up.
d. Now use the cash register or calculator to subtract the amount due from the amount they gave you and figure out the change.
e. Then, starting with the coins first, count each individual piece of money out loud as you hand it back to the customer. You should count from the original amount due up to the amount they gave you. So if they owed $5.38 and they gave you $20. You would hand them the loose change of $0.62 and say, “that makes six”. Next you would count out 4 one dollar bills to them and say, “that makes seven, eight, nine, and ten”. Finally you would hand them a ten dollar bill and say, “plus ten makes twenty.” So now you’ve started with the amount they owed you and counted out the exact amount of change to add up to the amount they gave you.
f. Now that the transaction is complete, you can safely put the money they gave you into the cash register.
g. Finally, look the customer in the eye and thank them for their business.
4. Keep Things Clean – Constantly tidy up your work area. Straighten-up papers, throw away trash, wipe down table-tops & equipment, put away un-used tools & supplies, and organize items that are on visible shelves.
5. Look for Things that Need to Be Done – When there is a slow point in the work day, don’t just kick back and relax. You’re still on the clock. Find something productive to do, and your boss will notice. If nothing else, you can always grab a broom.
6. Make Life Easier for the Boss – Too many employees think that the boss does nothing and has life easy. Well I’ve been an employee and I’ve been the boss. I can tell you with certainty that being the boss usually means having a heck-of-a lot more stress. So give the guy a break. Find ways to take work off of the back of the boss. Even if the boss is a jerk, it’s what you’re getting paid to do. Help the boss succeed and look good to his boss, and he will remember you when it comes time to give raises, approve scheduling requests, and give out the good assignments.
7. Make Life Easier for Your Co-Workers – It’s not just the boss that you want to make happy. Give your fellow employees a helping hand when they need it, and they will probably return the favor.
8. Create an Experience that Makes Customers Want to Come Again – Chances are that you’ve been to a restaurant or store and one of the employees made you feel like your being there and wanting to buy something was very inconvenient for them. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to inconvenience anyone so you leave and never go spend any of your money there again. Teach your teenager not to create that kind of experience. Your teen should be the employee who makes every customer feel welcomed and appreciated, so they want to come back and spend money again and again.
9. Put Others Ahead of Yourself – Park your car in the spaces far away from the door. Open the door for others and let them go first. When passing someone (especially a customer) move out of the way so they can get by first. If you see someone struggling with something, stop what you’re doing and help them.
10. Keep Careful Records – Get your teenager a pocket sized notebook. Teach him to write down work schedules, meeting notes, and keep track of exact times and dates for clocking in and out. Trust me; this will come in handy at some point.
11. Don’t Use Company Resources for Yourself – Unless your boss gives you direct permission, don’t eat the company food, use the company printer, surf the company internet, borrow the company tools, or use anything that doesn’t belong to you for any purpose other than getting your job done. Your company pays you money to be there and do the job. Use that money to get your own food and your own resources.
12. Represent the Company Well, Even When You’re Not There – People in the community will probably recognize you from seeing you at work. If they see you somewhere away from work and you’re being rude, obnoxious, or gross, that will reflect poorly on you and your company. As a young adult and a member of the workforce, you now have a responsibility to act mature and professional in public.
13. Take Pride in Doing a Great Job – This concept is referred to as having a strong Work Ethic. And it’s not extremely common. The rare people who have it are the ones who earn more money and are happier in life. Encourage and foster this in your teenager and you will be doing him or her a big favor.
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