How to Get a Job and Keep it
Five weeks into my first part time-job, I got the call nobody wants to receive. My boss got right to the point, “I have to let you go, it’s not working out. You’re a good kid, but….”
I’d been fired. Epic fail!
At the time, I had no clue how to keep a job and be a good employee. The truth is, many teenagers haven’t been taught what to expect in the working world. Here are some tips for success in your first part-time job!
Know why and where you want to work
Is this your first part-time job? Are you looking for a part-time job to help pay for college expenses, or transportation? You may need to work a certain number of hours every week. If you are just looking for extra spending money, you may be able to work a few hours per week. In other words, know what you plan to earn money for before you decide where to apply! Many teens choose to work in restaurants, retail, theatres or simple office jobs. In fact, these are the most common areas where teens will work.
How to get a job with future benefits
However, you can benefit from finding work relevant to your future career interests. If you know what majors or field you are interested in, look for jobs related to that area. Thinking about becoming a teacher? Consider working in a day care, babysitting or tutoring to earn extra cash and get the experience of working with younger children. Medical oriented students might look into possible jobs at a hospital or medical office. Check for age requirement and specific areas of employment for young people. Perhaps you love to work with animals and dream of being a zoologist or veterinarian. Check your local pet store, shelter, zoo or vet’s office for employment opportunities. Let potential employers know your interests and life goals and they may be more willing to give you a try!
Be wise when choosing jobs
Make sure your skills match the employer’s expectations. If the job is in a fast-paced environment like a restaurant, make sure you are a suitable fit. Do you want to work on your feet, or do you want to sit in an office? Think about what you enjoy in life. Start with those jobs first. Don’t be afraid to try something new if it dovetails with your passion.
Making a first impression: interview tips
Jacob, general manager of a Mexican fast food restaurant, has owned and managed several restaurants over the past 35 years. “Future performance is based on past behavior,” he states. “You are always being evaluated long before you put in an application. If you come in for an application and then ask for a pen to fill out your paperwork, or my phone to check your contact numbers, that shows me you are not prepared for this job.” It pays to come in ready and equipped to make a good impression.
You may not need a suit and tie or dress when applying for a restaurant or retail job, but your clothes do need to be neat and appropriately professional. Leave the baggy pants or wrinkled T-shirts at home, even if that is what everyone else is wearing. You are asking an employer to put their trust in you. Present yourself as someone capable of being part of their team.
“Try to convince the person you interview with that you will benefit the company,” David Clarke, owner of Buon Giorno coffee house in Grapevine, Texas, suggests. “I need to know you are not just collecting a paycheck. Don’t ask about money first. I know you want to get paid, but I want to know how much you are willing to give. I will cut off an interview when asked that question.”
Being a great employee: How to Keep a Job
Knowing how to get a job is great, but learning how to keep a job may be just as important. Teen workers are an indispensable part of America’s workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 80 percent of teens will hold a job before leaving high school. Understanding how to get that important job and keep it is essential to meeting your life goals.
Clarke is extremely picky about whom he hires. He’s only had to fire two or three employees during the five years his coffee house business has been opened. “It’s not just about earning money,” he says. A prospective employee’s main reason for working here needs to be showing love, respect and service to your co-workers, the business establishment and especially your
Employers look for people who are hardworking, dependable, responsible and honest. Yet, they also want workers who care about their establishment and want to see it be successful. Such employees are there on time, ready to work and help make that business thrive. These workers get the better raises and promoted to higher positions. There are also a few other things to keep in mind when taking on a job.
“I’d like them to be aware of their approach to the working world,” Jacob says. “Some young people may just want gas or spending money, but it’s a livelihood to most of the other workers. This is not a game. It’s a serious activity. I want them to take that to heart.”
Whatever the job you are seeking, be sure to keep a professional attitude and take it seriously. Of course you want the paycheck, but the lessons learned and life skills obtained when working in the community are indispensable. Clarke adds, “They need to know they are not just doing me a favor, but themselves a favor by taking pride in the work they do here.”
You are important
Many establishments depend on teen workers. Yes, it often begins with minimum wage, but if you work hard, the raises will come and so do promotions.
Those who join the workforce early are more prepared to attend college and able to take on the heavy workload. They also are ahead of their peers who wait until after graduation to start finding jobs. Colleges, as well as future employers, look for those who are hard workers and take on responsibility well. Are you ready for the challenge?