After hundreds of students across the county got their high school diploma a few weeks ago, they entered a new stage of their life. For many, they are entering the work force for the first time ever.
For students used to relying on their parents, beginning to work may be a hard adjustment to make. Believe it or not, bosses actually expect more than some parents do.
Over my more than two decades in the newspaper business, I have noticed some job skills that many new employees, and some not so new, are often lacking. If you agree with my advice, you're probably doing a great job and your boss knows it. If my advice makes you mad or guilty, you probably need to improve your job performance.
So, my advice to those ready for work includes the following:
•Attitude, attitude, attitude. Attitude is very important. Your boss wants to see someone eager to learn and willing to do whatever is asked of them. Don't argue with your boss or complain about the work. Do what is asked of you and do it with a smile. I could put up with someone who doesn't have all of the skills needed for a job a lot better if they had a good attitude. Skills, you can learn. A good attitude is something you should already have.
•Be on time. If the work day starts at 8 a.m., be at your desk at 10 'til 8, not 9 a.m. Being punctual goes a long way toward impressing your boss. You may not think they notice you sliding in late every day, but they do. Just think about it. If you are 30 minutes late every day, that's two and a half hours for the work week.
•Don't say, "That's not part of my job." If your boss asks you to do it something, it is apparently part of your job. If you start pointing out that other staff members don't have to do what you are being asked to do, you sound like a 5-year-old. Just like a parent, a boss doesn't want to hear, "Billy doesn't have to do that. Why do I?"
•While most everyone is guilty of making a quick personal phone call, it is not acceptable to have lengthy conversations with family and friends. If you must call family, give them a quick message and get off the phone. Don’t try to solve all of your personal issues while you are supposed to be working.
•Dress appropriately. Look professional. If you look like a slob, you will be treated like one.
Good luck to all of our graduates. I hope you find success as you move into the work force, or take other paths, including furthering your education or to serving the country through the military. It's a well-worn cliché, but you really are our future.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.