You have a new job – great! But this doesn’t mean that it’s time to sit back, relax and collect a paycheck. Your boss isn’t going to pay you to just show up! It is very important that you continue to be a good employee if you want to keep your job – and keep earning more money.
Put your phone away, while at work
Put it away in your locker or turn it off (not just on vibrate) when you are working. Phones are distracting and being on your phone at work looks unprofessional – even if you are just checking it for the time.
ALWAYS be on time
Don’t just try to be on time for your first day – you need to be on time EVERY day. Even from your breaks. Get a watch to help you (after all, your phone should be put away or turned off)
Be mindful of taking time off
The first three months are in a job are very important. This is the time you make a long lasting impression on the boss and your co-workers. Missing work during this time looks bad! Sure, some bosses will be flexible – but not forever. Do you want to keep making money? Make it your goal to not miss one day of work in your first three months.
Your second job is to make life easier for your boss and co-workers
The best way to make sure you keep your job is to try to keep the people around you happy. If you can make their jobs easier you will guarantee no one will want to see you get fired. If you aren’t too busy, ask a co-worker if you can help them with anything. And if you are busy, keep the people around you in mind while you work. Odds are you can do your job in such a way that it will help others.
If you are going to be late or absent – call!
So you absolutely have to miss a day of work. Or you run into issues getting to work and are now going to be late. If you can’t avoid being late or missing a day then you have to call. No exceptions. It might be awkward for you but the employer needs to know you are going to be away – even if just for half an hour. And please, don’t get your parents or friends to call in for you. This is your job and you need to take responsibility for your actions.
It’s a good idea to ask a lot of question during your first few weeks of work. However, if you find you are asking a lot of the same questions, keep a small note book handy and write the most important things down.
Don’t arrange appointments during work hours
Know your schedule in advance and plan accordingly. Let the doctor know your schedule – don’t just take the appointment they suggest. If necessary, find a new specialist that can meet your scheduling needs. Missing work for medical or dental appointments is not appropriate.
Be neat and clean
Appearances are important. Take care of yourself – stay neat and clean at all times. If you have a uniform, make sure it gets washed after every shift. It is uncomfortable to talk to people you don’t know well about hygiene, but if you are not maintaining a neat and clean appearance then your boss will talk to you. How embarrassing!
Personal problems stay at home
Broke up with your boyfriend? Had a fight with you dad? Having trouble paying your rent? It can be difficult to let go of the things going on in your daily life – but you have to find a way. When you are at work you need to focus on work. Telling co-workers your personal problems will make them uncomfortable. And especially don’t share your personal life with customers!
Have a good attitude and be flexible
If your boss is asking you to do new things – don’t say no (unless it puts your personal safety at risk of course). Odds are they are trying to get you to do new things because they trust you. And if they need you to come in on your day off, or stay a little late, that’s ok! It means more money for you and will show them you are a team player.
Choose your friends carefully
Make sure the people you hang around with at work don’t influence your performance on the job. If your friends take longer breaks or talk back to the boss, don’t follow their example. Odds are they won’t be working there much longer.
Safety first, speed second
Learn how to do the job safely, and then work on your speed. The person next to you might do things twice as fast, but they have probably had a lot longer to practice. You will get there eventually – hurting yourself on the job won’t benefit anyone.