Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer Job Etiquette for Working Teenagers

It is that time again when teenagers start getting anxious and excited about landing a cool summer job this year. For many it will be a first summer job, and they dream about having their own money and the new toys from iPods to video games they plan to buy.

Although teens will definitely learn new job skills on their summer jobs, employers require that teens master certain fundamental summer job etiquette before they arrive at work on day one. Here are a few summer job etiquette tips for working teens that will reduce employer anxiety.

Teen Cell Phone Usage
Oh the cell phone! Everyone knows how important personal cell phones have become to teens. In fact, TeenFrontier.com reports that 25% of cell phone revenues come from teens. As important as your cell phone is, summer job etiquette demands that teenagers take steps to curb the use of personal cell phones in the work place. To be considered a professional working teen at a summer job, keep cell phones off, avoid texting and keep ear pieces out of sight while working.

Friends and Family at Work
Whether this is a first summer job or 10th, having friends and family “visit” an employee at work flies in the face of good summer job etiquette. Of course, it is acceptable if teens are working in the food court in the mall and family stops by to buy food. However, teen friends are just not welcome to "hang out" in the food court just to catch up during the slow times. Just as teens are not advised to look for summer jobs with their friends, they are not allowed to "hang out" while at work.

Time Management
Typically, teens do not have to rise as early in the summer months as they do during the school year. Some teens use the summer as a chance to sleep late and stay up late. Teens sometimes forget that if they set a schedule at work they are expected to be there on time and ready to work. Employers will lay off teen workers who show up late or are no-shows for work. A summer job is an excellent opportunity to develop time management skills and to show that integrity by keeping one's word about the availability to work.

Customer Service
Chances are, a first summer job experience will involve working with customers. Having a pleasant demeanor, being courteous and helpful are all good job skills, or “soft skills” that future employers will want teens to have. Good summer job etiquette requires that employees should be able to speak with many different types of people and represent the company in a professional way, even when customers are upset. Teens should know also when to get someone else involved if the situation gets out of hand.

Summer is almost here and teenagers should be on their best behavior if they want to keep working.

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