I had the pleasure of making a presentation to high school juniors on job interviewing skills, trending careers and the importance of resume building. The students came prepared with some tough questions for me too. It became clear to me throughout my presentation that many of these kids were hearing this information for the first time. You could see it on their faces as they looked at me with big eyes and then began whispering to person sitting next to them saying, “They never told us that!”
It wasn’t until then end of my talk that I was asked the million-dollar-question: “What issues do employers have with younger employees today?”
Employers are excited to get ‘new blood’ in the company, but understand that there will be a learning curve for them in understanding business and company culture.
The top three complaints from my clients:
- TARDINESS: Never be late to work, not even a little bit!
As a team member your coworkers are depending on you. When you show up late, you make them late. Some companies have a strict “three strikes and you’re out” policy. Always try to arrive at least 15 minutes early.
- CELL PHONE USAGE: Unless you’re on a waiting list for an organ transplant, your cell phone should be off during working hours!
You can look at your cell phone during lunch or on your breaks, leave your phone at home or in your car. Give your family and friends the company phone number in case of an emergency and you need to be reached. Companies also have very strict policies about cell phone use.
- LACK OF WORK ETHIC: Work ethic encompasses a great deal, but for the purpose of this blog, it is specific to ‘drive’ and ‘motivation’. When you are at work and have completed your assigned tasks, ask if there is anything more that you can do? Is there anyone else you could help out? Clients always complain that younger employees tend to be afraid to speak up and ask so they just stand around doing nothing, or even worse, look at their cell phones. There is no task too menial for you to do. The employees, who inquire and see what else needs to be done and do it will be the ones who will move-up in the company quickly.
Avoid these pitfalls and you will start to build your reputation as a professional, who is proactive, driven, motivated and a highly valued employee!