So your child’s managed to land their first job.
Now, while this is an exciting new adventure, it can also be fraught with nerves about, you know, how to do a good job.
So as a parent how can you help your child nail their first days on the job and make a good impression?
- Be punctual
In fact, be early. Aiming to rock up a good 5-10 minutes early is not only a solid safety net in case there’s traffic or public transport delay but also provides ample time for your child to greet the team, pop their stuff away and get into the work mindset before their shift officially starts. It also gives employers the impression that your child’s a keen and dedicated worker – two qualities they love to see in young staff.
- Make yourself look busy
A popular phrase in the hospo industry is ‘if there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean’ – which roughly translates to: please look busy. If your child’s working in a cafe, that might look like doing a table run or asking to work on the cleaning list. If your child’s working in retail that might be restocking shelves or organising displays. And never, under no circumstances, be caught scrolling on your phone unless social media is part of the gig or you’ve been given permission to have the occasional look.
- Be a team player
First of all, make sure to reassure your child that their employer isn’t going to expect them to be a superstar employee right off the bat. But displaying a team player attitude can set them off on the right foot.
This includes being proactive about learning new tasks, enthusiastically offering to help with colleague’s responsibilities and hyping up their achievements. A team player attitude will help your child expand their capabilities in the workplace, build friendships with other employees and gain the respect of their employer.
- Be honest and proactive
Without trying to sound like a broken record, again, employers aren’t expecting your child to be a star-employee from day one. Reassure your child that it’s okay that they’re not going to know everything right away and that they’re gonna make mistakes.
Instead of trying to cover their tracks if they get something wrong, encourage your child to be proactive and come clean about their mistakes. It’s helpful to remind them that employers actually value this honesty as it paves the way for opportunities to learn and grow.
- Never just ‘clock off’
Last but not least, never clock off without notice. Granted, most of the time their manager will be on top of it, but sometimes they might forget, or – if the cafe is getting slammed – a supervisor might appreciate your child staying back a little to help support the team during a rush.
The general rule of thumb? Wait about 5 minutes after the scheduled end of shift before politely asking something along the lines of “Hey, is it all good for me to clock off now or do you need me to stay back?”. This displays both professionalism and consideration for the team.
- Have fun!
At the end of the day, it can be helpful to ease your child’s nerves by reminding them that their first job isn’t the be all or end all. It’s their first-ever job, after all!
Our advice? Encourage them to focus on learning, growing and trying their best – while having a bit of fun with it.
To help your child find out more about the life skills they need to be an adult, send them to Year13’s Academy to do our free short online courses.