As I’ve gotten older, a strange thing has started happening to me. I’ll be doing my usual daily stuff *coughtwittercough* and suddenly, a long distant part of my life will flash before my eyes.
And it’s not good stuff, either. Pretty much memories that make me shudder. Some are bad dating scenarios, crazy girlfriends, wondering why I changed my college major, but a great many are of prior jobs.
The jobs I’ve had and the things I did and I wonder, really? I didn’t know better? I have now worked for over ten years in the catering business–and I learn more with every client we serve that there are some basic work skills that your boss or clients want you to have.
First, there are the obvious things: clean appearance, appropriate clothing, teachable attitude, decent personality. Right up there with those traits are: plays well with others, respect for the chain of command. Throw in not pilfering and minding your own business and you’re a good catch.
But what do employers really hope to find when they hire you? Besides the essentials, this list right may keep you collecting that biweekly check:
Don’t be a pot stirrer. Show up and shut up. Working for someone you really can’t believe is in management? Repeat after me: Every dog has his day.
Do not make up answers when asked questions. If you don’t know something, admit it. You don’t have to say, “I don’t know,” but you can say, “Let me find that out for you.”
Oh lordy lordy lordy, learn to manage your time. Decide how many minutes go to checking email, phone messages, returning calls, and reserve those blocks of time for just that and no more. Nose to the grindstone.
Remember that your employer is paying you for your time. This means that while on their clock, you will do their work. Nothing else.
Learn something new every day. Ask questions without sounding like a parrot. Just this little feather in your cap will make your boss big puffy heart you.
Bring a positive attitude to work. Other than the youngest generation Hiltons or Kardashians, we all have to earn a living. Try and smile, even if you don’t love your job–because it’s your job.
Walk in energetically each day if you have to knock off a Starbucks to do it. Don’t complain and don’t whine, because honestly, who likes to be around that?
Keep dissatisfaction to yourself and when dealing with difficult co-workers or supervisors, let your lips say “yes” but your mind whisper “pumpkin head!”
And for god’s sake, people, be independent. Work without supervision, I mean, come on, how old are we now?
Behave. Now turn off your phone and get to work.