What advice would you give a young person who is

applecruncher

SF VIP
Location
Ohio USA
just entering the workforce?

If a young person came to me and asked what's the worst mistake(s) to make at a job, I would tell him/her:

1) Getting into a battle with your boss. Don't complain about your boss, to anyone, ever (excluding discrimination, sexual harassment/inappropriate conduct, or you're being asked to do something illegal). But if you don't like or trust your boss, or if s/he is doing things that annoy you, or even if your boss is an incompetent idiot, suck it up. If you're really being treated unfairly and stabbed in the back, keep your head down, do your job, and quietly look for another job. Don't get into a war of wills with your boss - you will lose.
And God help you if you go over your boss's head to complain.

2) Share too much about your personal life with co-workers. Family problems, relationship problems, mistakes you've made in life......the workplace is not the time for true confessions. Oversharing can come back to bite you - bigtime. I've lost count of the times I've heard people say "I only tell my personal problems to my friends/co-workers I trust"...HA! Don't kid yourself.


3) Losing control of your emotions - this includes yelling, cursing, stomping, throwing/slinging things, crying, slamming doors and filing cabinets, giving people the silent treatment, rolling your eyes while someone is talking or as they walk away. If you feel you're about to explode, take a break. If you need to work out emotional issues, see a therapist.

4) Remember that HR works for the company, not for you. :whome:

Thoughts?
 

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Location
Oregon
I think you’ve pretty much nailed it

If anything, I might add a couple things;

1) Nobody likes a suck up, nobody

2) Do your best to not outpace your coworkers (tempting as it is)
In an assembly line scenario, it just messes up the flow

OK, one more;
Do your job well. It’s what you get paid to do.



I especially like this one;

...even if your boss is an incompetent idiot, suck it up. If you're really being treated unfairly and stabbed in the back, keep your head down, do your job, and quietly look for another job.
 

applecruncher

SF VIP
Location
Ohio USA
Original Poster
Do your job well. It’s what you get paid to do.
I agree. Even if it's just a grungy, flunky job, do it well. You're being paid, and someone will notice how you work hard and take pride in your work.

OTOH, don't worry about people who don't work as hard as you and get paid more. That's life. :shrug:
 

SeaBreeze

Endlessly Groovin'
Location
USA
I would say the worst mistakes would be not getting there on time or calling in 'sick' a lot. Don't fall into the trap of engaging your coworkers with gossip either about the boss or each other. Always do your best to do a good job and behave in respectable manner, if anything it may help you land your next job if you decide to quit.

If you are starting to be discriminated against, begin documentation, gather witnesses/statements and head to the EEOC if you are unjustly fired. Definitely never start fights or throw hissy fits, like AC suggested if you can't control your emotions, seek therapy or think about it yourself and adjust your own attitude.

Do the work you were hired to do with pride, honest day's work for honest day's pay.

Edit to add: You do need to go through the company first if you feel you are being discriminated against, go to the manager, Human Resources or the Union if you belong to one. Even if you don't expect them to settle anything, document what was said and what they did before you take it to the EEOC. You have to show that some effort was made within the company to resolve the problem and perhaps stop the harassment or discrimination.
 

DaveA

Senior Member
I also chose not to mix my social life with my professional life. Accept for attending a few baseball, games over the years, I avoided office parties and such with the exception of small retirement gatherings for long time compatriots. Also rarely ever discussed my job with my wife. What happened at work stayed at work and she would have no idea whether I enjoyed my boss and fellow workers or not.

I was employed at the same place for 33 years and found that not mingling socially was the best fit for me, although I got along (on the job) with the great majority of my fellow employees.
 

Aunt Bea

SF VIP
Location
Near Mount Pilot
Lots of good advice!

I always tried to see myself as the owner of a small business, Me Inc., as opposed to an employee of a larger business.

Give your little business what it needs to thrive and succeed but go easy on satisfying the wants, invest your profits.
 

Mollypops

Member
Location
United States/MD
I think talking behind a co worker or his/her bosses back to another co worker is a huge mistake because it will always lea back to the person they are talking about. Always keep your personal thoughts to yourself. If it is job related than speak up , but if it is personal gossip keep it to yourself.
 

Snowbound

New Member
Location
USA
Something that I shared with my son when he entered the workforce was, don't take criticism personally! Use it as a learning tool, to become a better employee. He now shares this with the people that he supervises!
 

ClassicRockr

Well-known Member
Well, to a point, I'm very different than what is suggested. I actually looked at a supervisor and told him, while on my 90-day probation period, "you can fire me for anything while I'm on my probation period AND I can also quit." We had a disagreement and he didn't what I thought about the disagreement. My thought was, "I'll listen to you, but, in turn, you HAVE to listen to me as well." Ending result, he didn't fire me. He actually told me later that he respected me for sticking up for myself.

I had a supervisor tell me that I would lose any accumulated sick-pay, if I quit. I had one day left, so I called in sick to him from a payphone outside of Denny's Restaurant, just before I was going to have breakfast. The next day, in his office with door closed, he told me, with a smile, "I know where you were when you called me yesterday. Was breakfast good?" I said, with a smile, "yep". A week later I quit to move to Sheridan, Wyoming.
 

ClassicRockr

Well-known Member
Now, the flip side of my last post (#13), there are companies that don't want to hire prior military people, due to how strict they can be. The military, no matter which branch, doesn't put up with job mistakes. Your working uniform has to be clean.......period.

Today's companies like "easy going people" as employees. They don't like "hard a**" managers or supervisors, like years and years ago. Make a cell phone call any time at work is fine, using the company computer to order something or look at something that is not company related is ok. If a salary person, leaving work to pick up your child from school and take them home is fine, taking a "smoke break" outside whenever is fine...…...IOW, there are companies where employees act like they own the company is the "norm" today. If you are a pick-up and delivery driver, making some extra stops is fine, especially for companies that don't monitor odometer readings for the start and end of day.

Do your job, but do whatever you want to as well.
 

Catlady

Well-known Member
Location
Southern AZ
OTOH, don't worry about people who don't work as hard as you and get paid more. That's life. :shrug:
That's one mistake I always made during most of my working life, wish I could go back and tape my mouth shut.

Just a JOKE = A man was trying to be excused from jury duty because of his job. The judge, sarcastically, asked, "Are you afraid your boss can't get by without you?" and the man replied, "No, I'm afraid he'll realize that I can easily be replaced". The judge excused him.
 

applecruncher

SF VIP
Location
Ohio USA
Original Poster
I also chose not to mix my social life with my professional life. Accept for attending a few baseball, games over the years, I avoided office parties and such with the exception of small retirement gatherings for long time compatriots. Also rarely ever discussed my job with my wife. What happened at work stayed at work and she would have no idea whether I enjoyed my boss and fellow workers or not.

I was employed at the same place for 33 years and found that not mingling socially was the best fit for me, although I got along (on the job) with the great majority of my fellow employees.
This can get tricky.

A retirement party...fine.

Holiday/Christmas party...fine.

But I was usually very protective of my lunch hour, especially when I worked downtown. Errands, shopping, extended personal phone calls. Or just time to myself. I find that co-workers tend to gossip about each other during lunch. Me....I liked to EAT and do my own thing. And sometimes people resented that.

I remember one particular interview where the office administrator said:

"We're a family. We share good and bad news. We support each other. Birthdays are taken very seriously here. Everyone is expected to chip in for a cake and nice gift. During the summer we take turns hosting picnics and BBQs at our houses. We...are...a family."

(I was looking for a job, not more relatives. Ick.)

barf.jpg
 

Catlady

Well-known Member
Location
Southern AZ
"We're a family. We share good and bad news. We support each other. Birthdays are taken very seriously here. Everyone is expected to chip in for a cake and nice gift. During the summer we take turns hosting picnics and BBQs at our houses. We...are...a family."

(I was looking for a job, not more relatives. Ick.)
Sounds like an expensive place to work, too. Anyone here remember on ''Seinfeld'' when Elaine got tired of constant birthday parties? LOLView attachment 64162
 

applecruncher

SF VIP
Location
Ohio USA
Original Poster
@ PVC

Yes, I remember that Seinfeld episode. It was SO spot on. A cake when someone returned to work after a sick day. :laugh:
 

Capt Lightning

Senior Member
Don't stand around waiting for opportunities to present themselves. Keep your ears open. Sometimes the best jobs within a company are filled before they're advertised, and plenty of 'interviews' take place at the coffee machine.
 


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