I’m going to start off this post by saying that the idea of growing up terrifies me.
Getting a real job, making real money and paying real bills? Yeah, that stuff is scary.
After reading a recent post, I realized that not only do college students stress about whether or not they will succeed in the “real world”, but employers also worry about whether or not their newly hired employee will succeed as well.
The post I read gave employers “10 ways to whip twenty-something employees into professional shape.”
Here are my five favorite tips from this post based on my personal and professional experience.
Tip 1: Teach them: Younger employees are more motivated by education than small salary bumps
Any salary a recently graduated student makes will be way more than most students made in college anyway, so the difference in a small salary increase is basically nothing. Although students learn multiple technical skills in class, it doesn’t compare to the experience of actually having a job. Receiving information and help from an authority figure is invaluable.
Tip 2: Have them start making decisions immediately
Actually having responsibilities and making your own decisions is one of the huge differences between being in college and having a full-time job. In college we have professors who tell us what to do, how to do it, and then let us know how to fix it so we can do it better next time. The only way to learn how to “do it better next time” at a real job is to learn from our mistakes and figure it out on our own.
Tip 3: Reward them when they do something well
Letting your young employee know that they are on the right track is very helpful. This also encourages them to keep working hard at what they are doing.
Tip 4: Ask a lot of questions
During a past internship, one of the best things my supervisor would do was to ask my opinion on something. This was personally rewarding because it showed that they respected me and valued my thoughts as well. Coming out of college, students may lack the experience that other employees will have, but they will also have fresh ideas and new thoughts.
Tip 7: Design projects with quick turnarounds for short attention spans
I’m currently working on a project for a nonprofit organization in town that is due at the end of March. The project isn’t a huge one and certainly won’t take an entire three months to do. My assignment is to interview people and making profiles for the organizations newsletter and website, so at first I appreciated the extended deadline. I recently realized that the fact that the deadline is so far away made me put it on the back burner. When talking to the people I need to interview, I’ve said things like “Just get back to me whenever it’s convenient for you” or “don’t worry, there’s no rush,” but now, as the deadline gets closer and closer, I realize how few people have gotten back to me and I’m starting to panic. If only the deadline had been sooner I would have made it a point to get all the interviews completed right away.
Photos via MyTudut