Dear Future Employees,
Summer is here. School is done for the semester. You’re thinking about beaches and bikinis…Instagram and rollercoasters.
Your parents are pushing you to relax. Take some time off. Maybe pick up a summer class to “get ahead”.
I’ve got some unsolicited advice for you. You might not want to hear it…but if you take it, one day you might thank me. It’s simple. Just four words, really.
Get a freaking job.
Listen, guys – here’s the thing. I know that mom and dad are telling you that you don’t need to work and that they’ll pay for everything. They are trying to protect you. But the secret truth is that they are NOT protecting you. They are hurting you.
Here’s what they probably didn’t tell you.
Your grandparents made your parents work – HARD. As a matter of fact, 72% of Americans age 16 to 19 worked summer jobs in July of 1978, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. But among your generation? Only 43% of you worked last summer – a number that keeps dropping. Kids are getting soft.
Your parents are watching you grow up seemingly too fast. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram – along with the world as a whole – has made you grow up too fast. They want to preserve your childhood and that’s why they’re handing everything to you on a silver platter. But what they don’t realize is that they are setting you up to fail even though they don’t mean to.
You’re going to enter into the workforce one day with lots of “book” smarts…but no real life experience. And it’s going to cost you. Life is going to slap you in the face because while you were out sipping on milkshakes, the other new guy on the job had been working his butt off MAKING you that milkshake. And he’s going to have the experience and work ethic that you have yet to develop.
So I’d like to give you a few tips on why you should get a job on summer break. And if you take my advice, you’ll be light years ahead of your friends when it comes time to enter into the workforce after college.
Don’t Worry About The Title
Don’t get analysis paralysis while trying to find a job. Many kids don’t take jobs because they don’t know what they want to do when they grow up and someone once told them that they need a job that is going to get them to that point.
Focus on finding something that’s going to give you a little flexibility to spend time with family and friends but a gig that will also let you make some cash and earn lots of experience.
Don’t Worry About The Pay
You will make more than you would by sitting by the pool and the life experience you will get is invaluable. Making $10/hour is a net gain over instead spending $20 on a burger and fries out with your friends.
You’re also better off in a minimum wage job NOW than you are in a minimum wage job after spending $250,000 on a college degree that you can’t use.
And remember – minimum wage was meant to be that – minimum. You want more? Earn it. Put down the picket sign and put on your work boots. Protesting for more money doesn’t make you a winner – working your butt off does.
Social Media Lies To You
On Instagram and Snapchat, you see a life of glamour. You see “entrepreneurs” rolling in sexy cars with sexy people and sexy private planes.
But what you don’t realize is that 99% of those “entrepreneurs” are fake. They rented those cars for the day and those sexy people by their side? They actually hate them.
People who really have the cash have earned it and aren’t flaunting it like that.
Oh, and your abs won’t look that good forever either.
Don’t Be A Bum
Appreciate the fact that the worst job you can possibly get is still the best thing that could happen to you. It will give you a huge advantage over your friends and classmates that chose not to work.
You are NOT above flipping burgers. You are NOT above cleaning toilets. I don’t care WHAT your parents tell you – the dirtiest jobs sometimes build the greatest character.
Treat It As A Career
The connections you will make and the networking you do will serve you a lifetime.
Thinking about what a long day you have ahead of you flipping burgers sucks. Thinking about how you’re one day going to own the restaurant makes it a little more palatable.
Don’t Cry To Mommy and Daddy
Never ask your parents to talk to your boss if you’re upset about something. It will ruin you. Chances are good that we’ll fire you if we get a call complaining from your parents.
Developing a thick skin and a spine is one of the most important things that will happen to you when you enter into the workplace.
There Are No Participation Trophies
Understand that the world of business is run on meritocracy. Want a promotion or a raise? Earn it.
In the workplace, you won’t get a gold star for effort. But you WILL get a swift boot to the butt if you don’t put in that effort. Nobody cares about your “million dollar idea”. We care about your level of hustle and drive and motivation and execution.
You might have been the popular cheerleader…or the tough guy on the playground. But you’re in OUR playground now.
Suck It Up, Butter Cup
Know in advance that your boss does not care about your sunburn or the party you want to go to on Friday night.
We don’t care that you got dumped or that your friends are going to head to the beach without you.
We especially don’t care that you decided to go on an all night bender.
Show up, do your job, then go play.
You want to act like a child? You’ll be treated like one. You want to act like an adult? You’ll be treated like one.
Don’t Burn Bridges
It will come back to haunt you. It’s not just about the job referral in the future. It’s about the letter of reference from your boss for college. Or to get that first apartment.
It’s about the coworkers that will end up telling everyone else in the world about how lazy and whiny you were and how you then told everyone off on your last day.
Don’t be that kid.
The Rules DO Apply To You. Mainly To You, Actually.
In school, they will probably give you a pass and move you along to the next grade. In business, it will probably fire you.
Guys, I’m going to tell you something that your parents probably didn’t tell you. Many, many businesses don’t care about where you got your college degree. That’s because we have a whole bunch of overeducated, entitled little brats with no actual work experience.
College professors are pushing kids through the system who shouldn’t even be passing most classes simply because their parents are paying $50k/year to the school and those professors don’t want to have to deal with whining and entitled parents raising a stink when little Johnny fails.
But on the job, if you’re given a directive and you don’t follow it, nobody is going to push you along. We’re going to push you OUT.
Go ahead. Complain that “it’s not fair”. Let me know how that goes.
Appreciate The Opportunity
Be grateful that you have a job and have the God-given gifts to work it. Many people would kill to have your job and many others aren’t physically or mentally able to.
One Last Tip
Follow me on Facebook. Consider me the friend who will never tell you what you want to hear but always tell you what you NEED to hear in the world of business.
Kyle S. Reyes
Your Future Boss (Or Maybe Not)