Attention High School Students: 5 Tips to Maximize Summer Employment Experiences

Ahh… summer has finally arrived. Summer is the time for enjoying great weather, outdoor activities, exploration and of course the “summer job.”  For some young adults this summer could include their very first employment experience so we want to set them up for success!  In today’s blog, we’re covering our top 5 tips for maximizing summer employment experiences.  Let’s go!

#1 –  Always look for ways to add value

A job is more than simply being present.  Showing up on time and performing the required duties are minimum expectations.  It’s important to stand out by being a differentiator.  What does that mean? Essentially, anything that increases revenue, decreases expenses, or improves efficiencies is a value add for an employer.  It means looking for ways to accomplish tasks more efficiently and being a problem solver.

#2 – Be a team player

Demonstrate your commitment to team goals by supporting and encouraging your colleagues.  Cheer for their successes.  Apply critical listening skills for effective communication.   Respect others and recognize that everyone’s role on the team is important.

#3 – Ask thoughtful questions

Build rapport by asking questions that reflect your knowledge of the company’s leadership, industry, competitors, products, or customers. Doing so will demonstrate you have a genuine interest in the company.

#4 – Network

Seek mentors and build connections with experienced senior team members; it’s a great start to networking.  That said, don’t overlook your peers.  Undoubtedly you’ll cross paths with them again as you rise through the ranks.  Peer networking is also a valuable resource for leads on future opportunities.

#5 – Document your experience

Take a moment at the end of each day to review the tasks you completed, the skills you utilized to execute those tasks, any new skills you acquired, and quantify your accomplishments.  This information will be critical when updating or creating your résumé.  Your recollection of details a year later may falter so it’s best to collect and record information in the moment.

We hope something shared here helps you.  Tell us about your first summer job in the comment section below and make it a great day!

High Schoolers: An Important Note About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

As a high school student, you may be experiencing tremendous pressures to succeed…in academics, community activities, social activities, and more.  All of these factors culminate into the idea of becoming a successful adult with accountability.  While it is considered unfair by many, it is a fact that one of the measurements of successful adulthood is earning power in the workforce.

According to Workforce.com, highly emotionally intelligent individuals earn an average of $29,000 more per year than those who seemingly lack a socially acceptable degree of emotional intelligence (EQ).  Here are a couple of reasons they earn more:

1) They tend to manage their emotions with a level of grace and control in personal and professional circumstances.  Let’s be honest.  Emotional outbursts are frowned upon in most school and professional settings–it reflects a lack of self-control.  Using self-awareness and self-management, emotionally intelligent individuals are able to manage their emotions and thus project an image of stability and maturity. 

2) Given the fact that they understand how to manage self-control, they tend to be effective communicators.  They are thought leaders who don’t mind casting vulnerabilities aside.  They fearlessly share intriguing ideas with peers, mentors, teachers, and parents.  They successfully lead old, young, men, and women to greater heights and brighter paths.  

If you have the ability to put others at ease, it speaks volumes about your ability to inspire trust and to cultivate relationships.  These are but a couple of examples of what a respected and admired leader look like.  Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a powerful component of success.  Use it wisely.

Go forth and make it a great day !!

5 Facts High Schoolers Should Know About Email Etiquette

Photo Courtesy of Pixaby

More than ever, companies are experimenting with new communication modalities. That said, as employees, especially Generation Z, are accustomed to communicating in real-time collaborative environments similar to those found within social media.  Applications such as Yammer and Slack use social technologies to allow employees to share information internally.  However, despite the emergence of new workplace communication applications email still reigns supreme.  A survey conducted by the Public Relations Society of America found that 95% of companies use email as their primary mode of internal communication.

Here are five rules to live by:

  1. Use “Reply all” thoughtfully. Consider whether everyone on the list will benefit from your response.  Take time to edit the recipient list to avoid  inundating people with emails that don’t pertain to them.  Nothing eats more time than reading unnecessary emails (not to mention the aggravation of it all).
  2. Check your tone.  Never compose an email when you’re upset because it’s too easy to include harsh words and phraseology that you will likely regret later.  Also, brevity can be a friend or foe…a sent message can be misconstrued as abrupt or not taken seriously enough.  Before sending, put yourself in the recipient’s position and read your message aloud.  Does it convey what you intended?   Remember to include “please” and “thank you”.  They are courtesies that will take you miles with the reader.
  3. Avoid fancy fonts.  Use easy to read fonts such as Arial, or Times New Roman.  It’s best to use size 11 or 12 point types.
  4. To prevent accidentally sending an incomplete email, insert the recipient address(es) just before you’re ready to send the message.  That way you will catch typos and missing attachments.
  5. Every communication is not email compatible.  If you require a quick response, make a phone call.  Also, keep in mind that sensitive subjects such as job performance may be best suited for a face-to-face conversation.

When it’s all said and done, email is still an effective mode of communication and we must understand how to manage its usefulness and power.  Young new hires should review this short video and add it to their Soft Skills arsenal.

For more information about email and telephone etiquette,  type “business etiquette” in the blog search box on our website, www.elite-customer.com.

And now…go out there and make it a great day !!