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Tips for High School Students Making the School-to-Work Transition

Like moving to a third world country after living in the lap of luxury, moving from the rarefied air of high school down to the bog that is working for a living can be a major culture shock. To that end, we believe that parents and teachers should prepare their children and students for the strange new world they will be entering and outline the differences between their new and old existences. The tips below could help your child or student make a successful school-to-work transition.

Consumer vs. non-consumer – Young people understand consumerism. You need to explain to them that in the working world, the bosses are the consumer. If you don’t do everything to the boss’s liking, he or she will take your wages and give them to someone who will. Bottom line: The person who hands over the money is in charge and gets to have things his or her way.

Cool vs. uncool- Let’s face it; if there is one thing high school students strive for, it is to be thought of as “cool”. In the work world, this is not as important. In fact, many bosses will not appreciate employees who pay more attention to their hair and outfits than the job they are getting paid to do. Employers also might mistake “coolness” for arrogance which is  not a quality employers tend to like. Bottom line: When starting out at a new job, keep a low profile.

You are an orphan at work- At a job no one cares who your parents are or how much of a fuss they would be willing to make on your behalf. Employees whose parents show up at work to plead their case end up jobless. The same holds true for employees who have their mothers call in sick for them. Bottom line: At work, you might as well consider yourself an orphan.

Last in/first out Being the last to show up to class means a grand entrance, which might make you look “cool” in high school but will not make the right impression at a job. Teachers may not care if you race for the door when the bell rings, but your employer will not appreciate your standing at the time clock waiting for quitting time. Bottom line: To be successful at work, the rule is first in/last out.

 

©2012 James Stanfield Company. All Rights Reserved.

The Stanfield Way

The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.

Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.

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