Young people, consider this tale of two summer interns for a moment.
Several years ago, we had a summer intern that showed up for work late every day, except for one. He didn’t dress very well when he came to work. He never could seem to get a hold of much of anybody.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked him, but he just didn’t blow anybody away with his job performance while he was here that summer.
About three years ago, we had another summer intern, Jennifer Perkins. She dressed very professionally every day. She was always on time or early to work. She had a fantastic work ethic and did a great job.
We were so impressed with her that when Trevor Sherman decided to leave last year, she was the first call that we made about our permanent job opening.
She has now been working here for about six months, and she is doing a great job.
Those of you working that low paying summer internship this summer should take the moral of this story to heart.
You should think about that internship as an extended job interview or a job try out. By doing a good job, you not only could get a good reference for your resume, but maybe a full-time job out of it when you graduate.
I bring this story up because May is graduation season, both high school and college. It is that season when young adults are often looking for job, and here are some do’s and do not’s that you might want to keep in mind when looking for a job or working that summer internship.
First, let’s talk about appearance. It does matter. Don’t show up for a job interview looking like you just got out of bed. Yes, blue jeans are appropriate some of the time, but in most cases, you don’t want to wear those for your job interview. This includes your “good” jeans that don’t have the holes or rips in them.
The assumption that bosses make is that most people are probably going to be dressed their best at their job interview. If you show up at the job interview looking like a bum, the assumption is that your appearance will probably only get worse after you start to work there.
Get a pair of dress pants or at least a pair of khakis and a shirt with a collar. Iron the wrinkles out. If you don’t have an iron or can’t iron, then get a bottle of wrinkle-releaser spray and treat your clothes the night before so they will be dry by morning.
Now let’s talk hair, particularly hair colors. Your pink, purple and orange hair might be what makes you “unique” as an individual,ß as do your tattoos, and are part of how you express yourself.
How many higher ups at the company you want to work for have pink, purple or orange hair? Probably not many and maybe none.
Don’t get me wrong. People with less than traditional hair colors and big tattoos can be some of the best people that you will ever meet. The problem is that neither screams “professional” too much of anyone unless perhaps you are an artist of some sort.
When working that summer internship or first job, remember that it is also important to show up for work on time. Whether you realize it or not, people you work with will be paying attention.
Let me close this column by paraphrasing a line from the television show “Frazier” where Dr. Frazier Crane once made the point that it’s a fool that doesn’t learn from their own mistakes, but a pure blooming idiot that doesn’t learn from everyone else’s.
Young adults, learn from everyone else’s mistakes when possible so you don’t have to learn from your own as much.