This week a famous pitcher who clearly should have known better, lost his very high paying job at ESPN. It reminded me how many kids fresh out of college undid all of those years in school by getting fired for doing something similar.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen kids bust their hump to get a job at a named company only to lose it a few days later, or even before they officially start. This applies to more than just tech jobs. So if you are a parent and don’t want your kids to boomerang home unemployable or are a manager and don’t want to have to fire one (or explain how it happened on your watch), I’d suggest sitting your soon-to-be-hired kid or recently hired new employee down and giving them some personal perspective. You see we really don’t understand consequences until we are nearly 30-years-old. A 2012 Yale study says, the best way to keep kids from doing really stupid things is get them to understand the consequences of the things they do.
Here are the 15 simple things kids should know before starting a new job in order to not get fired.
1. Know the zero tolerance rules in the company. I’ve even seen experienced executives forget this one. Zero tolerance rules are rules that get you fired immediately, there is no review, no second chance, you break one they walk you out.
For instance, many companies have don’t date subordinate rules. A third-line manager started dating one of his low-level employees and when it got serious asked another third-line manager he thought was a friend to allow a transfer so he wasn’t breaking this rule, both he and the woman he was dating were fired shortly thereafter. Here is a story of a guy who loved the job but clearly didn’t understand that zero tolerance rules were unbendable, and lost his dream job. You may think the rule is silly, but explain that to your parents when you have to move back home unemployed.
2. Substance abuse rules are not suggestions. You not only can get fired, you can be rejected during the hiring process as well. Recently, a young man who has a young bride and child was pitched into a really good job that had a drug test. He kept using and showed up with a vial of clean pee not realizing these things are monitored. He then tried to drink lots of water and delay the test, they immediately caught on and he is now literally working at an hourly job where he shovels fertilizer. Minimum wage and no benefits. You get caught using, in most companies, you are gone and you’ll be red flagged for anyone else.
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