Summer Camp:Welcome To The Workplace Jungle!


Hello, Campers! Today is New Career Day.

Here’s an intergenerational conversation starter. Do you want to survive the first 90 days of your first job? Do you want to be tagged as “has potential”? Do you want not to be “firing fodder”? First, let’s talk about your head:

Get this: You are now just one more jobless adult.

If you did not get recruited into a job through those campus recruiters you met last month (will meet this month)you now have an identity situation in this society. The day you pried those cute but impossibly uncomfortable new shoes off your swollen feet, you became a grownup.You are not a student anymore. You are a grownup–an unemployed, jobless grownup. Go to “finding and keeping a job”, our next class. Suppose you did get recruited? Congrats! You are now a  first job, bottom-of-the box, new employee.

You are a newbie. New employees are paid newbie money.

I hope you did not expect to get the salary your supervisors get. Yes, they have been out of university  so long everybody on Facebook looks like kids to them. You look like a kid to them. Your business now is to prove yourself to them. You have to work a while (a year or so) and get successive positive performance reviews to get pay raises. It’s called, “paying your dues”, “longevity” or “tenure”. Oh, and yes, when you were quoted your salary, you were introduced to a few other new words: “compensation package”, for starters. That includes your pay, your perks, and your “bennies”(benefits), not just your adjusted pay. If you look at your check you may note that your take home pay is what you get minus Social Security, state, and federal income taxes taken out of your gross pay.

The Office of Personnel takes care of your issues now. 

Notice that  you are a new employee as opposed to an applicant. You may or may not have been informed of all this means except in the short orientation where you got all those pretty brochures and smelly papers to sign. I hope you were not asleep. Another thing–watch what you sign and what you check off on those forms. Read all that stuff about your insurance plan, payroll savings plan, profit sharing, union dues and the like very carefully. Ask Personnel questions about anything  you do not understand because they affect your check too.

Welcome to The Work Place Jungle!