He walked yesterday and unlike some in is graduating class, he has a job waiting for him. Thought I’d give him a few things t think about as he goes to work.
- E-mail, reports, and anything else written. Be careful of what you put down in writing. I have always followed the rule told to me when I started work at Mitsubishi, that if it is something I don’t want to see in the Washington Post someday, I don’t write it down anywhere. A person we both know ignored this, put something in a ppt slide that cost him his career, his family and in the end, Toyota a couple of billion dollars in fines. If it is sensitive, make a phone call or talk about it in the cafeteria, etc. Likewise, keep your anger out of what you write, that can be a quick job killer. AND before you hit SEND, proofread, proofread, proofread and make sure the mail is sent only to those you want to send it to (be careful of the ‘respond to all’ button or group mailings).
- Sexual Harassment. A good rule to follow is; if it’s a joke, a picture/video or anything that you would be embarrassed to share with or say to your mother, then that’s your answer about a sexual harassment no, no.
- Privacy. There is no such thing as “my” desk, “my” office or “my” computer at work. These are all tools you employer gives you as necessary to do your job. Don’t keep anything embarrassing or that has no business in your desk, in your office or on your company computer; had to deal with as a supervisor. Likewise with personal e-mail/internet accounts. They are your personal internet/e-mail accounts, but if you use the company server to access these, then your right to privacy is gone, gone, gone. Don’t find out the hard way.
- Keep your eyes, ears and brain open. You’ve learned much at college, but you’ll have even more to learn now (and keep learning, for learning never stops). Ask questions, otherwise you’ll not get the information you need to do your job well, which could come back to bite you in the butt later. And asking questions shows your co-workers you are engaged.
- Always be ready to do a more than is expected of you. Don’t wait to be asked to do something, be the one who asks to take on challenges. As your grandfather told me once, those who only do what they are paid for are only paid for what they do. Meaning in 10 or 20 years, they’ll still be doing the same old same old.
- Learn to take criticism. A lot of times it is not done well, which is unfortunate and when that happens don’t let it get personal, even if the person criticizing you has.
- Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Especially in the auto industry, it is all a group effort. Ask for help and advice, you’ll learn things too by doing so.
- After a couple of years, start thinking about what you want to do next. A good employer expects this. At some point you will need to get a master’s degree in your field if you want to be promoted to upper management and if hired on as a regular TEMA employee, I am sure there is tuition assistance available.
- Stay away from office gossip and don’t be one to spread it. No one really likes a gossip, even at work. And in a worst case, it could get you fired.
- Last (I could go on and on and on and on …) Dedication to one’s job is good and admirable, but also learn to keep a healthy balance between your work and your personal life. That’s something I don’t believe I did very well and there are things I now know I missed, especially with you growing up. On day you will retire from work and if you haven’t got family, it’ll be a very lonely retirement.
That said, do your job well as I know you will and I think you’ve got a very, very good future in front of you.