Good employees are hard to come by, regardless of the economy. Learn to be one, and there's a good likelihood that you'll never have trouble finding a job. What do employers want in their workers?
• Are on time
• Take responsibility for themselves
• Learn new skills
• Respect supervisors
• Are generally helpful
• Have a positive attitude
• Meet deadlines
• Get along well with others
• Leave personal problems at home
• Have a good attendance record
• Respect the employer/employee relationship
Classic traits of not-so-great employees:
• Are chronically tardy
• Make excuses
• Refuse to learn new skills
• Don't respect their supervisors
• Drain time and energy from those around them
• Have a bad attitude
• Don't meet deadlines
• Cause conflicts
• Get derailed by personal problems
• Miss work often
• Challenge employer's authority
While some employers are willing to work with so-so employees to help them get on the right track, others simply look for someone else hire.
Of course, it is best to go into the job with those classic traits of good employees.
But, what if you got off to a bad start? When you feel things aren't going right, what can you do to make them better? Minimize accusations, hostility, and defensiveness. In other words, take time to listen to what the other has to say. Think before you speak. Think before you act.
There's also the chance that you think you are a top-notch employee, but your employer thinks differently.
Here are three kinds of employees that employers see as problems, and some characteristics of each to help you see if you fall into one of these groups.
1. The bad attitudes. You complain constantly. Your dismal outlook is poisoning the rest of your team. You may have the skills to do your work well, but you fall short when it comes to enthusiasm, energy, and commitment.
2. The unskilled. You don't have the skills you need. Maybe you never had the skills and you aren't making progress at learning them. Maybe your job has changed and you haven't kept up. Or, maybe simply lack good judgment.
3. The misdirected. It's not that you are really a difficult employee. You work hard and demonstrate your commitment. Unfortunately, you are confused about what to expect, or what is expected from you. You'd be happy to do your job if you had a clear understanding of it.
Employers aren't out to incur resentment, make enemies, or destroy relationships. They want to deal with their workers carefully, compassionately, and fairly. They do so with clear standards, realistic action plans, and when needed, progressive discipline.
You can show that you are a solid contributor to the business -- one of the good employees. Do something to boost the workplace morale. Put extra effort into important projects. Improve productivity and keep track of improvements that you make. Document what you are doing; keep a log. And, ask for a personnel review to make sure you and your employer are seeing eye-to-eye on your job performance.
Working RVers and campers typically change jobs often. Develop the traits campground owners and other business people look for in their staff, and you'll find getting a job is reasonably easy. Build a reputation as a good worker with a positive attitude, and it can help you find your next position.