Avoid a Work Experience Wreckage…

How NOT to Wreck YOUR Work Experience…

generation gapNo matter what Century you live (or lived) in, older people invariably complain about younger people, it is in our humanoid-DNA to do so.

Twenty-five years from now today’s teens will complain about the younger generation, 98.75 % guaranteed!

How can teen’s today, build a connection to older people in the workplace and NOT wreck their work experience because of the generation gap?

Understand the pet peeves

petpeeves2We all have them, pet peeves (things that really get under our skin) and for some employers the habits of teens can be a peeve.

If you (the teen) can put yourself in your bosses shoes (eww!), and understand WHY they find your habits a major peeve, then it is easier to make self-adjustments.

Here are some pet peeves you should know about, and some actions to help you avoid the spittal as your boss implodes:

Employers see RED when you use a MOBILE at work:


  • They have given up their #$$VALUABLE time to assist you to trial a career in THEIR workplace…
  • If you are texting or talking, then you are NOT working or paying attention…
  • The word disrespectful would probably hover on your bosses lips.
Hint: Put your phone in the smoko/lunch room, use it when on breaks only. That way you are using YOUR time and not your bosses time.

Employers TURN THEIR NOSE UP at BAD PERSONAL HYGIENE (aka: body odour)

body odourWhy?

  • Body odour can truly make it unpleasant for other workers.
  • Please shower, brush your teeth, use deodorant and a fresh change of clothes (including underwear) each day.
Hint: If you are not sure if you stink, ask a good (and honest) friend!



  • Employers don’t have time to teach you basic English skills (eg. an address on an envelope)
  • English is necessary for EVERY job we do.
  • If you are capable of doing better in your English class, then I suggest that you do, as this will open so many more career doors for you in the future.
HINT: Research shows that READING every day is a brilliant way to improve your English. DOUBLE HINT: Seriously, if your English is really poor, DON'T ask for a placement in an office! That is just asking for some serious eyebrow raising!

Employers are ASTONISHED when you try to LISTEN TO IPODS in the workplace.


  • In the majority of workplaces, you need to HEAR what is going on around you and FOCUS fully on the task at hand.
  • If you can’t hear, this can cause accidents.
  • If you are not fully focussed, this can cause accidents.
  • Seriously. This is a dinky-di OH&S issue!
Hint: The number of people being hit by trains/trams lately is mega-ridiculous! Hint: Do NOT take iPods to placements. Problem solved!

Employers get GRUMPY when… your FRIENDS DROP IN for a chat.

talkingWhy? #suchabignono!

  • Think about it…
  • You are using THEIR time for YOUR personal stuff!
  • Right? Got It!
Hint: Organise to meet your friends outside work hours.

Employers RIP THEIR HAIR OUT out when… YOU ARE LATE…


  • Think about it, businesses exist to make money! $$
  • To make $$, businesses PLAN their day, and if they have a work experience student, then they usually set-up specific duties for them to do.
  • Being late, or not turning up at all, can disrupt the flow of work. Minus-$$
  • If you are going to be late, CALL!
  • If you are not going to turn up to work… LET THEM KNOW, that way they can readjust their plans for the day.
Hint: set your alarm clock, REALLY LOUD, and on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to reach it!

Employers would like to SLAP you for TEXTING#unwell


  • I am talking about texting in your lateness or absences from work. #unwell.
  • If texting IS an acceptable protocol at your workplace, the boss will TELL you so.
  • If the boss hasn’t told you that texting is an acceptable way of communicating your absences then, by George, it is the telephone for you!
HINT: As scary as the phone is, your boss will really appreciate you using it to call in absences.
DOUBLE HINT: YOU should make the call, not your MOM!

HANDS IN POCKETS-ES… employers FROWN on this…

hands in pockets

Check this photo here, does this bloke look inspired!


  • Hands in Pockets-es (harking to The Hobbit here) seems to be a weird peeve to have.
  • You may not be feeling bored & disinterested, but as soon as you stick your hands in your pockets thy boss will automatically think you ARE!
  • That is because hands in pockets-es is a classic ‘body language’ pose that normally indicates boredom & disinterest (unless, by chance, you are a model in a photo shoot).
  • Your boss does not want you to be bored and disinterested. They want you to be happy and busy…. doing work!
  • Don’t send the wrong message to your boss, find some useful things to do instead!
HINT: ask your boss for a task. Or better yet, look around, is there anything you can do? Ask your boss if it is OK first. EXTRA HINT: To avoid this pose altogether, don't wear clothes with pockets!!


Employers don’t want to be peeved with you, they are just extremely busy people, and need you to be prepared to alter your habits to suit their workplace. After-all it is a totally different environment from anything you have experienced before – you are entering their world, and you need to learn to shift some of your habits.

Have you…?

Have you experienced an older person’s pet peeve? Please share by leaving a comment, I am really interested to hear about it.

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