Teaching teens how to be more valuable at the workplace

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Be ‘money smart’ in the network

Marie Hall, Executive Director of BeMoneySmartUSA and Farmer’s Markets in Carmichael, California.

Banana Moments contributor, Marie Hall is the founder and Executive Director of BeMoneySmartUSA, a Carmichael non-profit dedicated to financial literacy training and employment development for teens. BeMoneySmartUSA provides free workshops and employs teens to run the Farmers Markets in the Sacramento region.  Below is Hall’s Lesson for the Week.

Most of you (teens) believe that you are paid by the hour for your work, but in reality, we pay you based the value you bring to that hour of work. Dan Clark, a certified speaking professional of the National Speaker Association Hall of Fame in Salt Lake City said it perfectly – “When the value you bring to an hour at work exceeds your pay for that hour, you become a more valuable employee, and as a result, your job may be more secure, you may have more potential to advance in your career, and you’ll have happier, more fulfilling workdays.”

This couldn’t be more true.  People who share the following attitudes and traits have the ability to create their own value at work.  It is not the job of the employer to create or even tell you of your value, it is your responsibility to establish that by doing things that help make you more valuable to the company you work for.  Here are some ways you can develop your own value at work.

  1. Do something every day helps you improve by getting better every day.  Make an effort to learn something that helps you do your job better.  Work on being positive, increasing your knowledge and skills.  Always work to go beyond your potential by taking action.
  2. Go above and beyond.  It isn’t enough to just get your work done. To be a more valuable you must go above and beyond what’s expected. Arrive a few minutes early every day to demonstrate your dependability. Be the person that your supervisor/boss can count on by being consistent and proactive.  Don’t just bring the problems up, discuss them with your supervisor and offer suggestions for solving them. Look for ways to help get things done more efficiently and smoothly.
  3. Dress for success.  I know you all work at a “Farmers Market” so your idea of a dress code is jeans, sneakers and the BMSUSA shirt or something like it from your closet – however, it doesn’t have the same affect when the shirt is full of holes, faded and dirty along with holey jeans, sneakers, etc.  Regardless of the environment that you work, dressing appropriately for the job includes hygiene, clean hair, nails, teeth, etc. It is important to present your best self at all times physically as well as mentally.  Your appearance reflects on you and us (the company you work for).  You should always dress in a way that enhances your company’s image and follow the dress code (in your handbook).  A good rule of thumb is to dress for the position you would like to have in the company.
  4. Maintain a positive attitude. Did you ever catch someone else’s yawn? Just like yawns, attitudes are easy to catch, and negative attitudes can spread like wildfire. When you help your coworkers catch your positive, helpful and cheerful attitude, you’re making yourself infinitely more valuable to your company. Simply make a daily effort to express positive attitudes, and your coworkers will soon catch them.
  5. Don’t compete — cooperate. Find a way every day to appreciate your coworkers and your boss for the little things they do to make your workday better. Offer to help your coworkers whenever possible. When you catch your coworkers doing something right, compliment them. Don’t talk about people behind their back, don’t gossip about others, or criticize their mistakes or point out all of your boss’s mistakes to others to make yourself feel better, instead use your experiences to learn lessons and use them to improve yourself by being forgiving and tolerant of others.  It will reflect well for you.
  6. Develop friendships. Sometimes the friends people have at work are an important reason they stay. Therefore, when you help your coworkers make friends at work, you help improve the environment at your company.

When you make it a habit to be positive every day and to things that make you more valuable, management will notice and your time at work will become even more meaningful as your positive energy spreads across the workplace.

Learn more about BeMoneySmartUSA workshops and Farmer’s Markets



Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.


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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.