toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

September 07, 2011

Hit the ground running

Elise has worked in plenty of places where she had to hit the ground running and nobody had time nor interest to show her the ropes or even introduce her around, and while that's okay if we know what we’re doing it is an horrendous experience if everything is new and there’s a monster in the shadows waiting to pounce on you.

"My experiences as a freelancer have given me valuable insight that I pass on to my adult children who, like me, have been forced by lack of permanent jobs into doing contract work," says Elise.

“I tell them that if they have been in a job for more than two weeks and have not yet been given all the tools and information required to perform the job, all the training needed to do the job or directed to manuals where they can learn the information for themselves, then they are in trouble.”

"I advise them to request proper training when they start a contract job because if they don’t, they will get stressed and because they won’t be in control of the job someone is going to gloat in calling them incompetent," says Elise, “and once they are in this situation it is virtually impossible to dig themselves out of it.”

"I advise them to do what I do now," laughs Elise. "I ask at the interview stage what sort of training will be given and ensure that it is written into the contract."

"I favor formal training," says Elise. "I am very wary of on-the-job training without back-up manuals to explain every procedure."

"No matter what our particular skills are," says Elise, "every company has its own inimical way of doing things and not all of us will be very lucky enough to find two companies that use the same applications or even the same hardware.”

"It is vital for self-esteem, health and well-being to be given adequate training upon commencing a job," says Elise, “and it is unrealistic to expect new staff to hit the ground running.”

"I know that some companies can be particularly lax in providing proper training for young adults," says Elise, "and it scares me that my own kids may one day be put into a similar situation to the one I found myself in."

"Kids are often fired unfairly for incompetence when the employer failed to train them," explains Elise, "and no kid deserves to start his or her working life with a record of incompetence when the employer is at fault, not the kid."

"Education may equip kids with the skills to work, but it’s our job as parents to teach kids their legal rights at work and how to fight for them - and keep on fighting for them.”

Read more by Elise on this issue:

set up to fail
denied training

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