Friday, 16 March 2018

6 Ways To Be A Perfectly Professional Part Time Worker!

Disclaimer:  This post is NOT legal advice honeys, if you have an employment issue please speak to a professional, there are some links that might be helpful at the end of the post x

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous week and that you're looking forward to a wonderful weekend full of fun and smiles 😊

I was chatting recently about work and said, quite honestly, that I love my job just as I've said many times before.  The person I was chatting with immediately gave me a "no, really?" look that, since no one ever seems to believe me when I say it, I've come to expect. 

I actually do love my job honeys.  I really do. I smile the whole time I'm there.  I know I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog that I work in retail, and I do.  I work part time, my days can be made interesting by always new targets to be met and by customers who might have had a difficult day taking their stresses out on those of us behind a checkout.

Still I smile through every shift because I really do love my job.... even on days I almost don't.

6 ways to be a perfectly professional part-time worker

Of course smiling till my face hurts (which is actually a good thing) isn't the whole story dear ones, why not grab a cuppa and maybe a cookie and I'll share a few hints on how to be professional, and happy,  at work   See you back here in a few mins...

Back again?  Pull up a seat and make yourself comfy dear ones 😊

Remember the old saying "A man who loves his job will never do a days work in his life" honeys?  I've found this to not only be true but to genuinely be a doctrine worth living by.

I know what you're thinking, how can I love a minimum wage job where I take all kinds of abuse at times and go home so tired I can barely think?  The answer is simply I love it because I make the conscious decision to do just that and it's easier than you might think.

6 Ways to Be A Perfectly Professional Part Time Employee!

6 ways to be a perfectly professional part-time employee...

1. Never slack off  

When I was very young my Dad told me that, just like in life itself,  I would only ever get out of a job what I was willing to put into it.  We all have bad days at work honeys but there are times when, with just a tiny bit of effort and positive thinking, we might have turned that day around and made it better for ourselves and maybe even for co-workers. 

Look for the good in bad days.  It's always there, just waiting to be found.  Last weekend I was in the most awful pain and desperately wanted to go home but knew I couldn't since I still had over three hours of my shift left. While serving a customer who had her baby son with her, I was chatting away to her baby and waving at him when he gave me the biggest smile 😊  That darling baby's smile made my whole day honeys, I told his Mum so and she grinned happily too.  So much happiness from a tiny baby smile and the rest of my shift just flew by 😊 

2 Always Make An Effort to smile   

This brings me perfectly on to my next point.  Have you ever worked with someone who can somehow drain all of the happiness out of a room by walking into it?  Everyone has, at some point, interacted with someone who looked as if the world was about to end at any moment.  I know I have. I truly hope I've never been that person to any of my co-workers.

Everyone has problems and issues that can weigh us down at times but by letting them interfere with how we carry out the duties we were employed to do we're letting down not only our employers and our co-workers but also ourselves.  Please know I'm not talking about serious issues or problems here honeys, those can't be avoided and most employers are willing to allow time off to deal with them.

I'm talking about anything that can (and dare I say it should) be parked at the door when you enter the work premises.  Maybe a favourite team has lost or you've had a row with a friend or your arthritis is trying to turn you into a human pretzel (that last one is me) put on your best smile and before you know it, people are smiling back at you and you forget your smile wasn't so easy to find 😊

Of course if a co-worker, or anyone else nearby, seems to be having trouble finding their smile I'm always happy to share one of mine.  The world would be an amazing place if everyone just cared a little more and shared a little more I think. Especially smiles and hugs, both were made to be shared and like that beautiful baby's smile, it can change a day for the better 😊

3. Never gossip 

Everyone loves water cooler chat but it's best to stick to what you watched on TV, where you're planning to holiday or how cute your pet is (our furbaby Jade is very cute!) rather than be drawn into workplace gossip.  Imagine how you'd feel if you were the one being gossiped about?

Gossip can be so hurtful to the person being talked about but it's also worth taking a minute to think about what kind of message it's sending out about your character to your workmates?  Would you take someone into your confidence if you knew they were a "tattle-tale"?  If co-workers makes a habit of gossiping about others it's almost certain you'll find that you're also being talked about in your absence by the same people.

Yet another old saying is proved true honeys....

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all...

4. Bring Your "A" Game...  

Bring it every single day.  At work most of us are part of a team.  If one person isn't "pulling their weight" everyone else has to work harder to accomplish the tasks at hand.  Most people will be understanding, and want to help, if there is a problem preventing a co-worker from concentrating on their work but no one likes to be taken advantage of. 

I'm sure that given the choice we'd all prefer to retire to a private island somewhere sunny and never have to think about work again but unfortunately, short of a lottery win, this isn't a choice most of us have.  We agreed when we accepted the job to carry out certain duties, and to do them to the best of our abilities.  As a part-time employee, we owe our employer the same dedication we'd show in a full time position.

5. Have your "spare you" systems in place 

This of course refers to your "back up plans."  Who is "you" when you're at work honeys?  Who sees to childcare, furbaby care, cooking meals?  Making sure homework is done and picking up or dropping off for after-school activities? 

All of the things you take care of when you're not at work. It's so important to know you have good systems in place because otherwise the whole time you're at work your concentration won't be on your job. You'll be constantly phoning home and you won't be able to relax.

So far we've talked about the duties we owe to an employer honeys but it's worth remembering that your employer has certain obligations towards you too...   

6. Check You're Being Treated The Same As Full Time Co-Workers...

Were you given paperwork when you started your job?  Did you read it?  When you accept a job you enter into a legal contract with your employer.  Under this contract both sides agree to certain duties and responsibilities to one another. 

You agree to carry out certain tasks, for which you will be paid a salary and your employer has a duty of care to you under a whole wealth of rules and regulations set out in the employment law which applies where you live.

More on that in a minute honeys, for now, let's concentrate on what you can do to make sure your part-time hours are not putting you at a disadvantage compared to full time co-workers. Your workplace will have a human resources or personnel department and they should have all of the answers you need. For example:

  • Are your salary/pay and holiday entitlement pro-rata (or "in proportion") to that given to full time co-workers?
  • Do you receive a regular full appraisal by your line manager - setting out how you're performing in your role and advising on ways to improve?
  • Are you offered additional training and opportunities to progress towards promotion? 

These safeguards will be set out in the terms and conditions in your contract of employment and this is why it's so important to read it and even more important to make sure your understand what it all means.  If you're unsure, advice can be found from many places including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Unions and ACAS.  I'll add as many links as I can find at the end of this post honeys. 

Basically, employers have a "duty of care" towards their employees, that is to say they are required to treat them fairly, such as paying at least minimum wage, making sure you carry out your duties in a safe working environment, including that any equipment you use is safe and won't cause injury and that safety equipment, such as goggles or warm clothing or gloves, are supplied in good condition. 

In providing a safe workplace, employers should make sure there is adequate heat (or air conditioning in warm conditions) lighting, fresh drinking water etc, as well as emergency provisions in place, such as carrying out regular fire drills. 

However,  the fact that an employer owes his/her employee a duty of care to provide a safe working environment does not absolve the employee of duties in making their workplace safe.

If you see anything that could contribute to an accident, liquid spills, loose wires, tripping hazards or safety equipment, such as high viz vests or hard hats, not being available, you have a duty to report this to your line manager.  It's only by working together that everyone can stay safe. 

Further Reading And Links:

I remember being told many years ago by a lecturer in employment law class (I studied for an HND) that books covering employment regulations can be out of date before the ink in them dries!  Of course employment law varies across the world too and it's for this reason we should know where to go for advice when we need it. 

In the UK we have the Citizens Advice Bureau who have wonderful websites full of information on all kinds of areas.  It should be noted though that there are different sites depending on where you live in the UK. 

Citizens Advice Bureau: 

Citizens Information - Republic of Ireland

There is also a Citizens Information website for the Republic of Ireland which you can find here. 

ACAS - Advisory, Conciliation & Arbitration Service

You can find the ACAS site here honeys.

UK Government Sites 

You can find lots of useful information on work related, and many other, issues here.  Although it should be noted that Scotland has a separate legal system and the information on this page will apply to England and Wales. 

The Scottish Government has it's own website here and the Welsh Government has it's own site here.

Phew! That was a lot of links!

I hope I haven't bored you honeys.  Where do you go when you want information about a work related issue?  Have you found them helpful?

You know work is something most of us have to do in order to pay the bills but the wonderful thing is the mood we're in when we get there is up to us.  If we get to choose our mood why not choose a good one? 

I've always found, even on bad days when I'm in pain, if I smile long enough I really do feel better, people around me smile (it's really infectious, try it and watch what happens) and it releases all kinds of happy hormones (endorphins) too.  You can find a great page on releasing endorphins, and lots of ways how, here honeys.

Still need some hints on how to find more smiles?  What about five fabulous reasons to smile? or ten wonderful ways to be happy?  What about how to make every day a perfect day?

Maybe that's the secret honeys?  If we practice a little self care, if we're the happiest we can be in our day to day lives then we'll be happier at work because we're happier in ourselves?  Worth a try?

What does your perfect day look like dear ones? Till next time, smile lots and hug even more, huggles xx

Huggles Always, Rosie xx    

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