Work-Based Learning

What makes a great worker?

  • How do I tell my boss I love my job?

    What makes a great worker?

    Just showing that you care goes a long way. If you can show your boss and co-workers that the job means a lot to you, you’ve come a long way in being a good worker.

    The golden rule is as true now as it’s ever been. Treat others at work the way you’d like to be treated.


  • Tick-tock!

    Show up on time

    You probably know you need to always be to work on time, but it always helps to have a reminder. Plan how you can be at work on time. If an emergency comes up that makes you late, make sure to contact your employer as soon as possible to tell them when you’ll get to work.

    My mom had car trouble, but I’ll be in by 10am!


  • I’m really sorry, but I am sick today. I can’t come to work.

    If you can’t get to work

    Life isn’t perfect. Sometimes you get sick or have an emergency that comes up. Your employer probably has rules about taking time off of work. Call your employer as soon as you know you won’t be able to be at work. You don’t have to tell them all of the details about why you can’t come. "I’m sick" or "we had a family emergency" will usually be good enough. Only call in sick if you are actually sick!

  • I look good!

    Dress the way others dress on the job

    When you are not at work, you can dress however you want. But on the job, you need to make sure you dress so that you can get the job done and fit in. Each job is a little different when it comes to how people dress. There may even be rules about what to wear in some places. Try to dress the way your co-workers dress.

    If you are not sure how to dress, ask your boss. But here are a few things you probably want to avoid when you dress for work: a lot of piercings, clothes that aren’t clean, clothes that show too much of your body, jewelry that could be unsafe, or a lot of makeup.

  • Where do I put my bag while I work?

    Ask questions

    When you start a job, you’ll probably have lots of questions. That’s great! Find out who you are supposed to ask when you have a question.

  • Will I ever learn how to do this?

    Give yourself time to learn

    Everybody feels overwhelmed the first days they are on the job. There’s a lot to learn. If you can, keep a little notebook or tape recorder in your pocket to make notes about how to do the job.

    It might take a while before you are comfortable. That’s OK. Ask questions and show that you want to learn.


  • Can I talk with you about something?

    Dealing with co-workers

    Always be respectful to co-workers. Most of the time, your co-workers will be nice. But a few times, a co-worker might make you mad or upset. When this happens, keep calm and stay respectful. It never helps to yell or disrespect a co-worker, even when they make you mad. When you’ve calmed down and when things are quiet, talk to this co-worker about how you feel.

    If you aren’t sure how to approach someone you work with about a problem at work, talk to your PROMISE case manager, they can help you brainstorm ways to address the problem.

  • You sound upset. Let me get my manager for you.

    Dealing with customers

    Most of the time, customers will be really nice if you are nice to them. But a few times, you might get a customer who isn’t nice. If this happens, keep being nice to them even if they are not being nice to you. If a customer is mad about something they bought, try saying, “I’m sorry you re disappointed. Let me see what I can do to help.” If a customer is really mad, you probably need to get your boss.

  • Hey, did you see the game last night?

    Talk to your co-workers, but still get work done

    It’s always good to be friendly and nice to the people you work with. But talking to co-workers too much might keep you from getting the job done. If you are chatting with co-workers, make sure you are also thinking about getting the job done.

  • I’m not sure how to do this!

    Don’t know what to do?

    Anybody can get confused at work sometimes. Maybe you are not sure about where to put something. Maybe you don’t know how to do something on a computer. Maybe you don’t know how much something costs.

    I’m still not sure what I should do. I’ll ask my boss.

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions. But before you ask, take a minute to think. You might already know the answer, but just need a minute to remember. If you’re still not sure what to do, ask someone.

  • I need to be careful how I talk!

    Watch your language!

    You should never swear when you are on the job. Even if co-workers or customers are swearing, you never should!

  • I can’t talk right now, I have to get back to work!

    Your phone at work

    Smart phones are wonderful things! But when you are at work, your phone should be turned off and put away. You can check your phone during breaks or at lunch. If for some reason, you need the phone with you to get an important piece of information, let your boss know.

  • Let’s see if you remember the key points!


    If you get into trouble at work or at school, you should probably figure out how to get yourself out of it.


    FALSE. If you get into trouble at work or at school, ask someone for help. Your PROMISE team is a great place to start, but you could also ask your family, your boss or a co-worker.

    A network is a group of people you can order around.


    FALSE. A network is a group of people who rely on each other for help when they need it. Your network may help you when you need it, but you should also be willing to help them if they ask.

    Coaches are just for sports.


    FALSE. Coaches can help you in your everyday life too. While most people think about coaches for sports team, you can also build relationships with people who can support you in other areas.

    People who tell you what you do wrong are just out to get you and you shouldn’t listen.


    FALSE. While hearing the stuff you don’t do well is hard, it is good to know what you might need to get better at so you don’t make mistakes in the future. Try not to get mad at the person who gives you bad news, instead ask them how you can do better.

  • Let’s review this chapter!


    Ask for Help!  Your PROMISE team is there to support you as you explore what you might want to do for your future career.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.


    Build a network!  A network is a group of people who can help you when you need it.  They might know about jobs you are interested in, they might be able to give you a ride to work if you miss the bus.  They are people you can turn to when you need support.  Everyone has a network, create one for yourself!


    Get a coach or a mentor.  Coaches or mentors can help you through the tough decisions you will have to make as you grow up.  If you feel like you really get along with a boss, a co-worker or a teacher and you feel like you can trust them, spend a little time getting to know them and sharing your questions and concerns. 


    Feedback is good.  It can be tough to hear when you do something wrong.  Understanding what happened and why it happened will help you to learn and grow.  It will also help you to make sure you don’t keep making the same mistake.  Plus, you’ll probably hear about all the good stuff you are doing too, that way you can keep doing it!

  • Chapter complete!