The Student Employee
Student employees can benefit from being employed while they study. (Photos.com)Working with student employees can be a rewarding experience. Student employees often bring enthusiasm, energy, and a deep desire to learn to the workplace. Student employees may initially need more guidance than other workers. Your employment of them may be their first job, an experience during which they will gain the necessary skills for them to be successful later in life.
The biggest misconception that employers have about student employees is that they are not "real" employees; this is not the case. Student employees have all the rights and responsibilities as any other employee. However, there are some key differences between a student employee and a regular employee. It is important to remember that student employees are in a period of transition. Education is their top priority at this stage in life. Their student-employment is a key component of that education and is a time when they may learn business etiquette, customer service, time management, and myriad other skills.
While going through this critical stage in their lives, students deal with diverse and complex issues including:
- autonomy learning to be self-directed and self-motivated
- identity understanding their role in the workplace and in society
- moral and ethical development learning the proper behaviors required of productive citizens, especially in the workplace
- personal concerns dealing with family issues, romantic relationships and friendships
- concerns about classes worrying about grades and relationships with their professors
- concerns about their futures wondering what they will do with their lives and how they will fit into the world
While it is important to make allowances and understand the issues that students face, you are also presenting them with an opportunity to become professionals. One aspect of becoming a mature adult is learning how to put personal issues aside in order to perform ones duties. You can help student employees by being flexible and nurturing and at the same time setting clear guidelines, rules and boundaries.