LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES
Employers have certain expectations when they offer you a job. They have a business to run and you are an important part of their operation. When you accept a job, you are making a commitment, and it is important for you to act responsibly. Below are a few things to keep in mind:
- Have a positive attitude towards the job you accept. Employers are looking for workers who are enthusiastic and willing. Flexibility, enthusiasm, and teamwork are very important in the U.S. workplace.
- Time in the United States is viewed very differently than it is in some other countries. Being on time is essential, and showing up earlier than expected is even an advantage, as it makes a good impression on your employer. Plan to arrive to your job at least 5 minutes EARLY for every shift.
- It’s likely that your employer has listed the uniform required for work. If this is not clear, ask your employer, or your in-country representative about the style of dress required for your particular job. You should also be prepared to pay a uniform deposit, or you may need to buy specific clothing upon arrival.
- Some features of the U.S. workplace:
– Supervisors may share personal information that you would normally share only with close friends, and may allow you to call them by their first name.
– The language you use at work is of utmost importance. Your language should be “clean” (no swearing), friendly, and non-argumentative.
– Please try not discuss controversial and inappropriate topics at the work place – this is not the appropriate venue to discuss last night’s party.
– If you find yourself in disagreement with someone at the work place, try to keep your tone polite and respectful, even if you do not share their point of view. If you have a conflict, state your position in a calm manner, and listen respectfully to others’ opinions.
- In the formal work setting, Americans generally give each other a decent amount of physical space. They don’t stand too close to each other, and limit physical contact to handshakes and the occasional high-five.
- We understand that you may fall ill while in the United States, and this may cause you to miss your scheduled work shifts. If this happens to you, it is important to CALL YOUR EMPLOYER IN ADVANCE to let them know that you will not be in for your shift. Keep sick days limited, as your employer is relying on you to work your scheduled shift. A pattern of not calling in, and not showing up for work, also called No-Call, No-Show, is grounds for termination.
- Make sure that you are following the company rules and meeting their standards.
- The employer you have agreed to work for played a huge role in allowing you to apply for your visa. Without their job offer, you would not have been able to go to the embassy to apply for your visa. If you tell an employer you will work until a certain date, it is your responsibility to keep your promise
- On your Job Confirmation Form, you will see a line that says “Estimated Average Hours per Week” and then a number. By the end of the season, this number is the estimate of the average hours per week that you should have been scheduled for. Please note, the hours at the start of your program will likely be lower than the average listed on your job offer. As you are trained and are integrated onto the schedule, you will likely see your hours increase.
- If you are looking to make extra money you may also be able to apply for a second job. It’s important to remember that your 2nd jobs cannot interfere with the schedule at your primary employer. Also, you MUST get any employer, even a second, or part- time employer, approved in advance by GeoVisions. If you begin working at an employer not authorized in advance by GeoVisions, you will be violating both GeoVisions and Department of State Program Rules.
- Sometimes business demands require that your employer move you from one department to another. If this happens to you, let us know. Sometimes, moving positions will allow you to get the hours you need. It will also enhance your resume to learn a new skill.
- If you find yourself in an emergency situation, please don’t panic. Contact GeoVisions Summer Work/Travel immediately by calling 1-888-830-9455 if the following emergencies arise:
– You are seriously ill or injured
– You are the victim of a crime
– You are arrested
– If you are in a potentially life-threatening situation, call for help by dialing 911 from the nearest available telephone. The person who answers will contact the police, the fire department or an ambulance to help you.
- Most Americans are very friendly. They can be very outgoing and hospitable, candid and open. They will often tell you how interesting it is to meet someone from another country, and will be happy to help you. Do not be surprised if you are invited to dinner, taken to different places, or shown around the town you are in. During the day, most cities are quite safe, but at night, as in most parts of the world, there are certain areas to avoid. Ask your employer and co-workers for details. Travel and explore with a friend, if possible. If you are alert and use good judgment, you will have few problems. Do not be intimidated by the size and pace of American cities, as you will soon realize that the people are not that different from the people you live with at home.