Hey kids, it’s late but there’s still time to snag a summer job for extra cash that, try as you might, you just can’t wring out of your parents.

Working this summer will not only make you a few bucks but it may even give you that rush of independence that comes with earning a living, the thrill of paying your own way, a peek into the adult world of gainful employment. You may even experience an inexplicable incentive to jump out of bed in the morning to get to your job on time, but let’s be real; probably not.

Let’s get one thing straight; work is different than hanging out, goofing off or going to school. Employers are not your parents and they may expect you to act differently than you’ve been acting up to this point in your life. This stems from the fact that they do not love you, but not to worry; outside of your family, hardly anybody loves you. It’s normal.

You may find that you don’t know the first thing about how to actually work or how to behave at a workplace. You will learn that you haven’t memorized your Social Security number. Chances are good that you have no idea what you can do or how fast you can do it. This usually comes as a shock upon finding that the landscaper who hired you expects as much effort from you as did your cross-country running coach.

Don’t worry, people will roll their eyes or even laugh at you but just ride it out. It’s more fun than the backstabbing work environment you may encounter when you have additional experience.

Since you probably have no idea how to make your new employer glad that you showed up, I have compiled guidelines you might consider to take some of the edge off that first-job aura you will be projecting when you go to work.

Shoes. What kind of work will you be doing? If it’s got anything to do with ladders, lifting things, using tools, driving and the like, you’re going to have to wear shoes. Yes, we all know it’s unnatural and I’m sorry but when there is a chance you might have to use your feet, employers usually like to see some protection around them. Not for your safety of course but, in general, society demands that employers watch over you so that you don’t do anything stupid like hurt yourself while helping them make money. By the way, flip-flops aren’t shoes. They are merely portable foot pads.

Clothing. What you wear should reflect the job. Take note of what the other employees are wearing and how the boss is dressed. If everyone is wearing a clown outfit and the work site is not a carnival, re-evaluate. Don’t wear clothing that advertises, proselytizes, or insults even if you know that it’s really, really funny.

Phones. We all know it is your lifeline, but for the first day or week leave it in the car or in your backpack, turned off. You should look up the procedure for turning your phone off if you have never done it. You will still be able to talk and breathe, barely at first, but these skills will, in time, return.

Find out what the phone policy is and follow it. This is work time and not your time to be checking on any information your phone has to offer, no matter how valuable. If phone time pays more than working a regular job, re-evaluate.

Next week we will cover issues like when it is best to stand or sit, lunch, quitting time and how to look interested in the work you are doing. But don’t wait for more advice, get out now and start exploring the world of employment before you turn 30 and find living in your parents’ basement is not a charismatic lifestyle.

By the way, this is the time that you decide if work is a fulfilling, enjoyable adventure that prompts you to contribute your skills for the betterment of society or if work is endless drudgery that robs you of time and independence. Sure, it’s unfair to ask a person your age to determine if your life will be upbeat and positive, or dark and burdensome, but it’s largely up to you to control your destiny and this summer is as good a time as any to start making that choice. No pressure.