A blog for 40-something women navigating married life and working from home. All while rediscovering who they are in a new decade of life. 

Lessons Learned at Work, Part Three

Lessons Learned at Work, Part Three

This the final part of my Lessons Learned at Work Series. Read parts One and Two

Your job is to make your boss’ job easier

This idea rankles a lot of people, because they think that their boss doesn’t do anything so why should they make their job easier? It’s true that there are terrible managers, but that’s a whole other post.

Your boss hired you to do a job, and they expect you to meet and exceed the expectations of that job. If you’re not, and your boss is always having to fix or redo what you’re suppose to do, then you are not doing your job. And your making your bosses job harder. I want my boss to know that I have things under control, so that when he is out of the store he doesn’t have to worry. I make sure that I know what his priorities are, so that his priorities become my priorities.

Embrace change

I’ve been in retail for 15 years, and it is constantly changing. And I’m not just talking about the daily merchandising and seasonal changes that come in running a store. The way that we run things have changed. Our processes have changed. So, as someone who normally hates change, I’ve had to learn to embrace change at work. I’ve also had to learn to be positive when talking about those change with those I work with.

Let your people talk

I’m a supervisor, so it’s my job to keep people busy. But sometimes my people need to talk. And sometimes I need to let them. They need to tell me about their family and their lives. They need to vent. They just need someone to listen. So I let them talk. And in doing so, I’ve developed trusting and solid relationships with the people I work with.

Only what goes undone gets noticed

This is a hard one to swallow sometimes. I can have the store looking perfect but the one item without a price tag that I missed, it’s the only thing that store manager notices. Or at least that he mentions. He does notice how good the store looks but that’s not what he is going to point out.

You won’t always get a thank you for what you did right. That’s just how it is. So I’ve learned to accept that. From my bosses anyway. I try to remember to thank my people and recognize what they do. That’s the kind of boss I want to be.

Never say never

I once said that I never wanted to work in grocery. A few years later I became the department manger. I was over grocery for seven years. I once said that I never wanted to be an assistant manger. This is my third year in that position. Never say never, people.

There’s a difference between being a boss and being bossy

Anyone can tell people what to do. And a lot of people enjoy doing that. But that doesn’t make you a boss. A true boss is a leader. They realize that they have a responsibility to those that they supervise. They support and mentor those people. They have the hard conversations so that their people can grow and succeed. And when the chips are down they are right there with their people helping set things right.

These are just a few things that I’ve learned from fifteen years in the workforce. What have you learned? I would love to hear about your work experiences in the comments!

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