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Poker facing a boss and rambling like a Womble

Help wanted sign funnyA rant about the youth, advice on how to get a job and my opinion on what makes a good boss.

Taking up the thread from last week’s post. I’ve managed to find one (and now two) stellar team members. But it hasn’t been an easy road for Sarkara in terms of finding awesome employees.

I’m not sure if it’s just me but I absolutely struggle with the level of communication I encounter with those born just before or after the turn of this century. With two of my employees I swear it was like we were speaking another language.

Normally, when being spoken to, the other party reciprocates by moving their face in ways that reflect things such as understanding, confusion, disgust, dismay etc. But with these two I just got stared at blankly. That’s bloody hard to work with, I had to remember back to my English teaching days and ask them to repeat the message I had just relayed, to ensure comprehension.

I’ve decided to blame texting. You see those who were raised in the technological age, have not had to communicate with people on the same level as those who were forced to use their faces. Which has created a generation of kids who on the upside will never fear wrinkles, because of their lack of facial movements, but who’ll sadly struggle to read other people, or express themselves non-verbally.

Now, before I continue my rant, I fully acknowledge that no one is likely to see Sarkara as his or her ‘forever job’ (whatever the hell that means). My general managerial speech goes “look, if you give a slight shit about this store, then I promise to give a massive shit about you and generally try to bend over backwards to ensure you’re happy.”

But I’ve encountered more than a few who honestly believe we, as a world, owe them a job. These are the people who phone in to say their stomach’s hurting an hour before their shift, or manage to achieve nothing in the store that requires them lifting themselves from a stool. These are the people who, when I have to lay down the law, say “yeah this job isn’t really for me, I think I’m better with a cruisy admin job while I study.” (I’m actually still bitter about this, as it felt like she had broken up with me, before I could break up with her).

Don’t hate the job hate your apathy – tips to get ahead

The bottom line is there are skills to be learnt anywhere, regardless of your job title. If you’re young and just staring out, it’s wise to remember that, despite you being an absolutely amazing individual with so much to offer to an employer you’re just a piece of paper in a pile of post-graduate job applications which all say vaguely the same things, in the same font, on the same type of paper. Which means you’ll need to find a way to stand out.

For example, given my work history gave the impression I was running from the law, I decided to create a CV which would mask my flaws yet ensure I stood out (see image) and it actually worked.

Your other option is to find experience anywhere and in anything. For example a Sarkara employee could easily walk away with promotional, marketing, web, retail, stock management and social media experience. But only if they want it, and only if they’re prepared to put themselves out there to grab it.

Facebook CV

It may not actually be you it may be me

So now I’m done tearing down the youth like the old foggy I’ve become. It’s time for some self-truths. I’m a bloody crap manager! I’m good in the sense that I genuinely worry for the well being of my team. I care about their lives, I’m proud of their success and most of all I’m grateful for them showing up each day.

But I always feel like my team has Charlie Brown as a boss, this wishy, washy individual who talks too much, screams in late and rambles like a Womble. I’m so bogged down getting my stuff done that I forget to organise, prioritise and delegate in a cohesive manner. Which leads me to my aspiration list of how to be a good boss:

  1. Clear expectations – people know what they have to do, how they will succeed at it and the timeframe in which to complete it.
  2. Approachable – don’t bully, besiege or badger. To get the most out of your team you need to be willing and able to hear what they’re struggling with at work and then be open to their solutions.
  3. Organised – If you’re organised you can delegate efficiently, which means you can coach and encourage your team to tackle challenging and new tasks. Keeping them happy, and your workload lighter, win, win!
  4. Finally, I think a good manager always remembers that they’re not owed anything. Just as no one is owed a job, no one is owed a good employee. You have to earn that by being the above points and more.

Now I feel I’ve put the job market in its place I can rest easy.