This is why I quit my 9-5
When I was interviewed I was told that there was plenty of opportunity for growth.
This was music to my ears. What I value more than anything is:
Growth and being challenged.
I started at the very bottom so of course there was plenty of room for growth. Challenge accepted. I started in the shipping and receiving area and did what I have always done. I put my head down and learned and worked as hard as possible.
Eventually, I optimized the workflow and was able to streamline enough to where I was always ahead in my area. I used the extra time to start learning and helping in the other production areas. Learning new things and developing skills are what fuels me. I became a chameleon for the production area. Anywhere help was needed I could be shifted and be trusted to get it done. I was helping in these areas but the people that were teaching me were playing a huge role in helping me advance my career as well.
Over time my effort did not go unnoticed. I was promoted to CSR and shifted to the service side of the operation. Awesome a new challenge and more growth opportunities. My strategy when I take on new roles is not complex. I repeated what I did in my first role and put my head down, learned, and worked as hard as possible. This role was essential for helping me develop my organizational and time management skills. I was working with highly active salespeople and customers which was challenging but played a huge role in my development.
Once again I was promoted to Service Manager which presented new challenges, and new opportunities to learn and grow. I began learning from the President of the company and my momentum was at an all-time high. During this period of my career, I was excited, engaged, and constantly chasing improvement with the help of my leader. I truly felt like the sky was the limit. What an amazing feeling that was.
The promotions kept coming and new opportunities were presenting themselves. In just over 6 years my path looked like this:
Shipping Receiving -> CSR -> Service Manager -> Operations Manager -> General Manager
At this point, the only people ahead of me were the owners of the company. I had reached the cap of growth in regards to position. That is ok there are other growth areas I can focus on such as:
Being coached and growing personally
Growing the company
But that is not what happened. I was now overseeing the entire operation from front to back. I had absorbed roles from people we had lost and was doing my best to manage it all. The coaching stopped and the only challenges I was facing were the day-to-day mundane challenges.
When I communicated this and let them know that I needed to be challenged and needed clear objectives on how we planned on growing the company long term I was given a couple of short-term goals and a raise which is cool but not what I valued or needed.
The things that I valued GROWTH and BEING CHALLENGED were no longer present. This was a sign to me that I had outgrown the company. I still have 30 years of work ahead of me and I had reached a point of stagnation.
Employers, it is essential that you not only understand what your employees value but you deliver it consistently. If you don't know then you better ask or be ready to lose them.
Employees, it is essential you communicate to your employer what it is that you value or you will never be satisfied in your role.
If both sides are not doing this it is a recipe for terrible morale and an unengaged workforce that will stagnate growth.
Do you know what your employees value?
Employees do you know what it is that you value? Have you communicated what that is to your leadership?