And you’ll never work a day in your life….said someone important.
I often wonder if there isn’t another piece to this. Personal attitude maybe. Early in my career I worked for a very large Fortune 500 company. It was my first real job. Pay was good. Lots of opportunity and the benefits included paying for my education.
I worked there 25 years and loved it. I quit to relocate for a spousal job move but there were always lots of employees complaining. (Yes people complain about good pay, benefits, job opportunities and whatnot. It’s an “if I could only have more I’d be happy” attitude.)
Some positions I loved and some not so much. Whenever I landed on a job that was disappointing either with the leadership or the type of work, I methodically moved on.
The key was always to do your best in the job you are in. People can only see what you do, not what you could do.
This lesson comes back to me again and again. My local Starbucks seems to be a great place to work. Baristas are cheerful and in the many years I’ve been going there was only one who couldn’t wait to leave.
It’s staffed mostly by young adults working through college and some young mothers who need flexibility. They are cheerful (remember their customers for the most part haven’t had their coffee yet!) and accommodating. Don’t like your drink? They will make you another one.
They have young memories. They remember their customers, often starting the drink before you order.
This past week a young woman who had left for nursing school last year was back. She was cheery and upbeat as always. I haven’t talked to her to see how school was. I doubt she would return if it hadn’t been a positive experience.
There are other places too where the people enjoy their job. Locally we have a new “upscale” mall (that means the stuff costs more). There are two stores that I love. Their staff is helpful. Ask a question and you will get a lot of information and options. Yes it encourages purchases but when the customer walks out happy, they’ve done a good job.
Earlier this week, I was in one of those. I was checking out when I asked a question unrelated to my purchase. The woman could not help me but got someone who could. I ended up with a product that isn’t scheduled to be released until Mother’s Day and a bag full of samples.
When I left, my comment was “I couldn’t work here. It’s like a candy store! I’d want everything!” She laughed and said the staff was like that. It was a struggle to NOT spend money even with an employee discount.
This isn’t only true in retail. Recently I was to my dermatologist. The whole office was happy. I couldn’t feel friction or unhappiness (you can feel it when it’s there).
So what is it? Better pay? Better benefits? (Not likely for the retail positions) Leadership who listens? What is it that makes you love a job?
Author’s note: I did not receive any compensation from Starbucks for my positive comments (although I am open to a free mocha latte). There may be some Starbucks shops that aren’t as happy. Also congrats to the folks from my last place of employment for a well deserved “Best Place to Work” award.