I have worked in a retail environment for all of my life. Reflecting back on my management career, its no surprise that like most things in life there are always pro’s and con’s. A pro I always loved was to help others, inspire in any way that I could, mentor people in their own path, teach and train, as well as pass on my experiences for the evaluation of providing bits and pieces that might be helpful in their own journey. The roles of store management all come with great responsibility on many different levels. Recently I have been reminded of the impact we have every day and while it’s not the financial side of the business I’m thinking about (not immediate, but down the road), it is a payoff that comes in the weeks ahead. I’m talking about the hiring and firing aspect of our jobs and I have seen many mangers taking that aspect of their job to a power struggle, believed to come along with your title. The human piece often lacks substance when it falls victim to the power of feeling superior over others. Luckily I have never found myself on that side of the fence and always viewed my position as a way to help people. I can use my title in a good way in the hopes of being a good role model, even in a savior aspect at times. You never know what somebody is going through, what life has thrown their way and you might just be the one that can help turn it around for the better.
The name of my game has been hiring, hiring, hiring with some pretty steep weekly goals. So if you need work, hit me up and chances are pretty good that I can find a spot that is perfect for you. Hey, plus we could work together 😉. But all jokes aside, this is not my first rodeo and I have hired many times before. Still something has changed and something has become more obvious to me. Perhaps I find myself in a different phase of my life and I should say that when you interview with me, you probably won’t find yourself in a typical job interview. I get why you are here, you need a job and my goal is to move beyond the basics. You can google all the perfect answers to a job interview and prepare for it, but I don’t care much about that because I want to get to know YOU. What are your beliefs, what makes you tick, what’s your pet peeve, strength, weakness, what do you do for fun and things like that. Needless to say it often catches people of guard because it is the formal interview template they expect. And while finding themselves in a total different scenario, it causes people having to open up a bit, while giving you the chance to see the true self and not just a robot that has studied the answers. This has provoked some very realistic life responses and an honest glimpse into the life and hardship of others. The misery and poverty, the real life problems and hardship. It has become so much more than just a job interview as I felt that in many cases I was the last straw of hope. Opening up about their struggles it became apparent that they had fallen on hard times and in many cases life had turned its back on them. Hard workers for sure, what was missing was somebody that would provide the chance, a fresh start if you will. The employer, the business would gain a great employee if only they were given the opportunity to prove it.
Over the past few weeks, I have met a few people like this and feel fortunate of being in a position to provide this chance needed. I have been touched by the stories and the pain associated with the struggle. I have seen tears during the interview process while breathing hope back into the my interviewees, and I have felt the pain these souls have endured. I have starred into the ugly faces and the aftermath of racism, what it can do to a person and the destruction that is left behind. I have spoken to parents fleeing their home state to provide a better life to their children who are bullied in school because they come from an interracial marriage. The list goes on and I’m proud to have these people on our team. I’m grateful to been given the opportunity to help and make a difference and I look forward to continue our journey as a team.
I have hired people for many years and provided these opportunities before. And yet I have experienced something on a deeper level about myself with all of it’s pro’s and con’s. I am an empath and it is my deeper developed intuition that causes me to pick up on the struggles of somebody else and look beyond the face in front of me. It feels as if I can stare into the soul of the person, but it also works with people I never met. I feel it through the words and the writing and while not knowing any of the details, I get a pretty good idea about somebody and their intentions of doing good or bad in life. I’m still deciding if this is a blessing or a curse as it often leaves you standing alone and few see whatever it is you are picking up on. Whether it is a vibe, certain vibrations, the sparkle that seems to be lost in someone’s eye, a gut feeling…..whatever it might be that you are picking up on, I will continue to view it as a gift as long as I am in a position to make a difference. Because in the end it is all I could ever ask for and it is the highest reward I could ever reap.