When I was a child, before my mother and father left the house for work, they would always put me in charge. I have two brothers, one about a year and a half older and the other four years younger.
Despite my age, my parents saw something in me that led them to believe that I could hold things down while they worked two jobs. Their reason; I followed the rules and knew how to keep the other two in line.
When I entered the workforce at 16 years of age, my managers promoted me quickly, because they too saw that similar quality in me. When I received criticism I went back to my mental office and thought through ways to be a better employee. However, their evaluative points often came with positive feedback, appreciation for my work, and a reminder that they were invested in my growth.
Great story, but talk to me about management
All of us have a management style. When we are in positions of leadership, we have a way in which we lead others. When we are being directed, we also have a way in which we want our boss to lead us. If you are struggling in your current position, take a couple minutes to jot down how you work best, then take a couples of minutes and evaluate the culture of your current workspace and how you are managed.
- How does your boss lead you?
- How do they challenge you?
- Do they understand the areas in which you require a confidence boost?
- Do they understand how you internalize and/or conceptualize content?
- Are they invested in your growth within the company and potentially outside?
- Are they compensating you for the work you bring forth?
- Is the culture your management has created consistent with your personality?
If there is discrepancy, I recommend that you take the time to think through why you are working for that organization. I get it, money is important, but if you are going through the professional motions just for a paycheck, you’re not in it for the right reasons.
I know it’s a privilege for a lot of us to find work that pays well and offers fulfillment. Some folks don’t see work as anything more than a way to pay the rent and feed their family. For example, my parents both work two jobs, and they don’t have the privilege to find themselves professionally in the way that I do. I recognize that privilege, and have made the decision to Tinder my way to the right profession.
If you ain’t giving me what I need, I’m swiping left
My most attractive professional match is an organization that offers lateral management, personal fulfillment because I am overachiever who will eat and sleep work, pays me what I am worth so I do not have to live paycheck to paycheck, provides flexibility, sufficient vacation time, offers creativity and opportunity to executive my ideas, is invested in me, creates space where I feel appreciated, has an enjoyable culture, and is structured in a manner where my work will yield visible results.
At this point in my life, I cannot tell you what I want to be doing in five years. What I do know is that my career path will take me to positions that have me swiping right.
Unlike Sway, I ain’t got all the answers. I’m still exploring what works for me professionally, and that’s what I recommend that you do. Please feel free to share your own experience with management.