Conducting a time analysis was a pretty eye opening experience for me. I analyzed my time from Saturday 6/15 through Friday 6/21. As a family man, the fact that I spend a great deal of my time, over half, during the course of a week working and sleeping is somewhat unsettling (see Figure 1 – Weekly Time Analysis). I spend an average of 55 hours per week working, a minimum of 11 hours each day, 5 days a week. I slept approximately 5-6 hours per night, a total of 40 hours for the week. The combination of the two is about 56.5% of my week’s time. Studying took up around 20 hours or approximately 12 %. I spent 7 hours in my car during the week, which was to and from work for the most part. Family time, eating, and recreation was a total of 43 combined hours or 25.6%. “Other” consisted of a handful of other activities and was about 3 hours of my week. Seeing how few hours I actually spend with my family doesn’t sit well. Yet, knowing I work the long hours I do for the betterment of my family makes it all worth it.
I strongly consider myself to be a great listener. I’ve found over the years that things get done faster and more efficiently when one has a thorough and complete understanding of what the problem or issue is. Whether it’s listening to a boss’s detailed instruction, or lending an ear to an underperforming performing employee, gathering the right information has been key to my success in my current workplace. I greatly enjoy using “feedback as an opportunity for coaching employees” (Robbins & Coulter, 2001, p. 462). I would undoubtedly consider myself to be a democratic style of manager, which is something most of my subordinates seem to appreciate. I also request constant feedback from my own bosses, especially my direct boss whom I work with very closely. I, and many others, consider myself to be an up and coming Assistant Manager for Vons the grocery chain. My boss, the Store Manager, on the other hand has been with the company since 1969 and has been in management since the early 1980s.
We are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to our respective careers. He has one eye on retirement, while I have one eye on his job, not in a backstabbing way by any means. I am constantly asking him to delegate his duties to me so I can put myself in a position to quickly transition from my current position, to his position as Store Manager when the time comes. By constantly listening and observing, while asking the right questions I have found success in my current position to this point, and my boss has found joy in handing much of his duties and responsibilities off to me. While most others within my company seem to be looking to take less off their plates, I’m constantly looking to keep my plate so full it’s at times spilling over the edge. That is what makes me valuable to my company, coupled with the fact I “build on peoples strengths” (Clifton 1995, pg 9) rather than fix their weaknesses.
My Professional Goal
My specific professional goal at this point in my career is to “get Backstage” as we say at Vons. Backstage is another term for the corporate side of the business which differs greatly from the store level or retail side of the business. To obtain a backstage position, one must “develop the learning gains from work experience” (Miller 1991, pg. 14) and work their way up through the retail ranks. The next step for me is to be promoted to Store Manager. I am currently working with my Store Manager daily to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to be considered for such a position. This is a goal I plan to achieve by spring of 2014. Once I become a Store Manager I plan to increase sales and profits while reducing controllable costs at my specific store. By doing so over a 2 year period I will be eligible for a backstage position by spring 2016. This is important to me because working retail means constantly working weekends and holidays as opposed to weekends and holidays off in a backstage position. As a family man, it would mean the world to me to be able to spend each weekend and holiday with my wife and kids instead of my co-workers and customers.
Robbins, S. P., & Coulter, M. (2001). Management (pg. 462). Prentice Hall Clifton, D. O. (1995). Soar With Your Strengths (pg. 9). Random House Digital, Inc. Miller, A. (1991). Rethinking Work Experience (pg. 14). Taylor and Frances US.