People Quit Management, Not Jobs

Many have heard this, many have previously lived this and many are currently living this so I share this statement, rather, as a guide to understanding yourself, others and how to be an influence.  I remember years ago when I was first joining the professional work force, a family member of mine intently told me, “Yah know, people only quit management…Not the job,” and that has always stuck with me.  I remember thinking about all of my jobs up until that point and what the common factor in my departure was and I kind of had this “ah ha!” moment.  Having worked since 14 years old, these jobs included: babysitting, hosting at a restaurant, waitressing, bartending, selling mattresses and embarrassingly enough: being a mascot.

So, I sit here and reflect – why did I leave these jobs? My age was certainly a factor for some (can’t be a mascot dog forever) or I needed a greater challenge, or maybe pay raise. But ultimately, 90% of the time I fell into the majority of those who’ve felt not “inspired by management,” (to put it nicely).

I worked in food and beverage from 15-23 years old in which I’ve probably worked in 8 different restaurants. The restaurant that I stayed at for 3 years (throughout college) was the one I stayed at the longest because I had the BEST BOSS.  I actually wanted to work through college (pausing to pray that my kids do this).  This boss wasn’t like the typical managers in the restaurant industry that I’ve had to work under; the ones who got upset if you needed to leave early to study for exams or judged your overall performance on how poorly you filled the salt shakers (it’s harder than it looks). No, this woman was our friend, mother and biggest supporter.  After graduation, I felt that it was almost impossible for me to walk away from this job and step into a normal 9 to 5 role. I dreaded the whole, “wait till you’re in the real world” rumor mill.

So, after graduation, I decided that I wanted to move south to a larger city and I was ready for my first “big girl” job.  I landed a job and about one year in I found myself falling back in to that funk where I had been many times before, uninspired.  I wanted the professional experience so badly that I compromised my integrity, my well-being and my passion, that I stayed at this job for three years before finally “quitting management.”  It was my big “ah ha!” moment. The moment that I decided to make sure, when interviewing, that I was going to be motivated and happy with management.

Previously, I didn’t listen to myself. I didn’t go with my gut. I was too eager for a new job, the money and to get to this new city that I just threw all that new knowledge out of the window.  So, once I started interviewing with other companies, I listened to myself, finally!  I made sure to interview for management rather than for the job.  I am now where I feel at home. I have a leader who is relaxed, less competitive, more reflective and slower to anger. He has the skills that better influence motivation and productivity.  I’m back to having the BEST BOSS.  As I am writing this I am thinking, I could actually be a dog mascot my whole life if this guy was my boss…. We’ll see 🙂

Rachelle Palles

Rachelle Palles is a a Senior Associate with Russell Tobin in our Charleston, SC office.  She focuses on contract employment for our San Francisco accounts as well as our Legal Services Division, nationwide. 

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