Career Guidance & Suggestions

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Nararabbit, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Nararabbit macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2013
    Sunny SoCal
    Hello All!

    Right now I have a Bachelor's of Art and am working as a classroom manager for a retail company. I do a little of everything - payroll, scheduling, monthly planning, some HR stuff, safe audits, and of course, some teaching.

    My problem is that I really do not like the teaching side of it. I much prefer the office/money side of it. Even though I don't really enjoy my job (though I like a few parts) I still work really hard, am always on time, always making my boss look good and keep our customers happy. I was starting to feel a little stagnant because my old boss really encouraged my development and guided me where to go, my current boss, while nice, takes no interest in me at all.

    I decided to take up learning Spanish to give me that extra edge (especially here in CA) and it allows me to serve our Spanish-speaking community better as well.

    But I am just at a loss as to where to go. I KNOW I don't want to be a store manager. That sounds horrible, even though I know it pays very well ($80-$100k). Right now they are training me to move up to Assistant Store Manager, which gets to do all the tasks I enjoy (crunching numbers, essentially) but above that lies the dreaded SM position. I've been at my company for four years and have been promoted three times so I'm sure it's what they have in mind for me. I need to have a clear idea of what I want so I can start working in a different direction. I also don't plan to leave my company, because the benefits are excellent and my commute is only 4 miles! :D

    Possible candidates:

    Human Resources - the best thing about this is I can work from home part time and I get to travel sometimes. I enjoy working with people and helping them with their issues, I also enjoy being a champion for someone in a bad situation. My company takes HR very seriously so they have a lot of jobs in this area as well. It does not pay a whole lot more than I make now, and to move up would require moving to Texas. Uh, no. My whole family is in CA!

    Buyer - I would have to learn to speak Mandarin... on my own time. Get to travel a lot (4+ months out of the year.) I'm happily married, but we have no children so this is okay with us. It pays well, but not extremely well, and I'm not sure I'm willing to trade more money for a lot less family time.

    Loss Prevention - I don't know if I'm "hard enough" for this. I've learned not to trust anyone in retail as many people are opportunity criminals, and I'm scrupulously honest. I have my hands on many, many thousands of dollars a day in cash and it has never once occurred to me do anything about it. I think of the company's money as monopoly money almost, like it's not real. There is a lot of travel (but within a few close states, not nationally or internationally) for this job too. It would be hard for me to have someone arrested emotionally. I'm kinda sensitive... :rolleyes:

    They had a position recently for a Planogram/Photogram designer, which sounds fun. I like tasks like that. But again, we'd have to relocate. I'm just so torn!
  2. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    Sorry, maybe I'm missing something... but here you say:

    But then you say...

    So... they are first promoting you to a position where you get to do more of that you like. Then, they might promote you in the future to a Store Manager position...

    My questions are:
    1) They're promoting you to a position where you get to do more of what you like... what's wrong with that?
    2) They're eventually going to promote you to a position where you can direct other people how to do the things that you like... again, I'm failing to see what's wrong with that? Is it that you'll get to do less of the number-crunching as you get promoted?

    I guess I'm failing to see what the overall problem is...

    Let me use my field (academic research) as an example...

    First, you start out as a graduate student... you do research directed by your principal investigator and learn an expertise (ie. Grunt). Next, most move on to do a fellowship, where you apply your expertise in a more independent manner (ie. Assistant Manager). Finally, when you get your own lab and funding, you direct other people in research of your own choosing within your given expertise (ie. Manager).

    Once you become a principal investigator in your own right, you often don't do the day-to-day work required of research anymore. Instead, you're experience and expertise are used to train the people who follow behind you. You do less of the day-to-day work, and instead you become more of a "big picture" person.

    That... is the natural progression for most fields, not just research. At a certain point, your experience and expertise makes you more valuable as a "big picture" person... where you direct and teach others to learn your expertise. As such, you end up doing less of the grunt work, and become more of a supervisor to young up-and-comers like you once were, and upon your retirement, take the expertise you've given them and build on your legacy, and so forth.

    So maybe I've missed something... but it seems like your company highly values your expertise, wants to groom you to gain even more expertise, and eventually once you've gained that expertise, make a significant contribution to your company and start to train its next generation of employees in that expertise?

    But because the end position (Manager) does less of the number-crunching and possibly more teaching, you want to change fields? I guess not everyone is cut out for management... but have you thought of the benefits? Sure, there is more responsibility... but you usually get compensated more. And since you will do less of the day-to-day number-crunching, you'll have more time and energy to do other things for the company or for yourself.

    Again, maybe I've missed something but I don't understand the problem here...
  3. Nararabbit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2013
    Sunny SoCal
    Sorry, I had had a few margaritas when I posted... :eek: Let me clarify a little!

    I am looking forward to being ASM because it is everything I enjoy. However, the company is explicit that that position is a stepping stone for a store manager. They're VERY big on a career path, and almost always promote from within. In fact, if you turn down a promotion, you generally don't last much longer, or you're just forgotten about entirely (forget raises or recognition) because you're seen as having no ambition. :rolleyes:

    I am fine with being ASM. But I expect the conversation to happen in the next year, and I want to be able to say "My hard work is paying off and I am extremely excited to move into this new role. My longterm goal is XYZ, so I'll be developing skills in that area."

    The problem with SMs at my company is that their standards for their work is completely insane and unattainable, and you become exempt salary, so you are looking at working 90 hour weeks, with no paid overtime. My current ASM was recently promoted out, crunched the numbers and realized she is actually making LESS per hour due to the amount of hours worked. (ASM hours are capped at 45 per week.) So she stepped down and came back to our store. :D
  4. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    Ahhh.. that makes much more sense.

    I guess when the expected time for a promotion comes, you could always refuse and cite "personal circumstances" as reasons against a promotion. For example, if the company pushes for more detail... you could always say that you are responsible for the care of a family member, or something like that. Make sure you thank them for the opportunity, and leave open the slight possibility that you would consider a promotion sometime in the future (because you never want to burn a bridge to a promotion completely). Your company would have to be incredibly cold-hearted to "force" a promotion on someone that cites private/personal reasons for not taking said promotion.

    Eventually, your company will shift their focus to someone who actually wants the title/promotion of store manager, leaving you to do what you prefer.
  5. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Why would you have to work 90 hour weeks? As a store manager wouldn't you kind of set your own schedule and stuff?

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