While relatively new in the workforce, I have already had varied work experience. I have absolutely loved some jobs, but others I have absolutely dreaded. It didn’t take me long to realize that the jobs I loved and looked forward to were the jobs that I didn’t care how much I was making. Don’t get me wrong, I like getting paid. Eating and having a place to live are expensive hobbies. However, one of my favorite positions was an internship where I was earning barely above minimum wage. One of the jobs I didn’t like paid me significantly more, but I could not stand it. So, what made the difference? Why love the one that paid next to nothing but hate the other with a good wage?
Like most things in life, there were many reasons—the team, the company culture, and even the actual work. However, as I have thought about it, I realized the main reason I loved one job and disliked another wasn’t any of these reasons. I found it was about trust. My internship trusted me. They gave me an assignment and trusted me to get it done. They didn’t coddle me. In fact, when I got my first assignment I felt like I had been handed a lead brick, pushed off the deep end, and told to swim. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was determined to give it a try. I wanted to live up to the trust that my then-editor had given me. She corrected my work when it was needed, but always gave me the opportunity to try again.
On the flip side—at another job my work was constantly redone and I was micromanaged. Things would be rewritten without my input or the opportunity for me to fix it. I felt like I was being suffocated and was not allowed to succeed. The lack of trust took away my drive and ambition in that job. No amount of pay, perks, or raises added lasting satisfaction when I felt like my only purpose was to be a warm body.
Trust is a huge component to company culture and success. However, not only do the managers have to trust their employees, but the employees also have to trust their managers. Of course, there will always be employees and companies who are not worthy of trust. There will always be personalities that don’t mesh or work that doesn’t meet expectations. However, most employees will flourish when they are trusted to do their work. Likewise, when an employee trusts their manager, and to a greater extent their company, they can focus on doing their job. Trust makes work simpler. It frees the managers from doing someone else’s job in addition to their own and allows for greater employee and company success.