One of the best memories I have to this day is when I worked at the shoe store The Finish Line. I came in at 17 years old as a cashier and eventually became the head cashier. There wasn’t anything I didn’t know about the system. I could trouble shoot and work my way around certain issues. I learned how to find the reports needed by management. So much so other stores came to know how well I knew my job and managers would call to ask me questions with things that they needed help with.
Not only did I know how to do my job well, I knew a little bit about every area of the company. One thing I learned from the managers I trained under is even though you may not have all the answers, you should be able to answer basic questions about the company and the different areas within the company. You should know who to tell customers to talk to or how to help customers resolve basic issues. I took that with me to every job I worked after that. I always made sure to keep myself informed.
By the time I turned 19 I was asked to be an assistant manager. Not just by my boss, but my regional manager, who was a step above my district manager, specifically stated that he thought I’d make a fantastic assistant manager. It was a big deal! I was hesitant but eventually accepted. You have to pass a test so to speak to get keys to the store as a manager. You can be promoted to assistant manager or an MIT (manager in training) but you can’t work alone and close the store if you don’t have keys that give you access to do several things within the facility. You have to run the floor for a full day (9am-9pm) successfully to earn your keys. This means handling employees, shift changes, making sure every area was covered, ensuring employees are meeting their goals, delegating, customer complaints/issues, opening and closing the store, etc. You had to do this on your own all day while a senior manager evaluated you. They would then report back to your manager and the district manager and you’d learn whether you passed because you’d get keys.
This is a lot of work and trust for an organization to put into any employee. Yet alone a 19 year old. But those people around me saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. They saw my value. They recognized that I was an asset to the company and they wanted to ensure that they not only kept me as an asset, but also wanted to nurture and grow my worth as an asset by teaching me, encouraging me, and training me to be the best that I could be. Because of this I was one of the best assistant managers in my district. Managers wanted me at their store.
My district manager, Bruce, further recognized my value. Whenever he came in to check in on our store or to evaluate our store he always, always made a point to take me out for ice cream and just talk to me about my thoughts, the store, my goals within the organization. He treated me, not like I was some 19 year old kid filling a space needed in an organization, but like I was a valuable tool in the organizations success. Because of that I worked harder and made it a point to ensure I represented the company well.
You’re just as valuable. Maybe someone hasn’t told you lately. Maybe you feel like you don’t contribute much to your job or your family or your friendships but you do. Maybe you don’t think that certain thing you do at work is noticeable. You’re doing it to be nice or you’re doing it to ensure things run more smoothly but day in and day out you’re putting forth your best effort. Someone has noticed and when you aren’t around to do that certain thing at work the value that you bring to it is missed.
Don’t discredit yourself because someone hasn’t confirmed your significance. In due time all of the work and effort you are putting into your job or your friendships or your family will began to produce fruit. God sees all that you do and all that you are. He has a way of recognizing and reminding you of your worth and there’s no one better at doing it than Him. At one point in my life I was struggling with my self worth and God sent someone to be with a brand new coach purse (at the time almost every purse I owned was a Walmart purse-nothing wrong with that) but I didn’t think I was worth much. Certainly not worth owning an expensive purse that I never would have bought for myself. I didn’t think I even deserved it. But take away the focus on the name brand purse and focus on the value being brought to light. I didn’t think I was worth much and God was reminding me that you’re worthy and valuable-just like this purse. He’ll do the same for you. So walk in confidence knowing that you are treasured not just to those around you but to God. He values and adores you!