Yesterday morning I woke up to an email from the employee I hired not even a month ago – she is putting in her two weeks’ notice. Not for anything I did, or didn’t do, but because she was offered a full-time job elsewhere. Regardless, though, I have to find another employee in the busiest time of year.
It’s not like I’m totally up a creek here. I have two employees that have been with me or over two years – one is leaving to go back to school in 2015, and the other may just be with me forever. But looking for a new employee is definitely not my favorite thing to do and this is a horrible time to do it. Leatherwork just doesn’t come naturally to most people, and no matter what kind of craft and art experience someone has, it certainly doesn’t guarantee that they will do well with leather.
So I re-posted my craigslist ad, and have already sifted through probably 25 applications. I have to review every application to look for someone who is compatible not only with the job, but with me as well. It’s a small studio, so having an employee who I get along well with is incredibly important. I look for things like – commitment, drive, personality, and intelligence. It is like being single again, looking at profiles of a potential partner.
When I was working at law firms I used to say that jobs were like relationships – in each one, you learn what you need, and what you don’t want, in any subsequent ones. You shouldn’t expect the first one to be the one that lasts a lifetime, since it will take time to figure out what you need in order to be happy with a job, or a person, for the rest of your life. Now, as an employer, I feel much the same way – jobs are like relationships, and it should have been a red flag when the employee that just left said when she was single she went on as many dates as possible since it was “a numbers game.” I feel like this job was a number.
When people tell me their dating stories, I always say that the best part of being married is that I don’t have to date anymore. It is a time consuming emotional rollercoaster, and honestly I’d rather live my life than wonder if someone is going to call me back. Or, for that matter, wonder if they are going to up and leave.
Over the years I have only had three employees, and depending on how much jobs are like relationships, maybe only two count based on duration. Each time, I’ve learned a lot about what is really important to me in an employee, and what matters less (or not at all). I have good leads this time, and am confident I’ll find someone who I will enjoy working with, and who will appreciate working for me.