When I was 16 I chased my first part time job at Safeway (Woolworths) as a checkout Operator. We were known as Checkout Chicks and I thought it was a really great job.
That was 1986, before trading hours passed 1pm on a Saturday, and way before scanning. We had to operate a cash register with our fingers gliding over the keys. Speed and accuracy were ultra important. We also had to know each and every fruit and vegetable by sight.
So, I took to the task of learning and within a few months I had a queue of regular customers at my register longer than the other girls. Why? I was fast. I packed the customer’s groceries tidy and like with like. I made them easy to carry as well. I had a productivity rate of 125% and accuracy of 99%.
I thought that was pretty great.
I worked through my last 2 years of High School and near the end of Year 12 I decided that I would get myself a full time job. University just didn’t appeal to me. So off I went on the hunt and landed a job with the National Australia Bank. Lucky for me it was also at the closest branch to my home.
When I started working there I was amazed that the skills I had learnt at Safeway would be a major asset to me. Before online banking we processed everything manually so my abilities on a numeric keypad were highly valued.
I was quick, efficient and accurate.
Quick! That was the key.
In a bank everything is about timing. Arrive and there is a long list of tasks to complete BEFORE the doors opened at 9.30am. Throughout the day DOING the other work as well as serving customers was sometimes a juggling act. At 4.00pm when the doors closed, AGAIN, timing was the key. So much to do before we could leave for home!
I learnt that everything really needed to be approached with a Sense of Urgency – especially at a branch when on Pension Day there were, at times, more than 50 people waiting at the door at 9am!
I took these skills and abilities with me to every role I held after the NAB and before I became a coach.
Now, even in coaching, there is a sense of urgency for me. My clients want and need results.
So, why is it that there are so many workers out there that really FAIL to understand what a SENSE OF URGENCY is?
I believe and truly know that if you have, and hold true, a SENSE OF URGNECY you will be successful in all endeavours both at work, in your business, at home and in YOUR LIFE.