Career Advice from Centre Manager at Aquarena Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Aylie Spence
I can’t exactly remember who gave me this advice, quite possibly my mum, however, it’s something that I’ve been aware of for a very long time, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.
I have applied this in many different circumstances, however, the key time that this stands out for me was when I was working for another company and I noticed a lot of behaviours that were not aligned with how I felt that leaders should treat people within the workplace. After questioning this with colleagues and senior managers I found that this behaviour was considered the norm and was unlikely to change.
It was then that I made my decision that this was not the place that I wanted to build my career.
This is something that can be applied in all of our working days. If you see a lifeguard who is not paying attention, at that moment you have the opportunity to walk past and show that it is acceptable, or take action.
I always try to lead by example with my actions, treat people how I would like to be treated and never ask someone to do something I wouldn’t or haven’t done myself.
This advice would have been useful when I first started managing a centre. I had previously been a lifeguard and Duty Manager at the centre and many of the staff were my friends, during this transition period from casual employee to Centre Manager I learnt a lot about who was there to support me.
The advice that I often find myself giving to people who I work with relates to the friendships we form with our colleagues and co-workers. Many new managers ask me how I balance having a friendship with staff whilst maintaining a professional relationship. My response to this is always that you can’t have a friendship without respect and if your friend doesn’t have enough respect for you to do their job when you’re at work then they are likely not your friend in the first place.