Some unbelievably frustrating days—when your team members call in sick, a piece of equipment goes down, or when a customer complains—on which you will be ready to call it quits. But you won't, because you're tougher than that. And several years down the road you will look back on these occasions in awe of what you learned going through them and how much stronger they made you.
Almost guaranteed that there will be nights when your friends go out drinking and you'll be stuck in the plant preparing for tomorrow's big meeting.
An occasional 80+ hr work week, but when you need to take an unplanned week off to be with your dying mother, we will be the first to make sure you can be at her bedside.
We will work with you to understand efficiency, throughput, yield, cost, on-time delivery and parts per million, and will expect you to obsess over improving each of them and to implement rapid change that generates real results.
We will upset your wife on the occasion that you need to work past midnight because a customer's order must be completed, but we'll cover for you in a second on the day you want to cut out early to celebrate her birthday or your anniversary.
It is inevitable that you'll need to miss dinner with your kids from time to time but we wouldn't think of letting you skip your daughter's big swim meet or your son starting in his first varsity football game. You'll also never know that one of us missed our kids' open house—at the end of a day that your frustrations reached a boiling point—just to make sure you were ready to keep up the fight.
You may get a phone call some mornings at 5:30 if we need to know something that just can't wait, but when you call our cell phones at 9:00 at night we will answer and respond to any questions you have.
We promise to lose our temper with you at least a few times each year—when it seems like we are just not getting through—but we promise to apologize later if we think we overreacted. If we find out later that something we said was incorrect we will admit it, and we promise not to rub it in when we're right.
Some years we will recognize your hard work and dedication with a 4% raise when we wish we could afford 10%, but you'll appreciate it knowing that many other employees had to go without any increase at all. We will forego our bonuses if we must, if that is what it takes to make sure you get yours, and we will cancel our vacation if necessary to make sure you can take yours.
When the economy slows down, as it inevitably does, and we have to lay people off, you will be the last person who has to worry about unemployment—we cannot afford to run the business without you.
The rest of the world may call you crazy, asking you whether it's all worth it or how anyone would ever want to work so hard, but you will know better.
It's an awesome opportunity, really. The kind of position I would have killed for a year or two out of college. A position that requires and delivers a combination of hard work, guts, dedication, pride, accomplishment, contentment, satisfaction, discovery, character and long-term financial reward.
It's surprising how few people are genuinely interested in the job.