What's your job about?
A normal day for me is hard to describe because every day in this role is different – that’s what I love about being an Area Manager. Typically I visit at least two stores in a day, arriving at the first store before we open for trade. During this time I greet the team and discuss goals and store performance with the manager on duty. While the team finish setting up, I will often walk the store with the intention of visualising the store as if I was a customer myself. If there are any areas that need addressing, I work with the manager to execute this. That is the core of the job in a nutshell; observing, identifying areas of opportunity and strategically planning how to continuously improve.
The other main component of my role is personnel management. This includes anything from training, motivating and developing my staff to ensuring my team operates in a dynamic environment. As an Area Manager, you develop close working relationships with your managers to help ensure the long term planning, succession and development of the wider team. In the role you are also the hiring manager; constantly evaluating the store structure, and reviewing sales trends and patterns to ensure you always have the right coverage throughout all periods of the year. I also get the opportunity to work alongside colleagues from other states on projects which have real business impacts. The role of an Area Manager is so diverse and that’s what makes it so attractive.
What's your background?
I was born in Wollongong, although grew up in the Hills district in Sydney. I lived there for 20 years before relocating with ALDI to the Hunter Valley. The most important stage of my life was university; it was an eye opening experience. It gave me the flexibility to hold a full time job and also the opportunity to travel the world. Before joining ALDI, I was working for another company for 8 years as a lower tier manager while completing my master’s degree. I needed a job that gave me a little more flexibility without the added pressure of management responsibility. That’s when I joined ALDI as a Store Assistant. Instantly I got a taste of the day-to-day aspect of the front line within store and was hooked on the direction ALDI was heading. From here I asked my Area Manager if he thought I had what it took to be an Area Manager and that’s when the ball started rolling.
In terms of life decisions, applying for the Graduate Area Manager role was the biggest and toughest decision so far. I had just completed 4 years of university in hopes of one day becoming a physiotherapist. The thought process I had was, if I move into a field that I have no theory based experience, am I going down the wrong track, am I wasting my time? Four years later I can confidently say that becoming an Area Manager was definitely the best decision.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes without a doubt! If I have a degree unrelated to business then it is possible for any discipline. A lot of the colleagues that I work alongside with also have degrees that come from different fields - Teaching, Food Science and Marketing to name a few. If you enjoy being a leader and working alongside others then you will be an ideal candidate. The role is all about people - motivating them, having conversations and developing your team so they can reach their full potential. If you’re a natural leader, are dedicated and love hard work, then this job is definitely for you.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The autonomy and diversity within my job responsibilities. It’s great to operate and complete my job without the need for my boss to give me direction each day. Although the car, the phone and the salary are all attractive, the best part of this role is about the progression you see in your team - knowing that you are seeing improvement and development is such a rewarding feeling.
What are the limitations of your job?
If you are someone who looks forward to the weekend, then yes, that will be a limitation as weekend work is definitely something that cannot be avoided in this role. The other limitation of the role involves dealing with a fluctuating workload and handling conflicting priorities when they arise.
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