Recently, I have been asked numerous times what my next step will be. My standard answer is "Lunch." Today, it happened again. And again, I gave my standard answer. The thing is, today, I was asked this by the person I report to.
I hate that question. I know that my "boss" was asking because he wants me to actually move up. I have had the privilege of having nurturing bosses. He is definitely one of them. I hate to even call him a boss because he really is more of a buddy.
So, back to that dreaded question. In the position I had before this one, my superior was constantly asking what I was going to do next. I finally realized that she was asking because she was afraid that I may be "gunning" for her position. Truth is, the only thing I was interested in "gunning" for was her temporal lobe.
Before that, I worked for a guy who was all about me taking the next step. As long as the next step was to be his assistant because he knew I could do everything he could not. During my last review with him, he told me that he thought I would make the best "leader" ever. I told him that I was not interested in a leadership track and was more interested in being a buyer. I ended up leaving his department. I knew I was never going to take my next step with him. I feel for him because he will never know the satisfaction of mentoring someone successfully.
And today, after I gave my standard answer. My buddy told me that he was asking because certain powers that be have concerns about me. That they are worried that I am becoming unhappy. That my store is becoming too small for me. That I may one day just quit. So, I told him that one day, I may just quit. That it would all happen not because of the size of the store but because of my company rhetoric. That the concern they have for people like me should be concerns they should have for the entire work force.
I also told him that I was happy with where I was. That I was being paid well enough. That I had no intention of leaving my store. That I had no desire for more because what I did was actually satisfying. That they would have to drag me away from this position because, from my point of view, the next step would bring me someplace I have no desire to be. And that place would be a where I could barely say "Lunch." Later.