“I'm very proud of what I’ve achieved” Agata, Area Manager
Agata started her working life as a translator. She worked in the European Parliament in Luxembourg before deciding to take a totally different direction in her career. She has been at Lidl ever since.
What were you doing before you joined Lidl?
After I graduated from Westminster University, I started working as a translator. Then I got accepted for a traineeship at the European Parliament. I really enjoyed my time in Luxembourg, but kept thinking that I needed to go back to London. So I decided to move back and find something totally different. I started looking for a job and came across an advert from Lidl. I applied for the role, they invited me for an interview and that is how my career with Lidl started. That was back in 2013.
What would be a typical day for you as an Area Manager?
Every day is totally different – and that’s what I enjoy about working for Lidl, you’ll never get bored here. You can plan your day but it’s quite fast-paced, so something else can come up and you have to work out your priorities. It’s also very interesting - I’m surrounded by different people and have to deal with lots of different problems.
What would you say have been your biggest challenges or achievements?
My role is quite challenging just because I never know what to expect, but it's fun too. In terms of achievements, I'm proud of my involvement in people's development. As an Area Manager, you’re able to develop your employees, so it's nice to see it happen. I may see a Customer Assistant promoted to Shift Manager, then Deputy Store Manager and even Store Manager. I've had a few managers in my stores who I’ve helped progress, for example a Shift Manager who is now a Deputy Store Manager, and a Deputy Store Manager who’s now a Store Manager.
How many people are you responsible for?
Around 130 to 140, it’s quite a responsibility. I know every one of them by name. I believe that if you speak to everyone and are approachable, they know they can always come to you with any problems they've got. We have a very good relationship and they enjoy working with me – at least, that’s my impression. I really appreciate their hard work. My boss is very supportive too. Whenever I have an issue, I always let them know and they try their best to help me.
And how’s your work-life balance?
My work-life balance now is amazing. When I get home, I don't have to think about work. I don't receive any phone calls unless it's very urgent. I don't mind receiving urgent phone calls of course, and all my Store Managers know they can call me anytime.
What are your plans for the future?
I would definitely like to stay with Lidl. I feel that I am still developing as it’s been my whole career, more or less. It’s been quite challenging, but I'm very proud of what I’ve achieved. There are always plenty of opportunities here to move around in the business, so you don't have to stay in one area for the rest of your life. As I said earlier, every day is different and I enjoy being surrounded by people. I don’t think I would like to work at an office, but I know that with my experience and knowledge, I’ll be able to perform different roles in the future. There are no barriers to progression at Lidl.