What Nobody Told You About Being “More Than Just a Number”

You would be shocked at the number of job candidates I’ve interviewed over the years. 

Yes, Kaser is small, but we’re never not hiring – and since the pandemic started, we, like everyone else, are desperate for good help.

I ask every prospective employee what they’re looking for in a new job. Far and away, the most common answer I receive is some version of “I want to be more than just a number.”

Folks who say this probably mean that they want to feel needed and seen. They want their contributions to matter. That’s certainly fair, and it explains why they’re applying to a small company like ours when there are bigger ones hiring in our area. 

I often wonder whether these candidates have considered that being a key part of a lean team comes with more responsibilities than perks.

Yes, every person on the Kaser team is essential, and yes, they deserve to be proud of the excellent work they do. Their remarkable handiwork is all over the city of Lincoln (and beyond). I tell anyone who’ll listen that my team’s skills are unparalleled in the industry, and there’s a real sense of teamwork and camaraderie on the shop floor.

But being essential has a dark side. 

It means that your presence is indispensable, and your absence is felt – probably more intensely than you’re used to. Your team needs you to be present, engaged, and on time, all day, every day. People will notice if you’re giving less than 100%. There will be little to no downtime, and very few breaks. You’ll likely be cross-trained every which way. Your mind and your body will be tired by the time you go home.

There’s no hiding out, slacking off, or coasting along when you’re more than just a number. 



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