“Only a bad soldier doesn’t dream of being a general. I believe that one should not abandon any opportunities for improvement,” – Karolis Kanapinskas, the manager of Venipak terminals in Šiauliai, Panevėžys, and Telšiai.
Hands Full From Day One
Karolis’ Venipak story begins in 2011. Having acquired a minibus for seasonal work while still studying, Karolis decided that he needed a permanent job. After a quick Google search, Venipak’s name showed up first and now he’s been with the company for almost 10 years. Having started as a courier, Karolis now manages three terminals.
“I started working as a courier just before Christmas, so the first days were incredibly stressful,” Karolis reminisces. “Learning the ropes in such a busy period was quite a challenge but I didn’t give up and it soon cooled down. I tell this story for all new people who start in hectic periods but thanks to the constantly improving onboarding program, it’s much easier for newcomers to get the grips on the job nowadays.”
From Courier to Manager in Five Years
After working as a courier for a year and a half, one of the manager positions became vacant, so Karolis took the initiative. Now, a little over five years later, he manages three Venipak terminals so the job is a daily challenge and excitement.
“I move between Šiauliai, Panevėžys, and Telšiai, participate in meetings with other terminal managers in Vilnius and Kaunas, and spend a lot of time communicating with my team. In the mornings, we collectively review the results of the terminal, analyze the problems and propose solutions. I also contribute to planning the projects and recruiting,” Karolis says. “During the busier periods, the work changes a bit. For example, well before Christmas, we put the ongoing projects aside and focus on the smooth delivery in the active season.”
To Karolis, the manager’s position means a lot. According to him, he is responsible not only for the team’s achievements but failures too. However, he claims that this makes him feel valued and trusted. Meanwhile, the challenges he faced when rising to the position were overcome by simple honesty and empathy.
“The main challenge on my journey from the courier to the terminal manager was the change in my relationship with the team. The people who I used to joke and hang out with during the breaks have now become the employees I had to give directions to. It’s no secret that it’s much harder to maintain a friendly relationship in this dynamic. I believe it’s essential for a manager to be honest and empathetic – I try my best to do that. The fact that I used to be a courier myself helps as well,” he says. “Today, not only can I understand my team much better, but I also enjoy a healthy relationship with both managers and other Venipak employees.”
Biggest Motivators: Team And Opportunity for Growth
According to Karolis, a good manager should have the ability to notice issues on time, have the understanding that there can be multiple solutions and have the courage to step out of the comfort zone. The freedom to grow, create and contribute to projects are among the biggest strengths of Venipak that lets Karolis do his best.
“Without the opportunity to grow and improve, the job wouldn’t be as fulfilling and purposeful. I am also motivated by the great Venipak teams throughout the Baltics,” says the manager. “I also appreciate our professional and dedicated couriers. Their contribution is even more evident during the busy periods when we all focus to ensure the customers receive their shipments on time.”
Always More to Learn
Over 10 years, Karolis had closely watched the changes in the company and a move towards automation, which led to a lot of learning on his part. Because each employee is unique, Karolis believes that learning to understand and motivate the team will never end.
“My job revolves around people and I’m still learning to work with them. It’s not easy because we are each unique and motivated by different things. While one may seek money, other needs to feel comfortable and appreciated in the work environment,” Karolis shares. “During my time with Venipak, I realized that the salary can only go so far. Therefore, learning to recognize what the employees really need is one of my most important responsibilities.”
Having started as a courier, Karolis now has the opportunity to monitor, evaluate, and help employees to grow in the company. His experience shows that the most important thing is to show initiative and not to give up – and Venipak will take care of the rest.