I’ll make you smile – working retail

“I’m never going to work retail.”

I’ve said that for as long as I understood what employment (and that word) meant.

Since moving back from Whistler, though, my only “easy-to-get” jobs were in the restaurant business or retail. I applied to a few restaurants, hoping to hear back, and a few retail places, hoping to never hear back.

No restaurants contacted me (even though my entire resume is restaurant-related)… a lingerie/swimwear store contacted me instead.

Whenever I apply somewhere, I spy, first. I go in and pretend to shop while I scope out the employees and try to pick up on their vibes. After all, it’s all about who you’re working with that will make or break your experience.

The only place I picked up good vibes with ended up contacting me. Though it was retail, I was thrilled upon receiving the phone call. I had the option of being a cashier or a sales associate. Cash? Math? Nope. SELLING? Oh god, maybe. I picked sales associate, knowing I wouldn’t have to handle confusing transactions.

I’ve been there just over a month now and I’ve learned so much about myself… so although I hate that I’m selling clothing at 26, working here has actually been a blessing in disguise (and let me tell you why).

  • Apparently I am a people person. (I’m actually laughing out loud right now). I never, ever would consider myself one. If animals could speak, I’d never talk to humans again. BUT… Slowly transitioning from strangers to laughing with customers as if they are your friends is becoming my thing. I like it.
  • I give off good energy. Yes! I really do. This is all I ever hope to do! Nothing negative, ever (if possible). When you approach a customer, you have to make sure they aren’t already being helped by a coworker of yours because then you’d be “stealing” their sale. I was chatting to a lady one time and afterwards asked if she was already being helped. She replied, “yes, I am… but to be honest, I’d rather have you help me. I just like talking to you. You know? You know when you just connect with some people better than others?” and so, I helped her. She wanted me to. That is simply not my fault and I did not steal a sale… rather, my coworker lost a sale.
  • One of my passions is making others happy/brightening others’ days. I think I already knew this upon finishing my summer camp jobs for kids/adults with physical/intellectual disabilities. But, having working in a completely different environment, this passion was tested. It still remains. I absolutely LOVE making people I don’t even know laugh or smile, especially when they come in completely upset and discouraged. I made their day and in turn, I made mine.
  • Selling is more important than connecting with customers. Money is more important than happiness. It’s all about the money. How much did we sell after each shift? I think I’ve only checked three times. I don’t even care. How much did I sell? Well how many people left the store smiling because of a great customer experience!? To me, happiness is more important than money. I may not have the best advice when it comes to what bra styles fit the shape of your boobs but at least you can leave the store laughing and smiling, knowing people like me are out there who really do CARE about your HAPPINESS.

Anyway, it’s just past 2 am and I have a 9 hour shift tomorrow. I will probably have a goal of $1000 to sell. But if I don’t make it, at least I know I’ll be ending my shift making at LEAST one person’s day!

So, essentially, this job has made me realize I am a people pleaser. I want people to be happy and to enjoy life. I’ve started a vision board so I can organize my passions and what I really want to do with my life. Knowing that I can make someone’s day with a simple five minute conversation really allowed me to discover who I am. Also, I never, ever have a conversation with someone because I feel I need to. I do it because I want them to have an uplifting experience. I want to see them smile. What is it that I can do in life to have others parting with me, smiling?

 

’til next time!

love & light,

Nadia

 

 

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