Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Why working as a Shop Assistant is actually good for your Career

Original picture taken from unsplash
 About 6 months ago, I got accepted to work as a shop assistant for a brand I actually really care about. I was very luck that I got accepted,but I was also worried, because I hadn't work at a shop before and, as you probably already know, I am not the best with people.
But during the past few months I actually developed quite a few skills, which will surely come in handy once I dive into the "real world" and get a proper job like almost every other adult. 
Of course, if you are still in university like I am, internships and part time job srelated to your field of study are important for your CV and work experience (which I completely neglected to be honest), but even at a minor part time job like this you still acquire some useful skills.

1. Presentation
As a shop assistant it is, of course, your job to sell products. In order to do that you have to introduce new costumers to the entire brand itself or certain products. That way you learn how to showcase not only the goods, but also yourself. A lot of jobs nowadays require a certain degree of confidence. If you have it, great. If you don't, you can at least learn to fake it. 

2. Hiding your bad mood
To me, there is nothing worse than waiting in line to pay for my stuff at the supermarket, only to be greeted by well... actually not being greeted by the cashier. Oftentimes they just sit or stand there looking very, very bugged out, the corners of the mouth dragging down toward the floor. 
While I understand that on some days, you just don't feel like working for God knows how many hours at the store, having to handle annoying customers, it is part of your job to make the customers feel welcome. In the end, they are the ones who pay you for your services. So, act accordingly!
Do you think, your boss will appreciate it, if you slouch behind your desk, looking at the clock every 30 seconds? Certainly not. Even if you want to go home, the key is not to show it, or to quote one of our favourite films,  Frozen:
"Conceal it, don't feel it. Don't let it show."

3. Organisation
Working as a shop assistant involves so many more tasks than just selling stuff. There is a lot of behind the scenes work going on and depending on the company you will have more or less responsibility to keep the wheels turning. You will have to take care of the store and see that everything is in stock. You might have to take on some extra duties that require more organisation. 

4. Learning what people want
By observing and interrogating your customers, you will slowly learn how different kinds of react to the way you approach them and what kind of questions you have to ask to get the answer you are looking for. But, please note that it not about seeing someone and instantly knowing how their brain is wired. Instead it is about developing techniques that will help you handle different kinds of people in a competent way. 

5. Dealing with stress
I guess, most jobs have their highs and lows when it comes to workload.On some days there are phases when nothing happens and on other days it feels as if there is not a single minute left for you to take a deep breath. The same rule applies to shops and let me tell you: if the place is busy, you will need all the energy and concentration that you can get. Especially on the weekends and the last weeks before Christmas things can get really messy. This is the time, when you basically have to combine all the aforementioned skills to the max, or else you will drown. 

While for some potential employers "shop assistant" is not a sign for competence and success in the first place, the most important thing is how you sell it and every job that you do, will serve you well, as long as you make an effort and do the best that you can.

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