Why Retail Is All It's Cracked Up To Be
Most people don’t expect a fresh college graduate to immediately take on a retail position at their local mall but yet, that’s exactly what I did and I have loved every single moment of it. Confused? Read on.
After graduating in September (2016), so yes a couple months ago, I found myself in the pitiful state that every post-college grad finds themselves in. Asking myself, “Well what do I do NOW?”
It’s no secret that I hated my major, spent my entire 5th year devoted to only joining clubs that made me happy, and finishing my major classes while taking personal training classes at UCSD Extension. Even with so much time dedicated to figuring myself out, still the only thing that I was certain about was this:
For the first time in 2.5 years I was unemployed and had no clue how to get a job
A nine to five job stuck in an office sounded like hell and there was no way I was going to take yet another job I hated
Graduating with a bachelor’s degree means almost absolutely nothing in the “real world’
To give some much needed background information, I will state that I was working full time at my campus job from August until mid-September 2016. After I was ineligible to continue being an employee (can’t work if you aren’t a student), my next step was to move back home.
That was hard. But I love my family and had not spent time with them since January of this year. It was not until one fateful night as I was binge-watching Luke Cage after spending Halloween in downtown SD, that I was applied to a job with Athleta at UTC.
Prior to that job application, I had never even heard of Athleta but like a good job applicant, I did my research as I polished up my resume and tryed to fit myself into the mold of what they the company embodies: The Power of She. Seriously they place a lot of emphasis on the women and why shouldn't they?
Lo and behold that A DAY after submitting my application, I get a call from the talent manager who wanted to schedule an interview with me!!!! Somebody wants me! Yes! Victory at last.
The interview went super well and I was hired on the spot! Whether it was because of my wide open availability or because of my natural charm, I’ll never know but I was thankful for the job. I'm finally employed betches.
Nobody was more surprised than I was to realize that so much behind-the-scenes goes into making a store not only profitable but beautiful. Customer service is something that was prevalent in my old job so that was not new but the stocking, swiffering, certain way of hanging, sales, credit card referrals and more blew my mind.
I’ll just cut to the chase then: I’ve never been happier in my life although I make less than I did while working on campus. You see, I am a creature who enjoys learning and growing on a daily basis and any job that doesn’t challenge me constantly gets boring really fast.
Athleta is anything but that. Every day I walk in expecting something to be off or go wrong but I am pleasantly surprised all the time. The women working with me are all fantastic, our customers themselves are very loyal to the brand, the clothing is ridiculously cute (seriously just take a look), and the perks are awesome-possum.
It should be noted that Athleta is a “luxury” brand in my eyes with most of our items priced from $50 - 280, it isn’t where the average college student on a budget would walk into. That being said, we pride ourselves on making sure that the displays are always spotless, try to never have more than 9 sizes of an item on the floor, and don’t offer a basket to carry your clothing in.
"Excuse me, may I get a fitting room started for you?"
Then you try the clothes on and hook, line, and sinker. Honestly, even I fall for it while trying on their clothes. They're that good.
All the fabrics used are of quality material and with our “work it out guarantee” meaning you can try the workout pants aka run in them and if you STILL don’t like them, you can return them.
Yep. That’s what I thought too. Jaw dropped.
All in all, the learning curve has been high but I am hoping to stay on for longer than the “seasonal” months because I have found a place that aligns with a lot of my values and goals. Thank you Athleta for giving me hope again in the working world.
Retail is not just a job for the college student, with opportunity to grow and become a manager and more, if you like working with people, this might be the job for you too.
Catch me next time!