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Pattie Hunt Sinacole gives advice on how to thrive in a retail role

Ask Job Doc. MyCrush.Live

Q: I’m 21 years old and I work two jobs, one in retail. Both are not in professional office environments. My goal is to work in a professional office environment. I have a degree, but I really don’t use it now. I feel stuck. How can I make the change? I have bills to pay.

A: I understand your dilemma. It’s hard to make a change. However, the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Let me share some suggestions on steps you can take to make a move.

  • Use the career and alumni services office at your college or university. Reconnect with them and meet with them if possible. Explain that you are looking for a more professional position.
  • Update your resume. Include your experience. Be sure to include your degree! Proofread your resume. Ultimately, your resume is clear, error-free, and professional. It is always easier for me when the candidate puts his name in the title of the attached resume. An example would be: JaneMDoe2022. Of course, that date should be changed in 2023.
  • Start using social media tools on weekends and evenings off to start your search for a new opportunity. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter can be valuable in searching.
  • Let your friends, relatives and others know that you are looking for a new opportunity. Build a network of contacts. These contacts are critically important. Thank everyone who meets with you, shares their time with you, or gives you a recommendation.
  • Start active networking. Meet with 1-2 people a week, even virtually. Explain your situation. Ask for their advice, guidance and referrals if they hear about the opportunity.
  • Make sure your computer skills are up to date. Almost every professional role requires good computer skills.
  • Join groups on Linkedin. These groups are important. Expand your connection on LinkedIn.
  • Stay close to your email. Nothing is more frustrating than a candidate not responding.
  • Please rate your email address. Make sure it is professional and descriptive. Avoid addresses that are inappropriate or inappropriate. Earlier this month I received a resume from an email address that was similar [email protected]. Hmmm… no thanks.
  • Consider contacting several temp and/or contract companies. You may have to start in a reception or clerical role, but it’s a foot in the door and will give you valuable experience in a professional environment.
  • Invest a little money in your professional wardrobe. It’s better to be a little overdressed than too casual. Buy a few classic pieces and then build from there. What you wear on a Saturday night is probably not appropriate for what you would wear in an office environment on Monday morning. Dress for the position you are aiming for.
  • Make sure your online presence is positive and professional. Clean up your Facebook page if you have unprofessional photos online. Limit visitors to your Facebook page by using their privacy tools.
  • If you work for a large retailer, there may be opportunities that are not strictly retail. Larger retailers have opportunities in finance, human resources, marketing, operations, e-commerce, etc. Often these larger retailers have an internal job posting system that may be worth investigating.
  • Never say no to an introduction. Dating often leads job seekers down a path of opportunity.
  • Stay positive. Know that you may encounter rejection. Learn from slips, falls and missteps and correct your course in the future. Avoid attacking former employers, colleagues or jobs.

Many companies struggle with recruiting talent. This is a great time to look for a job.

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