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"Research and preparation can make a real different to how you perform during the interview process. By reading through our helpful hints and tips you're going to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Remember the phrase "fail to prepare, prepare to fail!"
Working within the retail industry can be rewarding but also stressful. Life is stressful and so is work, particularly now that we all live in a culture where it's acceptable to work round the clock. The retail industry is no different - it is a pressurised environment and, depending on which company you work for, can be unrewarding.
If you have reached the point that you feel you need to move your retail career forward, there are some fundamental steps that you need to follow in order to achieve your goals.
This is the Detail2Retail guide to starting the process of making a change in your retail career - remember, this is just the beginning. The beginning of a voyage of discovery for which will lead you to self-empowerment, belief and confidence. Don't worry about the fact that changing career or taking that bold step to ask for an increase in salary, promotion or flexible hours is daunting - the fact is 'it is'! However, with our help and guidance, through self-analysis you will achieve an understanding of your key motivators, allowing you to make that change in a controlled and calculated manner.
So, here is our guide. You can dip in and out of the various tips we have provided, and you may want to do some in-depth research yourself. Whatever you decide, make sure it is the right choice for you. Our tips are generic, so whether you're looking for exciting new retail jobs or are planning a complete change in career, they have the potential to be extremely useful.
Step 1: What motivates you?
You have obviously decided to make a change within your career, that's why you are here. Change can be daunting, exhilarating, challenging or scary. Don't be afraid of the fact that you want to change - embrace it. You will learn some new and fascinating things about yourself that you may never have known existed. So, the key here is to firstly get to grips with your inner motivations and reasons for working in the first place - you need to understand what 'career' means to you personally.
Career can mean different things to different people and its important to think about and understand:
- Why you work: what makes you get out of bed on a wet cold Monday morning?
- How you work: what are the technical aspects of your job – do you enjoy using them? Do you feel you may have a skill gap? Would you rather not be using certain skills within your retail job?
- With whom you work best: how do you network with others within your industry sector or with people outside your industry sector? Basically, how you communicate on a daily basis with people around you.
Take a blank sheet of paper and list under each section any thoughts that come to mind – brainstorm, talk to other people, colleagues, friends and get a good picture of how they see you professionally and personally. This will help you understand how you behave, an invaluable piece of information to possess when looking for a change of career.
Step 2: What are your achievements?
Once you have identified your own personal motivators and have a clearer picture of your objective profile, it is very important to start evaluating your major career achievements. Take a look at our article on 'Selling Achievement' for tips on how to be successful in getting that promotion or moving into another industry sector. It is important that you are fully aware of what you are selling - yourself and your major achievements.
Take a blank sheet of paper and start writing. Stories about you and what you have achieved are the key here. Perhaps you put in place a new stock taking system which led to the increase of sales of a particular item or you put a new staff rota in place which gave your team flexibility. Write these stories down as you would write an essay. When you have between six and eight stories go through them again, pick out the achievements and bullet point them; they will be the crucial selling point of your CV.
Step 3: Your CV is a snapshot of you
Once this is completed and you are happy with your achievements, you can begin to put your CV together. Remember, a CV is a snapshot of you - it must convey your unique selling points and be to the point whilst at the same time conveying your personality. When we describe a CV we call it 'the blurb on the back of the book'. You know when you are going on holiday, you reach the airport, you have nothing to read so you dash into the bookshop and browse for a good read. Your decision to buy a book will more than often depend on that little paragraph on the back of the book - the snapshot of what you are getting. A CV is just like that. If the 'reader' likes what they read you will be invited to interview to expand on the 'blurb'.
Step 4: Get to know the company
Before you are invited for interview it is important that you do your homework. Not only should you have researched the company on the internet and got any salient information that will help you understand what the company is all about, but you should also have been doing research into what it is like to work there. Try and speak to someone within the organisation and ask them a series of questions. For more information on this read our article 'The Informational Interview'. This is fairly self-explanatory and within retailing it should be easy to network into other retail sectors.
Re-vitalise your retail career
All the above steps are achievable, but it is up to you to make the necessary effort to achieve them. There is no point in becoming overwhelmed with the perceived enormity of a shift in your retail career. Stress is a negative state and in order to move forward, you need to eliminate as much as you can any stress from your life. Take a look at our article on 'Coping with stress at work'. We give some useful and practical tips and advice on how to combat and avoid stress at work.
Above all, enjoy the process of moving on - it is a positive step and whatever you do you will be successful, you just have to believe in yourself and understand your own personal motivators, values and beliefs. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
This information has been provided in partnership with A Brave New World. www.abravenewworld.co.uk
If you require advice on making a change in your retail career, or you are simply searching for retail jobs in Manchester, London or any other UK location, send us your CV and find out how we can help you get in touch with the right people. Call us on 0845 274 3444 to speak to a consultant or submit your CV today.