So your last job was with a major retailer with lots of opportunity to learn and advance. It was a tough interview process and you beat out a lot of other qualified, fashion-savvy college graduates from great schools. Everything was going great. But after a year or so, it stopped being so great. Actually, it turned out the boss was difficult and office politics won over skill and ability when it came to promotions. There has to be something better. So here you are again, looking for another job.
Truth be told, you’ve been here before. A “dream” job turns into a nightmare and you’re back in the hunt. A career in retail offers a lot of opportunity and it’s not unusual to switch for a better job. But if you’re stuck in a pattern of losing interest after a few months, asking a few questions before you jump again may give you some important insight.
Employers spend a lot of time crafting the perfect questions to get to the “real” person behind the resume. Some of those questions are meant to reveal an outgoing personality, love of people, flexibility and commitment to serving others. An Inc.com article suggests three questions that will reveal everything an employer needs to know about an applicant. Asking yourself these questions before you go on your next interview can help avoid repeating your old pattern.
How do you find your jobs? Newspapers aren’t the job boards they used to be. Retail jobs are easy to find. Just drop into your favorite retail store and look for customer service. They can direct you to HR or the computer station where you can fill out an application right there in the store. But you won’t’ find the most challenging, management-level positions that way. If you’re always finding entry-level jobs you need to change your search methods. Use online job boards, like Nexxt, to find professional or supervisory positions higher on the management ladder. Target companies you want to work for and do some research about the company culture, policies and professional development opportunities. Have you ever been recruited? Develop and nurture relationships with co-workers and managers for future references.
What draws you to jobs? What interests you and attracts you enough to apply to a job? Opportunities to learn? Advancement? Money? Money is necessary, but it doesn’t substitute for job satisfaction. Are you lured by a Brand? Do you jump ship to work for a name –brand retailer more prestigious then your present employer? Location? Flexible work schedules? Is there a pattern? Honestly evaluate your choices. If your present criteria isn’t giving you the fulfillment you need, what will? It’s best to figure it out before you take the next job.
The last question is the toughest. Why did you leave? Better opportunity? Could be. The job wasn’t what you expected? What did you expect? Interviewing the company is just as important as giving good answers to interview questions. Did you tour the work area where you’d be working? Meet the rest of the work team? Have lunch with the boss? You are going to spend a lot of time working with these people, meeting sales goals, completing projects, depending on each other to do work that all will be responsible for. Are you taking jobs below your ability because you’re afraid of failing? Tough questions deserve honest answers. You may find a way to finally break the pattern and step up to your best job yet.
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