My first job was as a sales associate at the Nine West store in Short Hills Mall in New Jersey. I applied because I wanted a little financial freedom from my parents and wanted to work at a job where I could interact and meet new people. At the time I didn’t know I wanted to be a stylist (I was only 16 and thought I’d one day be a psychiatrist), but I loved the satisfaction of showing customers options they didn’t even know they wanted and having them walk away excited about their new purchase.
I was a competitive seller, and I enjoyed being good at my job. That passion for working hard has continued to help me over the course of my career. While working at Nine West, I also quickly learned the value of people skills. The most helpful piece of advice I received was that the customer is always right and that you’re providing a service, so be nice! Catering to people’s needs, understanding their insecurities and adapting my services accordingly came pretty easily to me. Mastering the art of interpersonal interaction made me the top seller in the store — repeatedly — and that skill has remained important throughout my career as a stylist, editor, and designer.
On the contrary, I also learned about my weaknesses: Selling was easy for me, but processing customers at checkout was always disastrous. After that job, it became quite clear I did not have a future in finance.
Now that I’m running my own company, we’re always looking for people to join our design, editorial and styling divisions. Enthusiasm, a good work ethic, and a desire to learn make candidates stand out, even if they don’t have a lot of experience. Our best interns and employees are willing to go the extra mile, be proactive, and do everything with a smile.
My biggest piece of advice for anyone starting his or her first job would be to make sure to never act entitled. It’s important that no matter what your situation is, you work like you have only $5 in the bank. (End…)
It’s always interesting to see how people you look up to got where they are; how they built their empire with the same starting point as everyone else. However, what I found really interesting about this article is her statement of how positive qualities exceeds experience – proving that passion can take to great lengths.