Sales Associate

May - August 2021 • Richmond, IN

What I liked

I liked being able to work with customers and practice my Spanish skills, as many of the customers spoke little English. I worked in the women's shoes department, so I also liked feeling as though I was genuinely helping people find shoes that would be good for their feet (especially those with foot problems). I was surprised by how much meaning I was able to find in this job, as I had previously thought that fitting people for shoes would not be very fulfilling. Though it won't be my full-time job after college, I definitely learned a lot about the public and how to interact with many different types of people.

What I wish was different

The work environment was not always the best, since some of my coworkers liked gossiping and trying to cause some sort of drama amongst one another. I wish that part was different and that everyone could have gotten along better. I also wish that the work hours were a little different, as I often did not get home until 9:30PM and therefore did not get to have dinner with my family (however, I recognize that most retail jobs do have late hours like that).


My advice would be to stay out of workplace drama and instead, greet everyone and treat them all as you would like to be treated. If enough people decide to take the high road, I believe that a workplace environment can greatly shift from being toxic to being a place where people like to work. Additionally, I was able to find a lot of meaning in my work by setting goals to make someone's day every day, and that helped me have a positive outlook which then affected how I interacted with customers. Reframing your attitude can make a huge difference when you have to do work that might not be your favorite; that is a big takeaway from my summer!
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