Working in retail and the game of football have a lot more in common than you realize. Thinking back on my first job in retail, I see several distinct similarities.
1) A CROWD. Retail is one of the few professions where there are always spectators. Whether you drop a pass (register receipt jam!), fumble the ball (wrong price!) or miss the play call (don’t remember what aisle the mops are on!), people are watching your every move.
2) UNIFORMS. I never got to don shoulder pads and a helmet, but that red vest made it clear which team I played for. A store uniform makes it easy for customers to identify you for assistance, much like a uniform helps you identify who just crossed into the end zone.
3) A COACH, A QUARTERBACK. Much like a football team, every retail store has its hierarchy and roster. In retail I worked as a register supervisor. This sort of made me like a Tight End. Sometimes my job was to block (deflecting issues before they move up the chain to management) but sometimes it was my sole mission to catch the pass (carry out an initiative. In my case, creating creative end caps to push merchandise).
The coach of course is the store manager. And even he or she often has district managers (think GM) and an owner that they ultimately report to.
Working in a large store you have a lot more than 11 people on the “field” at once, but just like on the gridiron, it takes teamwork to achieve goals.
4) CONCESSION STAND. Everyone knows the best eating at a football game comes during tailgating. But the food stands within the stadium can also satisfy an empty tummy. Back in my retail days I ate a steady diet of Little Caesars pizza; we happened to have one located inside the store.
The good folks at Home Depot have also hooked Jobacle up with a $50 gift card to give away. Leave a comment below telling us WHY YOUR DESK OR OFFICE NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. One lucky person will be chosen at random on 9/16/13.
I think most of us slogging our way through a career like to believe we are a quarterback, controlling the pace of the game and making the plays that make a difference. But keep in mind, that even the quarterback has rules to follow and is no more in control of his own destiny than you are.
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