After my many low customer-orientated jobs including working in a poultry factory, serving fast food or being stuck in an uncomfortably small stock room of a charity shop, my chances of getting a great retail job seemed relatively low, or so I thought.
Let’s get to the bottom of this all. My second year of university seemed to be quite of a financial challenge. I knew I had to work right from the start to even dream of feeding my belly! The temptation to get back to my fast food chain job was real, only I knew I deserved so much better. Twenty-something CVs and cover letters later, I finally got an e-mail back! It was the manager of Cath Kidston offering a phone-interview. Eeeek! I hate phonecalls!
I rushed to the job review sites in search of tips and advice, but haven’t found much information other than to stay bubbly and friendly. And so I done exactly that.
The phone interview itself was quite casual, with only a few questions about myself, previous problematic situations in customer-orientated role and my availability. I have almost disqualified myself by mentioning my Christmas holidays! However, I believe my charm won the managers heart.
A couple of days after the phone interview I managed to get myself a face-to-face interview! I didn’t know what to expect. Rushing back to the review sites the only piece of advice I got was to avoid wearing something out of Laura Ashley! I didn’t know a single print, but have studied the website and history of the company for a few days (it paid off!).
This lasted about 25 minutes and included being at my best bubbly behavior, showing off my selling skills, dealing with hypothetical behaviour and making a great first impression. I think the manager enjoyed me being casual and chilled out. See the thing is, I never get nervous during interviews because I know these people are just people! My number one tip on charming the interviewer include showing an interest in them and not being afraid of showing that you’re human.
To my surprise I got a job offer just a few days later, and I couldn’t be more excited! My contract was perfect and I couldn’t wait to start my first day. Okay, I was actually petrified because trying to get a conversation out of customers seemed almost impossible at the time. Thankfully, I got better with time!
It is a no-brainer we’re all in pursuit of well paid, enjoyable jobs. The financial reward is significantly higher than the minimum wage, which is both a boost of confidence and a great way to make me feel appreciated.
The discount and uniform allowance
I’m a little apprehensive to share the exact amount, but TRUST me, it is a definite winner when it comes to saving the dolla. Much gifts. Much savings. Free clothes are always welcome♥
The contract hours start from as little as 4 hours! If you need a little something to do during your week, or if you’re just a busy girl looking for some extra experience, this is the place to be! I am able to earn while I’m learning, without the worry of sacrificing my degree or social life!
Okay, this is where Karolina is going to get a lil teary. It is obvious Cath Kidston hires people basing their judgement on the outgoing and lovely personalities. All of the girls I have worked with in the store were super friendly, super funny, and super down-to-earth. It gets to the point where you’re excited to go to work just to spend another day with them! (well, and all the dogs that visit the store). Because everyone is so accepting, work doesn’t seem like a chore, and I never feel anxious about starting another day!
The people care for you emotionally (in your teary days), physically (providing beauty boxes in the staff room), and also take care of your sweet tooth throughout the day (lol! love it!). And let’s add they’re always up for a chat! (However, never neglecting the customers! 😉 )
People also include the customers. At first, I was scared of every one of them, thinking they are judging me for every little action I take. This however, I learnt, takes time to get over! It took me about three months to truly believe in myself and let my personality shine. I am now able to make a conversation out of nothing and brighten up the customers’ day. It is also worth mentioning the customers actually make my days, and because of that I’m never able to be rude to anyone – making me a better person every single day eh? ♥
What you learn
- Visual merchandising standards
- To love almost every single product
- High but casual standard of customer service
- Till operation (duh)
- To change your mood quickly even if you’re having a bad day
- Wrapping gifts (I was SO excited to use the colorful gift wrap!!!)
- How to up-sell
- Team work during busy periods
- How to fold towels PROPERLY
- That apparently you need another handbag (or two)
- Pattern names – I have to confess, I’m NOT the best!
and much more 😉
I was thinking hard about some of the disadvantages of the job itself, but I couldn’t come up with very much apart from a few things:
- The fact that you have to be able to forget about your bad moods while on shop floor – it can get tough!
- Disadvantage of a new job is making mistakes – they might get you down if it’s a big one!
- You are very likely to develop an addiction of buying, due to that great discount! (sometimes things you never thought you needed!)
- Depending on the store, payday only happens once a month (need them budgeting skillz!)
- The store can get very quiet which isn’t the best if you’re a clock watcher!
Due to the end of the university year I will be leaving CK in a couple of weeks (sad times, much tears). I didn’t think I was the one to miss people/places, but I can honestly say I will miss all the laughs, the stories, the routine and even climbing up that hill on my way to work (love a bit of cardio)! I will always associate it with many changes that this year has brought to my life. Grateful for meeting all of the girls and getting to know them better everyday ♥ But I’m also grateful for another exciting chapter in my life which I will update you all about soon!