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News & Blogs: Ask the Coach

“How can I best position myself for a career in retail?”

Thursday, July 11, 2013  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Trudy Bourgeois

I am a recent college graduate who works part time in a retail setting. What advice do you for a young woman who wants to be well positioned for a career — not just a job — in retail?

First, you must understand that selling groceries — or any product in the retail world — is about people. Develop the capability to create a great customer experience by understanding the customer. Tap into Nielsen, IRI and other resources to help gain a better understanding of the shopper. After you have done that, you can step back and evaluate where there are opportunities to make recommendations and establish yourself as a leader.

The second piece of advice I would offer is this: Think about building people development and management capabilities. Long gone are the days that you "stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap” to make money in retail. There are two customers in every business — the internal customer and the external customer.You need to understand the internal customer must be satisfied, engaged and valued to provide the service to the external customer in a way that creates a relationship and an experience.

I encourage you to get involved in the Network of Executive Women, find a mentor, ask lots of questions and always remain curious.

Trudy Bourgeois is happy to answer your career questions. Please email them to NEW Communications Manager Barbara Grondin Francella.

Trudy Bourgeois is a veteran of the consumer goods industry, founder and CEO of The Center for Workforce Excellence.

Views expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.

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