I must admit that I was wrong about retail world on one count and completely correct on another. While I did enjoy the work, the helping people, and working with products I liked; I underestimated myself in regards to my capability of being a store manager. The managers and assistant managers I work with are amazing. They have way more on their plates than I imagined, and the behind the scenes work is intense. The first time I helped after hours I realized I could be in over my head.

Don’t get me wrong, I plan on sticking it out and seeing if I can work my way up. I learn fast and if I apply myself I am sure I can make it. But I plan on sticking it out at only one of the two. Coordinating work schedules for both and trying to fit in a job search and interviews has been less than ideal. How do I choose between the two retail jobs I’m trying on for size? Which fits better comes down to working environment, people, and benefits.

One of the jobs has a lot better employee resources, like a formal training process, direct deposit, and benefits for part-time associates. However, this job also has a much more stressful work environment. I know each job has certain requirements, but I feel much more pressure to meet each standard perfectly at this job. And the dress code is very strict. The store manager at this job is very dedicated, and I admire her work ethic, however she is a little over the top for me.

The other job is much more laid back with less pressure. They have a dress code, but it has a lot more options. The cash register is much easier to understand as well. While I didn’t get training that was as formal and in depth as the other job, I still feel well-equipped. I definitely feel more a part of the team at this job despite only working there a few weeks. I think what makes this job the one I want to keep is really the manager. She has high expectations just like the manager at the other job, but she doesn’t make you feel like you will be a failure if you don’t meet them right away.

I have learned that as the leader goes, so goes the team. I firmly believe it as I have seen it played out over and over again in my career. I worked for a small business that was barely scrapping by because the leadership from one of the owners was not up to par. I have seen entire teams turn around and become successful when a new manager was put into place, and unfortunately I have seen the opposite too. So I have come to the decision that I will be staying at The Children’s Place and that is in great part because of the management team there.

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