Retail not just getting paid to stand around and look pretty, you have to work hard and look fashionable doing it.
It seems to me that people are now getting their first jobs at an older and older age. I acquired my first job when I was 14 working at Karns pool in the concession stand. Let me just tell everyone that I have not stopped working since. My mom always told me that if I had a choice to go to work or hang our with friends I would need to make the decision to go to work instead. This has helped me in my career because I have worked hard to reach the goals I wanted. This way that I grew up is apparently unknown to people ages 18 to 22, and sometimes even people my age surprise me with their decisions about work, and their lack of drive to be the best they can be every minute of the day. Just like professors I have heard every excuse in the book to get out of of work, but managers and professors alike, we all know when something doesn't seem quiet right.
When people are in college and they have part time jobs that they don't care about that much, but for some that job will turn into that person's career on accident. That is exactly how I began my retail career. I was hired as a seasonal sales associate at Lane Bryant in 2000, and I have not left the mall since. Looking back I was very lucky to have been able to keep that job. I was an untrained innocent girl. I was very dorky and lacked self confidence. My hair was cut about 2 inches short all the way around and I had a quircky style that was not cute, not cute, not cute. I went to orientation and the lady doing my orientation was almost snickering at me, I did not feel comfortable at all. They didn't even let me work for like 3 weeks after I was hired. So I finally worked my first night and did ok, and then my second day I out sold everyone on the floor. Let just say the rest was history and I was promoted to Part-time Assistant Manager just over a year later. I made great friendships within these 3 years of working for Lane Bryant. I also let my hair grow and was taught about what I should wear. I worked for LB again in Florida thanks to my good networks.
To me being a good manager is important not only for business but because we as managers can have an impact on employees behaviors down the road in their lives, and hoefully one day help them be successful. I have had terrible and extraordinary influnces and I have to been a bit of both.