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Just Graduated: How Your Nightmare Retail Job Can Prepare You For Your Future Dream Job

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Jul. 17 2015, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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So you didn’t land your dream job right out of college and you’re currently on your plan B which means working a job completely outside of your field just until something full-time comes your way.

If this situation sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Despite the fact that, The Washington Post reports underemployment rate for college grads are actually decreasing, there’s still an overwhelming amount who are. This is perfectly normal, remember, we are all still troubleshooting this thing called life.

If you happen to be making ends meet by working a job in retail, the following may sound familiar to you. On most days it can be great because you get to play a small role in motivating women and help boost their self-esteem. Then there’s the long 12- hour shifts, and oh, the best part of retail: the rude customers. I don’t know what are the causes of the nasty attitudes, whether they stem from problems at home, troubles at work, a painful ingrown toenail—whatever it is, customers can be down right nasty, and I’ve dealt with it all.

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A close friend of mine once told me, “You’ll never get to the level you want to be in life until you’ve mastered the level you’re currently on.” His advice has been my mantra ever since that day. Through the midst of madness, bra straps and plastic hangers, I look for a lesson I can take from my current place of employment, to become a better journalist and ways this experience will prepare me for my dream job.

For example, sometimes, I tend to overlook minor details which as any good writer knows, are totally important. Therefore, I make sure I pay extra attention to the little things, such as style numbers as I am merchandising and assisting with labeling the new products. I switch up my sales pitches and explain different details  to customers about our merchandise we’ve just gotten in to strengthen my capability of creating sharper story angles.

So if you’re also teetering away at a job you can’t stand, don’t panic, it’s only temporary, the work can be humbling. It can possibly mold you by providing you with interpersonal skills and intangible experiences about the real world your internship and work place dynamics course from college couldn’t teach.

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