What's your job? Where do you work?
I work as a retail assistant in the Sound & Vision department of a KMart store.
Is it part-time or casual? How many hours a week do you work?
I work casually, around 12-17 hours a week.
What does the job involve?
My job involves a variety of things. I am responsible for meeting customers' needs with regards to purchasing and understanding different products within the AV department, assisting customers in using our digital photo kiosks and gaining the most out of our photo-developing services, as well as promoting our weekly specials.
I frequently replenish stock, pricing and securing items such as CDs, DVDs, gaming systems, digital cameras and the latest in technology. I also am part of the advertising team whose task is to tie-up the signage and promotional materials for our sales each week.
When you started looking for work, was this the sort of work you wanted?
As a full-time student, I knew I had to find work that would be flexible and allow me to work around my uni timetable. I didn't mind that the job wasn't directly related to my desired career, but I was prepared to pick up a skill set that would help me personally in the future.
I was looking for something that would build up my confidence and give me experience in the workforce, as well as a job that was convenient and flexible to work around my other commitments.
What did you have to do to apply for the job?
Initially I had to send an application online to Coles Myer. I was then scheduled for an interview which consisted of two parts. I was grouped among other applicants and required to complete several tasks which demonstrated my knowledge of the retail industry and tested my common sense. I was then interviewed alone and was told I would be notified when the next vacancy came up. I waited several months before I received news of a job opening.
Did anyone help you with either looking for or applying for this job?
My parents were very supportive and gave me advice on how to send the best application possible.
Was it hard to find this kind of job?
Not entirely difficult. The wait can be quite long if no vacancy is available at your preferred choice of store, but it all depends on what time of year you apply. It wasn't until after I was employed that I realised retail stores hire people every mid-year and over the Christmas period.
What are you hoping to get out of this job?
I have already gained a lot out of it, but I try to build more on my skills every time I work. I am constantly learning about myself and how I work in different situations and do find that I am improving on the way I communicate to people.
Does this kind of job have any relevance to your desired career path?
Working in the Audiovisual Department has turned out to be quite relevant to my Communication Degree in Media, as I am able to assist customers with purchasing cameras, televisions, computers etc. as well as apply my technical knowledge to help people use our digital photo printing service.
My interest and studies in music, TV and film have proven to be quite helpful for me in doing my job. I am kept up-to-date with the latest in entertainment and technology and learn a great deal about the future of technology through the types of people that buy the latest products.
Do you find it difficult to balance this job with the rest of your week?
I am very fortunate to have supportive management at my workplace. Many of the employees are students and there is an understanding that school takes priority. Having been at KMart for two years, I have settled into regular shifts and that helps me schedule my other commitments quite easily.
What advice do you have for people looking for part-time or casual work?
Persistence and positivity is key. Apply to as many places as you can and don't expect anything. That way, you're not easily disappointed by rejections. Be open to doing menial tasks, but do them to the best of your ability because that is what helps you get further up. Try not to be too choosy at first - every experience counts so don't miss out on opportunities that may help you gain useful skills for your future. Yet in the same respect, dream big!
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).