What Bra Shopping Taught me About Job Hunting
Last weekend, I decided that it was time to upgrade.
And what I thought was a trip to Nordstrom’s, turned into a lesson not only on finding the right fit for my wardrobe, but also what it takes to find a job that’s the best fit for you.
Lesson #1: Are You Victoria’s Secret or Nordstrom?
Prior to my weekend shopping trip, I had always gone shopping at Victoria’s Secret.
I really have no idea, the only justification I had was that they had sales and they were the “flashiest” company–but I had grown tired of my worn out, cheap bras.
I knew it was time to not strive for just being sexy but time to invest in some real lingerie that’s not about finding a guy (already have one) but being comfortable in my own skin and looking and feeling my best.
I did some online research and alas! I thought about whether I was even in the right bra size anymore, and I noticed that Nordstrom’s had so many rave reviews about its amazing bra fitters that I decided to head down to South Coast Plaza and give it a shot.
And wow it changed my life.
Nordstrom bra fitters are TRAINED professionals who also specialize in women who have had mastectomies so you KNOW their know their ish!
I also read online that some of them have been trained for over 100 HOURS!
And I believe them completely, there also was a trainee who was witnessing the bra fitting as well.
It’s not something that words can really do justice to, but my bra fitter was absolutely A+.
Going to her made me realize–how the hell could Victoria’s Secret sales clerks measure you accurately when you are in your clothes?
The result is that they tell you you are the bra size of what they have in stock.
Not exactly the most customer centric model.
On the other hand, I was absolutely amazed how professional my Nordstrom bra fitter was–she brought about 10 bras to me after I told her what I was looking for, and was patient as a saint–she taught me proper bra care and fitting, how to “swoop and scoop” (I’ll leave you ladies to learn what it is at your next fitting), and in all–I was just absolutely amazed at how knowledgeable she is.
I didn’t even care that the bras were more expensive, I thought about getting one, but I walked out with 3–and I was so happy doing it because she was absolutely amazing at what she did.
What does this mean for your job search?
In terms of skills and experience, you can make yourself as cheap as possible, but ask yourself–is it worth it to be as cheap as possible?
The less you demand of your salary, the harder you work, and actually the less respect you get.
Is it worth it to run sales, and sacrifice your worth all the time?
Or is it worth it to be the BEST, and to command the BEST prices and also help your company feel like they got the best deal?
Something to think about next time you insinuate that you would work for minimum wage or you concede something, because not only do you lose out on your wages but also on the respect of the person hiring you.
Lesson #2: Opportunities Come in All Shapes & Sizes
The only thing that puzzled me about Nordstrom’s was when I first walked in, there were about 4 other sales clerks to the side and then my bra fitter ringing another impatient customer’s order on the other side.
When I asked them if I could be fitted, the 4 other sales clerks were pretty reluctant, until my bra fitter stepped up and said she would help me.
The thing is–I know I look young and probably look like a teenager, but I spent a lot of money at the store that day.
When I was ringing my order up I saw the other clerks finally being more attentive.
Granted I could have dressed better or looked a certain way, but I couldn’t help but wonder if they felt like they missed out on an opportunity for a commission.
And this is what many job hunters do–they pass over opportunities that are not exactly looking like what they want, and in the end they don’t get a job at all.
Either because they rejected themselves first, or didn’t see the opportunity as good enough for them, unless all 4 of them were trainees, they missed an opportunity.
And this applies to not just when you’re applying, but even before you apply–do you talk yourself out of the job because you are not 100% fit for the position?
Stop rejecting yourself first. Give yourself every opportunity to make a sale not only for your product but for you.
Lesson #3: The Only Thing That Matters to Your Boss
I talk to a ton of job hunters on a daily basis and many of them start off the interview with the following:
- what their name is
- where they went to school
- how long they went to school
- where they worked before
- how long they worked there
- how they see the company benefitting them
And I really have to stop myself from yelling because the truth is, your employer doesn’t care, your boss doesn’t care, all they care about is one thing:
What can you do for me?
My sales lady was definitely advanced in this as she focused completely on me for about an hour, searching for the right bras and what I was looking for and just absolutely giving the best customer service I’ve had in a while.
And she focused on me.
She didn’t push any bras on me about any sales and truly listened to what I want.
What does this mean for your job search?
Instead of talking about you:
- What about solving a problem that the company has?
- What about talking about how you can bring money to the company?
- Or save money?
- Or save time?
Because unless the company doesn’t care about money or saving time (you won’t find many of these in business for long), you will have hit the right button to help them see that–YES, despite the fact that you may not look perfect, sound amazing, have the right education or lack some experience–BECAUSE you can solve a problem for the company, I’d be stupid to pass you up.
So many people get so caught up in being perfect that they forget–they are here to solve an employer’s problem.
So obviously the message of this article is not only to shop at more upscale places that care about customer service but also to really think about how you can be the best for your company–because it’s never about the salary, it’s always about how can you help my company?
If you can answer that question, you’ll be hired so fast and be paid so well that you’ll be able to afford many shopping trips for years to come.