I Just Added My Past Retail Sales and Management Experience Back to My LinkedIn

Inside a shopping mall looking down an aisle of shops. The stores are decorated for Christmas. There is a Christmas tree on a raised stand in the middle of the photo.

This past November 2022, I did a major refresh of my LinkedIn profile. One of the biggest issues was that I started working in grade 6 as a Toronto Star paper girl, in retail in grade 7, and had many different part-time and seasonal positions. So based on my work experience it looked like I'm almost at retirement age!

However, I've realized that leaving my retail experience out is leaving out many of the skills I've used and built on since then. After all, academic coaching mathematics and writing skills to teens with dyslexia and anxiety is one of the hardest sales jobs. Writing SEO articles for clients involves communication, listening, and marketing skills. Running my own business applied the accounting skills I learned from opening and closing stores and assisting store managers with major reports. Technical writing uses the skills I gained training new staff on networked Point of Sale Systems (computer cash registers/inventory systems). Many of the positions I'm applying for now use the supervisory and management skills I first honed in retail.

Most of all, it leaves out all the wonderful managers, customers, and staff I've worked with and all the stories about them. I've been saying for years that I'm going to write a book called "It's a Retail Christmas". Given my goal of publishing at least 100 articles this year, I'm going to use some of those to start that book. The majority of my articles will be technical around web development, design, and accessibility.

I started in middle school being trained by a fabulous manager with over 40 years of retail management experience. As a result, I was managing and training staff by the time I was 16.

So I've put my experience back in. However, I've grouped it under a single experience "Retail Sales & Management (Started in Grade 7 - Managing Staff by Age 16)" and listed the company as "Various including The Body Shop, Crabtree & Evelyn, Old Navy, Starbucks". Look for at least one article a month about the wonderful people I got to know and interesting experience I had during my first career including:

  • My first manager Namroo, who'd been managing retail shops for 40 years. He could have just had me sweep the floors and restock shelves. Instead he taught me everything - opening and closing, reconciling cash and credit, loss prevention, stock rotation, inventory, customer service, health and safety, ...
  • The soccer mom at The Body Shop made me cry when she told me I'm become part of her family's Christmas.
  • The very elderly man at Crabtree and Evelyn who showed me his birth certificate that said "Calgary, Northwest Territories"
  • The North East blackout of 2003, when I filled in for the store manager completing a major annual report at Allia when her 8 year old son was flying back alone from Toronto.
  • The insanity of the denim sales at Old Navy, and the sweet grandmother who purchased so many baby socks her receipt was over 6 feet long.

Retail is part of my career journey. It's where I learned so many of the skills I still use, and where I met so many amazing people. It's the inspiration for a non-fiction book. I just need to include it in my LinkedIn in a way that doesn't make me look 15-20 years older than I actually am.

Photo Credit

Heidi Fin. Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/2TLREZi7BUg

Filename: heidi-fin-2TLREZi7BUg-unsplash.jpg