Finding Your Passion In Retail

Finding Your Passion

Finding Your Passion in Retail

It took me a while to find my true passion in retail. I have always been a strong field leader and found a high level of satisfaction leading a team to top performing status. I am relatively competitive so, if it was measured, we wanted to be the best. If it was used as an example, we wanted to set the bench.

I enjoyed my job (or at least could find joy in my job) as a District and Regional Manager because I could teach others to be voracious in their pursuit of great performance results. But, then there was all the other “stuff” that role requires that made development time just a small fraction of the week. There was farkakte minutiae (meetings with little relevant content, painfully long conference , too many reporting tools, way too many emails, etc.).

I was having a short Twitter message exchange with a jewelry maker this morning over a pair of earrings I am obsessed with and this person shared (I am guessing they read my Twitter headline) they grew a company from a hotel room to a 300 person enterprise. They said they always wished they’d known about “organization psychology” and ultimately, sold the business because it stopped being fun and started to make their jewelry full-time. Jewelry was their passion. I love that they shared that.

My passion lies in being able to learn about the diversity of employees, how to capture their attention, encouraging them to learn something new every day, and help them to develop skills for their future careers and professional development. I am passionate about innovation and trying new processes that improve business results and engagement. I am passionate about helping people to like (hopefully love) their jobs, their co-workers, their bosses, and be really great in their role and a contributing member of the culture (and being able to quantify this through measures of productivity, engagement, profits, retention, recognition, and absenteeism – after all, I am still a retailer and I love my analytics).

Here are some of the lessons I have learned about Finding My Passion that I wanted to share:

1. What challenge gets you out of bed in the morning?
-What do you make time to do every single day at work that you enjoy?
-What projects are you most motivated to work on?
-What makes you happy when you know you get to work on it?
-What part of your work makes you smile?
-What give you the greatest sense of accomplishment?
-What galvanizes your creative/innovative spirit?
-What analytics/data make you want to take action quickly?

2. What is easiest and most fun about your career?
-Usually when we love what we do, we consider it easy (but hopefully challenging)
-Categorize your role responsibility into love and hate (yes, you can absolutely be good at something you hate to do – it’s weird, but it’s true)

3. Would you do it for free?
-What are you passionate about in your work life that you would happily volunteer to help others with? (For example: I am passionate about strategic planning and execution. I love helping people to understand and develop strategic initiatives, actioning them, tweaking them, and seeing them succeed and I, happily, support former team members to help them with this…gratis)

4. Inventory your talent(s)
-After categorizing your duties (as mentioned above) see what is on your “hate” list – is it necessary to the role or is it something that you were trained to do but don’t have to? What can you lose on the “hate” list?
-After assessing your “love” list, is there a more appropriate role for you in your company (or, perhaps, another company) that is more in-line with your passion?
-Have this conversation with your boss(es) and see how you can reinvent your role to be more productive and utilize your strengths (aka: passion)?

5. In what area(s) are you an enthusiastic risk-taker?”
-You are passionate when you are not afraid of failing – you will work hard to master this area
-What are you so confident and comfortable doing, you are determined to be the best?
-What area(s) of your role to you most enjoy speaking about?

Life is way too short not to do what you love! Retail is a fun, fast-paced industry with a lot of opportunity and a huge variety of roles in it. Which means the possibility of your passion aligning with a role in an organization is very good if you work in a company that values their employees and wants to make sure the right people are in the right places to maximize performance results.

Here are a couple links that I wanted to share that are a great support if you are challenged with find your passion:

From Entrepreneur, How To Find Your Passion In 5 Creativity Exercises

From Tiny Budda. Try This If You’re Struggling To Find Your Passion


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail and 18 year retailer. I am a passionate and creative leader and coach committed to inspiring thought, action, truth-telling, solution-seeking, and dialog about how to maximize talent through identifying and creating a process around critical success factors, workplace culture, signature leadership practices, productivity, profitability, alignment of employees and company vision & values, and workplace happiness inside all retail organizations. I help create healthy, vibrant, high-performing, and highly-productive organizations that are talent magnets and focused on delivering the highest level of customer experience that will differentiate them from competition and result in long-term growth and sustainability.

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