I made the leap from retail to digital over a year and a half ago now and I can still say to this day it was the best thing I ever did. Looking back at the working week in retail versus a working week at White.net it doesn’t even compare. Not only has my paycheck increased, but my happiness within my job and work satisfaction have doubled! Working for White.net has allowed me to develop new skills, learn and progress in a career that has a vivid future rather than just a mundane job.
Moving from retail into this industry was very scary at first as I had a lot to learn, however now I have grown into the role I can now see and appreciate how my background in retail and hospitality (mainly customer service) has really helped me progress. I can use my previous experience to offer a unique service to all our clients and communicate on a level that creates warmth between both business and client. It also has helped me give limited (granted) but still some information into the workings of retail when helping with some of our E-commerce clients.
- Some of the skills I didn’t even realise would be transferrable have really helped me within the team at White.net and my new role. Managing a team within retail meant I had to be on top of organisation and this has been one of the biggest skills I have taken over with me. Being able to assist the rest of the team and use my managing skills to organise meetings, calendars and events.
- The communications skills you acquire being in retail speaking face to face with customers day in day out is actually one of the skills (it’s funny for me to call it a “skill” as most people would just call me a chatterbox) is probably the best transferrable skill and yet for me the most natural.
- My ability to be comfortable around new people has allowed me to really fit into the networking side of digital marketing. Once you are in the industry you realise it is a major aspect of making your agency successful. It’s definitely very highly favoured on “who you know”. During my time in retail, I developed my own style of communicating with customers which, once I began to know more about the digital industry this allowed me to have the confidence to talk to potential and existing clients with little to no further training.
Breaking it down
I used to think I had no transferable qualities from retail and yet when I break it down there is so much that relates so easily, just the ability to solve issues, build relationships and generally handling queries are instantly transferable.
Within Digital I have had some great opportunities to attend brilliant conferences such as Brighton SEO, Journey 18, Search London just to name a few. I have also been a part of some great Twitter chats and attended training days and smaller talks that have all helped me progress and learn to network with the digital industry. If there is one main thing I’ve learnt that I would pass on to anybody wanting to run a digital event or even just run a networking evening if you supply alcohol and pizza its sure to be a guaranteed hit!
Just go for it!
Sometimes taking that leap of faith, or in my case having someone else notice a quality in me and asking me to take that leap of faith is the best thing you can do. Was I scared as hell? Absolutely. Was I so worried I would fail? Without a doubt. But after a year and 2 months, I am still here and loving it more than ever.