When I first arrived in New Zealand, my first job was a part-time computer salesperson for a local retailer to “get the ball rolling” so to speak. At that time, it was not ideal for me but quickly realized that it was a tremendous learning opportunity that allowed me to transition to kiwi life more smoothly and here are some of the reasons.
- You’ll learn the most basic business skill – selling something.
Businesses sell goods and services with a perceived value to the customer. In the same way, when you are looking for jobs, you are essentially selling yourself to employers. You articulate your features and benefits, solutions to problems the employer might have or differentiate your value from the competitors. When you are on the sales floor, you quickly learn these things in order to move products. Aside from job hunting, having selling and customer service skills are valuable if ever you decide to become an entrepreneur later on.
- You get to practice your Kiwi English.
There are nuances to the way Kiwis speak English and what better way to practice it than doing it everyday by talking to Kiwi customers! Correct Kiwi greetings, the handshake, how to build rapport, telling stories, listening and closing the sale will get you used to the culture and language in no time.
- You learn how not to get ripped off.
By working in retail, you get to understand how business in New Zealand works and how they structure their pricing and profit margins. You will then have an idea when it is the right time to buy things or how to negotiate for a lower price.
- You meet people and widen your network.
When I worked for retail, I met an average of 15 new people everyday. As I mentioned with previous articles, this gives you a very good network opportunity not only beneficial to job hunting but also when you need access to certain services (tradies for example) or if you are seeking activity partners like additional players for basketball games.
You will realise that there are always openings in Retail and applying usually entails just filling up a one page form. The reason being is that it caters to young people in university that usually come and go. It won’t pay much, but as above, you will learn those essential skills during your early settlement days in New Zealand.