Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

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roranoa
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Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby roranoa » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:54 am

Yes, I'm working in retail right now. I'm not a Wall-mart greeter or anything but just working as lower management that requires taking care of analysis reports and warehouse management. (Wow, this sounds really bad even as I'm typing this)

This is a shitty job and I fear it might hurt my image later on. I started a year ago for the money but now I think I could find some other options before law school.

Do you think I should change my job to help myself from being looked down upon?

(Btw, I'm not suggesting that law firm employers are snobs or anything but it's just that retail really sucks. It really does.)
Last edited by roranoa on Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:45 am, edited 5 times in total.

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iMisto
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby iMisto » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:52 am

Relevant to my interests...

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:43 am

roranoa wrote:I'm not a Wall-mart greeter or anything but just as lower management that requires taking care of analysis reports and warehouse management. (Wow, this sounds really bad even as I'm typing this)


It really doesn't sound that bad and the "taking care of analysis reports and warehouse management" sounds easily spinnable. If it's only 1-2 years I wouldn't freak out.

RPK34
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby RPK34 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:02 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
roranoa wrote:I'm not a Wall-mart greeter or anything but just as lower management that requires taking care of analysis reports and warehouse management. (Wow, this sounds really bad even as I'm typing this)


It really doesn't sound that bad and the "taking care of analysis reports and warehouse management" sounds easily spinnable. If it's only 1-2 years I wouldn't freak out.


This is exactly my thoughts. When you say retail, I think of folding clothes. It might not be finance, but that is the type of WE that you can at least make a good impression with someone if you spin it the right way. Whatever deficencies this job has, you need to get over it by OCI. You need to have confidence in your work experience. If you say "oh, I just worked at a retail business for a couple years before law school," you're going to shoot yourself in the foot. You can easily talk about how much responsibility you had over an entire team working in the warehouse, and the mental aspects of writing a analysis report (even if it is mind numbing, I don't know), you'll do fine. You sound unconfident in your WE, which is a huge problem.

And to answer your question with an anecdote, I had nothing but retail pre-law school on my resume. And I think mine was even less glorious than your work (as in, actually retail, folding clothes, dealing with d-bag customers, managing high school dropouts who are incompetent), and I have an SA at my number one choice for a firm. One of the things I think employers liked was that I said I worked 70 hours a week often, which told them I have the work ethic to work big law hours. It's all how you spin it.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:49 pm

Where are you in your education?

I worked REALLY bad retail (tourist gift shop), but I did it while I was full-time as an undergrad, and most of the screeners/CBs focused on "managed to work while in school" instead of "work really sucked."

If you've graduated from undergrad though...

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:01 pm

If you're in your first couple years out, you probably will be treated basically like a K-JD

johndhi
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby johndhi » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:32 pm

Dude, what? Why is everyone buying into this idea at all?

If I were interviewing, I wouldn't look down at you at all for working in retail. Tons of us have done it. It's work experience; it beats the hell out of doing nothing. The biggest hting to come from work experience is growing up and dealing with work. And don't be so hard on yourself. Jeez.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:13 pm

johndhi wrote:Dude, what? Why is everyone buying into this idea at all?

If I were interviewing, I wouldn't look down at you at all for working in retail. Tons of us have done it. It's work experience; it beats the hell out of doing nothing. The biggest hting to come from work experience is growing up and dealing with work. And don't be so hard on yourself. Jeez.

no one's saying that interviewers look down on it so much as it, for the most part is pretty neutral

roranoa
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby roranoa » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:40 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:If you're in your first couple years out, you probably will be treated basically like a K-JD


Whoa, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

roranoa
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby roranoa » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:43 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:Where are you in your education?

I worked REALLY bad retail (tourist gift shop), but I did it while I was full-time as an undergrad, and most of the screeners/CBs focused on "managed to work while in school" instead of "work really sucked."

If you've graduated from undergrad though...


I've graduated undergrad.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:44 pm

roranoa wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:If you're in your first couple years out, you probably will be treated basically like a K-JD


Whoa, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

I would think that it's helpful in showing maturity or whatever, but not in establishing previous success/experience in a relevant field. I guess you can take it however you like, probably a minimal benefit though.

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Glock
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby Glock » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:19 pm

Generally a net positive as long as you worked it for a while. Shows you can balance and set priorities, and you can hold a job. I'd probably like a person with a couple years in a shitjob over a K-JD with no work experience at all (disclaimer: I am K-JD).

Just plausibly sell the job's better points and show how long you held it down. Should be fine.

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L’Étranger
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby L’Étranger » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:33 pm

It neither helps nor hurts. People need to work to feed themselves. No one reasonable would look down on that. It likely won't help though because the work experience wouldn't translate directly to what you'd be doing at a firm.

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redsoxfan2495
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby redsoxfan2495 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:23 am

I worked in a Target store all the way through college, straightening out shelves for minimum wage. When interviewers brought it up at OCI it was only ever to say that they were impressed that I had done so well in undergrad while working.

Having unimpressive WE on your resume won't hurt you. It won't help you like other types of WE can, but potential employers aren't going to think less of you as a candidate because of it.

roranoa
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby roranoa » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:24 am

redsoxfan2495 wrote:I worked in a Target store all the way through college, straightening out shelves for minimum wage. When interviewers brought it up at OCI it was only ever to say that they were impressed that I had done so well in undergrad while working.

Having unimpressive WE on your resume won't hurt you. It won't help you like other types of WE can, but potential employers aren't going to think less of you as a candidate because of it.

Thanks for the reply, but I don't think having a shitty part time WE while in undergrad is the same thing as having a shitty full-time WE after graduation. The former case shouldn't be a problem at all obviously. I'm worried about the latter case because it seems I couldn't get a decent job even with a college degree. (which is true) I'm worried that might imply something about my caliber.

Gorki
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby Gorki » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:50 pm

If it is brought up, as others have said, be positive about it... I personally think this is brought up to see if the interviewee is willing to talk shit about any previous employer with a complete stranger (basically what the interviewer is). "If you are willing to talk shit about a retail job, what would you have to say about biglaw life??" Anyways, never say anything negative about it, but do not drag it out unless you were managing a retail operation or you believe you gained serious maturity/professional skills through the job.

cynthiad
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Re: Would a previous WE in retail be a real downer?

Postby cynthiad » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:01 pm

roranoa wrote:
redsoxfan2495 wrote:I worked in a Target store all the way through college, straightening out shelves for minimum wage. When interviewers brought it up at OCI it was only ever to say that they were impressed that I had done so well in undergrad while working.

Having unimpressive WE on your resume won't hurt you. It won't help you like other types of WE can, but potential employers aren't going to think less of you as a candidate because of it.

Thanks for the reply, but I don't think having a shitty part time WE while in undergrad is the same thing as having a shitty full-time WE after graduation. The former case shouldn't be a problem at all obviously. I'm worried about the latter case because it seems I couldn't get a decent job even with a college degree. (which is true) I'm worried that might imply something about my caliber.


It's not that shitty of a job. Seriously, you're in a management position, even if it's a lower-level one. Don't say "I worked in retail," b/c employers will think you were stocking shelves or were a min-wage salesperson, and that's not what your job is. Just play up the management aspects, list accomplishments on your resume. You might need to talk to a career counselor; they can help you get better at talking about this job like you're proud of it (even if you aren't you have to be able to fake it).




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