Mill Valley News

Working retail has helped boost my confidence

Working has provided me with new skills that help me talk to people and get out of my comfort zone

Abby Doughty, JAG photo editor

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Before I begin to work at my part-time job at Francesca’s, I was the most shy and timid person you had ever met. Now, after working for over a year and a half, my social skills and confidence has improved drastically.

Working retail has provided me with many new skills and experiences that have helped boost my confidence. When I started my job at Francesca’s in 2017, I was awkward and shy. I was faced with the challenge of having to approach people on my own, and never had I experienced so much anxiety and stress in my life. The thought that I would have to break out of my comfort zone just to greet people was daunting. I would try to come up with a script of what I could say before I started talking, but my quick preparations would fail me as I would start to stutter or forget what I was going to say. Awkwardness radiated from every inch of me and only made the conversation I was trying to have worse.

Thankfully, over time things got easier. I could easily approach people and ask them how they’ve been and what they are looking for with my head held high. At this point, I knew what I was doing, so when someone needed help or advice I could do it with little to no hesitation. I worked with people that encouraged me and made me feel empowered and comfortable.  I started looking forward to going into Francesca’s because I got to work with people that I loved and who always made me smile. My coworkers would give me tips on how to approach people and advice on life.

Nowadays, I feel so much more comfortable talking to people. I can still be a little shy at times, but I’m a lot more comfortable with myself than I used to be. I find that’s it’s easier for me to talk to teachers and fellow peers. I try to hold conversations with people for as long as I can, which I used to never do before. Even though I have gained new confidence and social skills, I’m still an introvert. I don’t at all gain any energy from talking and interacting with people. I usually go straight to bed after work, even if I’m only in Francesca’s for a four hour shift.

With all that said, I’m so thankful for all the opportunities and skills I have learned through work. I now see myself in a more positive light when I work, as I feel more confident and comfortable.

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