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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

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Working retail has helped boost my confidence

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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