A Glimpse Into the Job of a Retail Sales Associate #WorkforceStories

By Shannon Gurnee
In Recent Posts
February 26, 2016


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When I was a kid, I dreamed about becoming a doctor someday (specifically a Pediatrician). When I attended college, I changed my major several times as there were different careers and areas of study I was introduced to and became interested in. I wanted to be an Elementary School Teacher, a Doctor (again), an Accountant, a Marriage and Family Therapist and a School Counselor. My full-time career now is that in Social Media and Marketing (aka blogger), but I am still curious about the careers of others and what inspired them to go into their jobs, as well as what they do in their different positions.

I recently discovered Kronos, the leader in workforce management solutions. With tens of thousands of customers worldwide, Kronos helps their clients manage time and attendance records, worker’s schedules, absence records, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics solutions and services.

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Kronos has published the “1 in one hundred million” Web Series – a site devoted to sharing the personal stories of people who do the many important and too-often unrecognized jobs upon which we all rely. From their very first days, Kronos solutions have always focused on the work that people do. That’s why they’re proud to celebrate these special individuals who reflect the character, the commitment, and the passion of today’s workforce.

You can subscribe to the “1 in one hundred million” Web Series for free and watch every month as a new episode is aired featuring a different worker. In the video series, ordinary people in the workforce are featured and they tell their stories.

o Ep: 1 – Firefighter
o Ep: 2 – Trauma Nurse
o Ep: 3 – Produce Manager at grocery store
o Ep: 4 – Union Electrician
o Ep: 5 – Hotel Front Desk Agent
o Ep: 6 – Restaurant Server
o Ep: 7 – Teacher
o Ep: 8 – Baseball Bat Maker, was MLB pitcher
o Ep: 9 – Major in National Guard, works security for major events
o Ep: 10 – Justina Pratt: Safe Start Swimming Instructor at the YMCA, Lake Nona, FL
o Ep: 11 – Royce / Alligator Wrangler
o Ep: 12 – Shannon NeSmith / Truck Driver
o Ep: 13 – Zach Feary Stern Pinball, Chicago
o Ep: 14 – Jenny Theuman, Zookeeper
o Ep: 15 – Mike Perez, Sous Chef, Hearty Boy Caterers, Chicago
o Ep: 16 – Jennifer Miller, Retail Sales Associate MJ Christensen Diamonds

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These are some really inspirational episodes and gave me a better view into different jobs and the amazing people who do them. One episode that really resonated with me was Episode 16, which was about Jennifer Miller – a Retail Sales Associate at MJ Christensen Diamonds. Jennifer Miller considers herself part saleswoman and part psychologist. To be successful in jewelry sales, it’s important to have a “good pair of ears” and be able to listen to a client. She often feels like she is a bit a psychologist being a part of people’s intimate moments. In fine jewelry sales, Jennifer often finds herself in the middle of her customers’ relationships – and they love it.  “I find that I’m a bit of a psychologist behind the counter,” she explains. For her, a successful sale isn’t about carat size or dollar amount, but it’s about helping customers make the most of important life moments: Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays.

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Jennifer loves what she does! She sells jewelry priced anywhere from $39 to $750,000 – and everything in between! She has sold diamonds and jewelry to many couples for a variety of occasions – wedding engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, proud moments, and other celebrations. She has many stories about helping nervous customers pick out the perfect gift for their loved one. One of her most memorable stories is of a couple in their 70s – the woman had overcome her fear and was finally ready to get her ears pierced. Her husband bought her a pair of diamond earrings and Jennifer got them champagne to celebrate the occasion She feels being a part of someone’s special moment is what her job is all about.

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Jennifer Miller is a humanitarian, world traveler and jewelry sales specialist from Chicago. She loves the way jewelry brings people together, and loves how it’s based on relationships. A people-person by nature, it’s no wonder Jennifer took her expertise halfway around the world to work with women who create handmade, recycled jewelry to help eradicate extreme poverty. “To serve a bigger purpose,” says Jennifer, makes every day a success.

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Last year she worked as a volunteer in Uganda with the BeadforLife program, whose mission is to create sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty. BeadforLife sells handmade, recycled jewelry in the US and N. America to help raise awareness for the eradication of extreme poverty. Jennifer’s trip there was to work with the women who create the jewelry and sell it to the non profit, and to shine a mirror on them to say emphatically, “I believe in YOU.” Specifically, she learned about the 6 month entrepreneurial training programs that serve the poorest of the poor- those living on less than $0.60 a day.” Working with the program allows Jennifer to take her skills used in jewelry to serve a bigger purpose.

Be sure to head on over to the “1 in one hundred million” Web Series  and check it out for yourself!

Did you have any idea what it was like to be a Sales Associate? What episode did you like the most? What job would you like to learn more about?

About Has 2133 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

16 Responses to “A Glimpse Into the Job of a Retail Sales Associate #WorkforceStories”

  1. Angela Saver says:

    This is very interesting, & I think it would be great for teens to watch to get an idea of different jobs!

  2. Ellen says:

    The ones that get good commissions make the profession look great … it all depends on where you end up.

  3. What a great story! I love that she puts such a personal touch into her work, and I LOVE that she uses her skills to help women in need.

  4. Pam says:

    People don’t realize that it takes someone in all jobs to get things done! Retail work can be rewarding and I love that Jennifer uses her skills to help others.

  5. Liz Mays says:

    Jennifer sounds like such a cool person and her work sounds really interesting. I love that she takes time to do humanitarian work too.

  6. Marcie W. says:

    Sales is always a difficult field and working face to face with the general public is tough as well. I’m sure this is something special and unique to learn about in every job.

  7. mary says:

    WOW! A volunteer in Uganda! What a great story. Tough job, but a great personality makes it amazing

  8. Kristi says:

    What a great story and what a neat series to be able to peek into what job are really like. Thanks for letting me know about it, makes me want to watch others that you listed.

  9. crystal says:

    I love that story about the woman getting her ears pierced! My husband’s grandmother never pierced hers, and always wore clip-on earrings. I need to check out more of her story.

  10. Jeanine says:

    Love this. How great. Humanitarian works is so wonderful to hear about. I know quite a few people in retail, and they love it.

  11. Rosey says:

    Jewelry really can bring people together. And I love that she loves her line of work. 🙂

  12. The 1 in one hundred million Web Series sounds very interesting. I will have to check it out this weekend. I used to work in retail.

  13. Katherine G says:

    Wow! This is great! This would be great for teenagers. They get to see what it would take to do their chosen profession.

  14. Kiwi says:

    Oh I was a sale associate a few times in my life. You definitely have to be a people person and Jennifer rocks she takes her job to the next level.

  15. Christie says:

    I loved reading this post and finding out the person behind the counter. It’s true that we take many jobs for granted

  16. Debbie Denny says:

    That sounds like a fantastic site. Love stories on real people.

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