By Jim Timlick
Little did Skye know when she began exploring the idea of a career in retail a few years ago that her search would take her all the way to a new planet.
Last December, Skye was hired by Urban Planet, one of the fastest growing fashion retailers in the country. It was the culmination of a two-year journey to find a job that matched her skills and career goals.
With a little help from an Epic Opportunities employment consultant, Skye submitted her resume to several businesses last fall and subsequently landed an interview with Urban Planet. She passed her interview with flying colours and soon after accepted a part-time position with the retailer at its CF Polo Park location.
She currently works once a week, greeting customers, hanging clothes and tagging merchandise. The experience has been everything she hoped for.
“I like how they do things there. They’re always telling you if you need a hand with something or if something is not right you can talk to them about it,” Skye says. “I like the job because it’s not too fast-paced. I don’t feel a lot of pressure.
“Staff there treat me really well. They always ask if everything is OK and how things are going. They’re very nice people. They’re very respectful of me. I work hard and I feel like I’m a part of the team.”
Store Manager Michelle Rangil says Skye has been a pleasant addition to Urban Planet’s customer service team.
“She is a consistent employee who is a nice and friendly face for customers to see,” Rangil says. “Skye is sweet and kind…(and) being the face that welcomes customers and asking if they need assistance is a strength we value from her.”
Skye’s career journey began in earnest two years ago when she enrolled in a retail training course offered by the Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC). The not-for-profit organization assists the local tourism industry by providing specialized training to individuals seeking to work in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors. The six-week retail program covers everything from sales to customer service and how to handle difficult workplace situations.
The experience and skills she gained through the MTEC program proved invaluable in her job search, Skye says.
“I really liked it. They would ask you about what you wanted to do and talk about what your goals were,” she says.
“I think it helped me a lot, just trying out different things and having a list of things to do. It made me feel a lot more confident at planning everything out like if you are in a certain situation what would you do and what were their expectations of us.”
Skye says her experience at Urban Planet has been a positive one and she hopes to continue there for the foreseeable future.
“It’s been really good.”