How my First Retail Job Made Me a CEO Today

Over 10 years ago I arrived in the land of opportunity in search of the American Dream. Due to my language barrier (I grew up speaking Spanish),  communicating was a struggle and connecting with others was hard.

Let alone creating a resume. Virtually impossible. At least one thing was clear to me. I wanted to work in retail.

So I did what made sense: walk into every retail store in the mall and apply for any entry-level jobs, just to get my foot in the door and the opportunity to prove myself.

Starting out with tasks like folding clothes and greeting customers at the entrance for $8 an hour, lead to other opportunities.

Slowly but surely, my English improved and that is when things finally started happening for me. I moved onto the next step and got promoted to sales.

The large retail company I worked for saw my potential and offered to train me. Now that is a fantastic opportunity for a girl who hardly spoke any English, and landed in the U.S.A. without a college degree.

This chance and the tools they gave me allowed me to unlock my true potential. With the new job, came a new responsibility. Reaching goals and reaching the required numbers. And as it turned out, I was very ambitious and always exceeded my goals.

Always looking for possibilities to do better, all. the. time.
Not asking what needs to be done, but already doing it, exceeding everyone’s expectations and getting the job done before anyone could ask.
In short, going above and beyond.

6 months later, I was promoted to management.

And I learned from this first experience in a large retail environment, that just because you start out as a greeter, doesn’t mean you have to stay a greeter.

Don’t give your ambitions a ceiling; the sky’s the limit. And why wouldn’t it be? You can never know what that first job, or any job, will lead to. For me, it was the prelude to starting my own company.

CEO of fashion retail
Photo credit

Today, I am not only very fortunate to be living the American Dream but more so for becoming the CEO of my own fashion retail company and being lucky enough to have found my passion early in life.

What does your American Dream look like? Where is your current position leading you?