Ciara Danaher, Junior Retail Project Manager , Lidl
What does your job involve?
The Lidl graduate programme comprises of a number of different areas, but you spend six months within the retail area, and you will work in every position within a Lidl retail store. So you will work as a store assistant, supervisor, deputy store manager, store manager and lastly, area manager. So it’s great in that graduates get to see how the company operates at every level.
What do you need to succeed in retail?
In any retail environment, adaptability is vital as the industry is so fast-paced. Things change fast, an order could be late, customers may have particular demands, you need to be able to think on your feet all the time, be resilient and always see how you can deliver for the customer.
How did you choose your career?
I actually did a degree in psychology, which I know doesn’t sound like a traditional route into retail. I didn’t think I could get into retail without a business degree, but you absolutely can. At Lidl they want to see if you have the right behaviour and attitude, are you the right fit for the retail environment. Your educational background is not a priority, it’s about you as a person and how the company can then develop you.
What’s the best thing about your job?
It has to be the variety, the variety of tasks you get to challenge yourself with, moving through a variety of roles. One month you’re on the tills, then you’re in charge of the safe, then you’re in charge of the store, so if you’re someone who likes diversity and a challenge, that’s exactly what you’re going to get in retail.
What skills do you need to be successful?
In retail, working within a team well is hugely important. You have to be able to use those experiences in college of working within a group or a team, they help build your confidence and that’s something else that Lidl value. You have to have confidence and belief that you can deliver. My involvement with group projects in college really stood to me. My advice to anyone would be, don’t shy away from those opportunities, grasp them and they really will pay off.