Grocery Store Jobs
For any foodie, grocery stores are fascinating places. The average grocery store stocks tens if not hundreds of thousands of items, imported from all over the world. In the last ten years, grocery store aisles have become increasingly exciting as Americans welcome native foods from other countries and expand their diets. Most grocery stores feature both “health” and “international” items, where you can find all sorts of things with interesting names, or familiar products made with unfamiliar ingredients (such as glutton-free foods).
Grocery stores are also some of the busiest businesses around, as anyone who’s ever tried to grocery shop at five o’clock in the afternoon knows. Everyone has to eat, and eat several times a day, so no matter who you are, how much money you make, or where you live, you have to buy food. That’s why grocery stores will always be up and running, and why they’ll always be hiring.
Grocery stores are the ideal place to start working if you don’t have any work experience, or if you need a second job. Entry-level positions include cashier, clerk, cart collector and customer service representative. Clerks are usually assigned to a specific department within the store and are responsible for keeping it stocked and organized. If someone needs help finding an item within your department, you may be called to assist them. Cashiers and baggers run the cash registers and place grocery items in paper or plastic bags in an efficient manner. Cart collectors round up the stray grocery carts in the parking lot and bring them back to the store. If you work as a front-end customer service agent, then you’ll take back the items people are returning and assist them in other services the store may offer such as paying bills and cashing checks.
Basically, there’s a lot to do, and nearly all of it can be done by anyone who is 18 (in some cases 16) years of age or older. Grocery stores are up-beat, fast-paced places that will keep you moving and busy. A background in grocery retail can help you move up into supervisory and managerial positions, or can simply give you some valuable work experience for your next job. You should have a positive attitude and be willing to help customers with a smile.
An alternative to the general grocery store is the specialty store. Health food stores are particularly popular these days, but there are also stores which exclusively carry one type of cuisine (Asian, for instance), or which focus solely on rare, imported items. Working in these stores can be particularly interesting and challenging as you try to learn the inventory and, in the process, discover a whole new way of eating. If you already have knowledge about the foods they carry, that’s an extra plus.
The best way to get a grocery store job is to go in and apply in person. Most stores will have applications available on site as well as online, and it’s always better to talk to someone who is in charge of the hiring so that they know who you are. A smiling face will stand out more than any application. Interviews are simple, covering ground like your previous work experience, your personal worth ethic, future plans and hours you’re available. Expect to pass a drug test. If they find that you are willing to work hard, follow instructions, be polite to customers and show up reliably, they will probably hire you.