Blaze a trail in retail
YOUNG people hoping to climb ranks and reach a management position as soon as possible should consider a career in retail.
Opportunities to take on responsibility are typically offered based on performance rather than age or formal qualifications.
Young people who get their foot in the door while still at school or soon after can potentially be running a department or training other team members while their friends are still finishing university.
They can then work their way up to managing a store or region.
Employment Department figures show the average age of a retail manager is 42.
This is lower than the average age for management in corporate services (49), health and welfare services (48), transport services (47), hotels and motels (46), finance (44), and engineering (44).
The retail industry, in general, has a young workforce, with the average general sales assistant aged 23, compared to 40 for workers across all occupations.
Officeworks store business manager Kate Carnell is just 25 and worked her way up from a casual position she started in 2011.
“I was studying events management at (university) and required a calculator for assessment which brought me to my local Officeworks,” she says.
“I decided to apply for a position that was advertised.”
Carnell was just after a temporary job but within 12 months had deferred her university studies to pursue a career in retail.
“Within my first two years with the business, I was selected for the Officeworks Future Leaders program, equivalent of a Diploma of Business Management, and received my first appointment to a co-ordinator role,” she says.
“Two years later, at 23, I was promoted to store business manager, making me the youngest to hold this kind of position in Officeworks’ history.
“There is definitely opportunity for career progression from a young age. If you have a dedicated work ethic and are ambitious, the opportunity for a successful and financially fulfilling career is achievable.”
Carnell’s advice to other young people looking to work their way up in a retail career is to find a sector in the industry they have a personal interest in or passion for, and understand that hard work is at the core of everyone’s success.
If you have a dedicated work ethic and are ambitious, the opportunity for a successful and financially fulfilling career is achievable. — Kate Carnell
YOUNG GUN: Windsor Officeworks store business manager Kate Carnell.