Job Title: Retired Business Executive
Type of Company: My company planned and designed and sold office furniture as well as a full line of office products.
Education: I completed high school and 2 years of college, and participated in many trade seminars.
Previous Experience: I took over a family office products business.
Job Tasks: My key responsibility was the management of the business with an emphasis on sales. But I would also do floor planning and office design on my computer.
My daily routine was to open the office and make sure that all departments were properly manned. I would answer customer calls and resolve any problems and issues. It was important that everyone was on time and knew their job. If training was necessary, I provided it. Once a week we would hold a staff meeting. This led to good morale among the employees. Good morale always led to accurate and efficient work. I tried to impress the employees with importance of customer service: that customer service "came first." But I always made it clear that, as the owner and CEO, the buck stopped with me. The responsibility for the success or failure of the business ultimately fell to me.
If a student is determined to enter the office products business, he or she should look closely at the market and competition. Today's office products are primarily sold in office superstores and office furniture is sold primarily by specialists.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of the job was that of firing an employee.
Job Tips: To be successful in the career I pursued, or any career, you have to be prompt, consistent and willing to learn. Most of all, though, you need to be able to communicate with customers and fellow workers. I always had a positive attitude and I considered that one of the secrets of my success.
Additional Thoughts: What surprised me in my business career was the competitiveness of the market. If there were anything I could abolish, it would be the long hours required to be successful. The most important personal quality to possess is a "Get it done now" attitude.
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