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Career Story: Greeting Card Sales Manager

Greeting Card Sales Manager

Job Title: Territory Assistant

Type of Company: I work for a major greeting card company which makes both cards and gift wrap.

Education: attended, Fontbonne University (St. Louis, MO)

Previous Experience: I worked as a greeting card specialist in a Christian bookstore for a couple of years. I was responsible for displaying, ordering and maintaining the card displays.

Job Tasks: My job is to manage the greeting card departments of 15 different stores. I have 15 ladies who work for me to maintain, order and straighten the department. They all work in different stores.

I have a yearly budget I have to adhere to, but I also have to manage my travel time, mileage and the amount of time I spend in stores. I am also responsible for hiring and training the employees who maintain their greeting card departments. Sometimes this can take up to four visits in a 3 week period to make sure the employee is comfortable with every aspect of the job.

On average, I see every "account" (or store) every 4 - 6 weeks.

When a particular card line is being discontinued, or fixtures have to be changed, I bring in a crew to get the task accomplished. Today the entire gift wrap department had to be changed out. 90% of the products were being discontinued. So we put all the discontinued stuff in a clearance bin for $1.00 and changed all the fixtures out and arranged the new stock. The job took 3 1/2 hours for four of us to complete. Then I trained the gal who works the department on the new changes.

If my employees have questions about what has been ordered or problems receiving their product, I can serve as their liaison with the corporate office and investigate the problem or get their questions answered.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the flexibility. As long as I see each account once in a 4 - 6 week period, my boss doesn't care what day I go in or what time of day. This job is great for me because I have 3 kids, all different ages at different stages of their lives. The job itself is very pleasant. I like driving to the different accounts in my territory, and I enjoy visiting with different people, getting in my car and going somewhere else. I wouldn't like being stuck in one place for hours every day.

The worst part of the job is that the hours vary and either we are very busy or there aren't many hours to devote, depending on the time of year. So it's hard to count on a steady paycheck.

Job Tips:
1. Take management courses and learn how to deal with people effectively. This will be a great help to you as you interact with employees and learn how to manage them best.

2. You will always run into people who you aren't crazy about, but having the skills to cope with them is what will get you through the tough times.

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