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Career Story: District Manager For A Chain Of Video Stores

District Manager For A Chain Of Video Stores

Job Title: Retail District Manager

Type of Company: A video store and movie rental outlet.

Education: BA, Political Science, Gettysburg College

Previous Experience: I began as a part-time employee in a video store and worked my way up to the rank of district manager.

Job Tasks: My primary responsibility as a district manager is to manage the operation of 10-15 video stores. The managers of those outlets report to me directly and I work with them to meet business and cost-control targets set by corporate headquarters.

A typical day begins with a check of recent sales and expenses figures. These enable me to identify topics that require my attention. During my commute to the first of three or four stores every day, I contact managers and discuss anything noteworthy that I've seen in the stats. I also talk with our regional office and get the latest information from headquarters.

Store visits follow a pattern. To begin with, the manager and I review our notes and discussions from a previous visit, then go over the store's sales and operating reports to help identify sore spots. We discuss ways to fix these and to maximize our chances of success. We often walk the store, too, to check things like signage and the availability of certain popular titles. This allows me to see the store from a customer's point of view. Sometimes when we need to, we discuss the store's staffing and its personnel issues. And at the end of the visit, we come up with a revised plan of action and set a date for a follow-up meeting.

Throughout my visit, I talk to clerks to get their input and keep my eye on their dealings with customers.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is helping employees to find solutions to problems. When employees see their input being heeded, they take more pride in what they do.

The worst part is having to terminate a long-term employee for poor performance.

Job Tips:
1.) Always try to handle people professionally and work with them to help them solve their problems.

2.) Learn how to speak in front of others in college or high school. There were many candidates for promotion who had skills to match mine but who couldn't speak in public.

3.) Learn how to read financial reports and be able to interpret data as quickly as possible. To succeed as a district manager, you need to have a grounding in customer service, excellent people management skills and a knowledge of computers and finance.

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