Loving the variety of being a Store Manager
If you ask Lia Campbell whether she'd make the same choices again after a 20 year career with Coles, her response is 'Absolutely!'.
'There are lots of advantages in food retail that people don't realise, especially for women' said Lia, 'I'm supported by a big company but still have the freedom to do things my way. That means I've developed a really close relationship with my team - we're both there for each other.'
Lia started out on the checkout in Adelaide, then progressed as a manager through the bakery and deli into grocery and dairy. 'Moving to Melbourne gave me the opportunity to become a fresh food manager before the Store Support Centre, (Coles Head Office) beckoned' she added, 'Now I've been in store management for the past 7 years across a few locations before settling in Cardinia Lakes.'
Every day is different for Lia and that's what she loves most about her role. 'You come into contact with new and exciting people all the time and that keeps my job fresh. Whether you're a customer or team member, my priority is to make sure everyone gets enough attention!'
The career options available are as diverse as the fresh produce she helps re-stock every day. 'Where you can go with Coles, the things you can do, is limitless. If you have a goal and show willingness, they can make it happen.'
'I think more women should think seriously about making a home here. Many just think that's not for me, but you're free to make things work in your own way. For example, in my store two department managers job share and that works perfectly for their young families. Don't assume you'll be stuck with certain hours because shops operate differently and you can often work shifts around your needs.'
Tip for success
There's no question that life is fast in retail and it helps to have a thick skin, but for Lia, it's the people that pull you through.
'If something goes wrong, your colleagues understand and are there to support you' she says, 'if you're reading this and looking for a career change, my advice would be think about Coles and just go for it. I finished my degree and still stayed because I loved it so much!'
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