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When I first arrived in New Zealand I applied for jobs everywhere you could possibly imagine, spending large amounts of my day in an underground internet cafe/karaoke bar. Between versions of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. being absolutely murdered by shrieking girls (and sometimes guys) I managed to find a job at a marketing company looking for a few people to join their vibrant sales team. I figured what the hell, applied, and finally left the god-awful karaoke din behind. A few days later I was offered an interview - a few questions asked and answered over the phone, such as whether I was willing to ask people for money as part of the job and how comfortable I was chatting to strangers. I was then asked to come in on a two-way observation day, for them to see what I was like and for me to see what they were like; up until now, I didnt actually have much of an idea what the job involved.
The obs day, as it was known, turned out to be quite good fun. I arrived at the office at some ungodly hour to fill in some information forms and meet the person who would interview me. This was where I discovered the job was basically marketing and fundraising on the street for various charities. I would never have considered this job at home, being one of those people who doesnt particularly like being marketed at in the street when Im desperately trying to get on with my life before the shops shut, but once again I thought what the hell - I wasnt exactly need deep in dollar. I followed a team of four out to their location on the North Shore, being asked all the usual interview-type questions along the way. My interviewer was very friendly, asking a bit about me as a person as opposed to a professional and putting me completely at ease. As I wasnt an employee yet I couldnt take part in the real process of the job and so I was given a mission to prove my confidence and personality in chatting to strangers - I was given a list of random questions to ask random strangers and given twenty minutes to go and come back with some interesting stories.
It was hilarious, really, and I genuinely did come back with some funny stories. I was offered the job and started the next day. Talking to strangers about the charity we were representing was good fun and I came across a lot of very interesting people with inspiring stories of their own. I loved the people I worked with and always had fun at work. However - as time went on I wasnt making the sales (as they were called, although really they were donations) and my senior couldnt work out why - I was good at chatting to people and being friendly; I just wasnt getting donations in. As we were paid entirely on commission I was earning less than I was spending on travel and expenses; eventually, I decided that it just wasnt worth it and quit. In two weeks, though, I learned an insane amount, grew in confidence, grew to know Auckland and its people very well and learned some inspiring stuff - the job itself just wasnt for me, and that was the only problem. I could tell that if this sort of job suited you then you could have an absolute ball and make some money as well, so if it sounds like you and you want an opening in sales then go for it!
Submitted by: Siân Robinson Date submitted: 23/07/2011 9:22:55 p.m.