Joining a company that cares
I joined Co-op 11 years ago, and during my time as a Team Manager, I looked after two different stores in South East London. When I started, one of the first things I noticed was the amazing support the company gives customers and their communities. Co-op really is a business that does things differently. I knew I wanted to stay and continue climbing the ladder, but there was one thing I needed to improve. My work-life balance.
Later on, while I was on holiday with my family in Cornwall, I saw two Co-op stores about 300 feet apart from each other. My wife and I joked that we’d move down south if they had any vacancies, so when we got home, I decided to check. A few clicks later, I found out that Co-op were hiring in the same little fishing town we were holidaying in. I applied the same night, and three months later, my family and I moved to Cornwall to start a new life on the south coast.
The perfect balance
Today, I’m the Store Manager of Co-op’s Dartmouth store in Devon, and I couldn’t be happier with my work-life balance. My wife also started a career with Co-op, and our children have a great life too. We have BBQs most summer evenings, and we get to enjoy all the best tourist attractions when visitors aren’t around. Plus, when I finish work, I can head to the beach. For me, every day is a like a holiday, and my family and I have never been more fulfilled.
Supporting the community
Some things don’t change with Co-op. There’s still a strong sense of community here in Devon, but it feels a little more personal. Most of the time, Co-op is doing what it does best; helping local causes. It’s easy to link up with local groups because everyone shops in our store, and we get to hear from our customers what matter most to them. Our colleagues often get stuck in with a beach clean, and we even built our own rafts to enter the local race around the harbour, which is great fun. It feels amazing to give back.
Working in a tourist town
Working in store like mine is challenging but rewarding. Dartmouth is a seasonal tourist location, and it’s very different to London. During the summer, our sales can double week-on-week. It can get busy very quickly, and you have to keep on top of stock replenishment and ordering, but that’s when I enjoy my job the most. We usually recruit a few extra colleagues in the summer, and it’s great to work with such a diverse team. On top of all that, you’ll get lots of opportunities to develop your retail skills, and you’ll gain valuable experience that’ll serve you well in any career. A seasonal job at Co-op could be just what you’re looking for.