Being the shop manager or deputy manager of one of our 25 retail shops is a diverse and challenging role. No two days are the same, with responsibilities for the overall commercial success of the shop as well as managing a team, processing, pricing and displaying donations and maintaining the health and safety of all customers and volunteers. You will be responsible for the look and layout of your shop, using your creative skills and commercial eye to ensure the shop stays relevant to the community it serves.
Jay Gilman, manager of our Keynsham shop, gives his insights into this challenging role
What did you do before working for Dorothy House?
I worked for Arcadia for several years but was made redundant when the business went into administration. I saw the advert for the role at Dorothy House and admit I was a little hesitant, as I had never considered a career in a charity shop before. My manager at the time encouraged me to apply saying it could be a good challenge, and I am so glad they did!
What made you want to work for Dorothy House?
It was really a case of timing, but once I started working for Dorothy House I realised what a great opportunity it is. Now I look back and think “why didn’t I do this sooner?”. It is like running my own little business, but with support on hand if I need it. The team in Winsley are amazing, everyone is so approachable if I have any problems or concerns. There is something great about working for a charity, It really motivates me to make as much money as I can in the shop, as I know it is being used for a great cause and not just going to shareholders.
What is the best thing about your job?
My team. The number of volunteers we have who give up their time for free is just amazing. I know I can call any one of them up at short notice if I am short staffed and they will come straight down to help out – their commitment to the Hospice is inspiring. I also love the excitement of an ever-changing stock. You never know what gems will come in each day.
What would you say to someone considering working for Dorothy House?
Do it! Give it a go, it is so rewarding. My idea that working for a charity shop would be a bit dull was so wrong – you can make the shop exactly what you want it to be. We are really particular about what we put out on the shop floor, as we want the shop to look appealing and feel more high end. If you are creative, you can really go for it – so long as you hit your targets, you will have huge freedom. If you want to work in a nice environment, you can make it into a nice environment and unlike my previous retail experience, here you’re really given the autonomy to do it.