Did I make the right decision to leave my current job in search of more hours and better opportunities?

TLDR: During my junior year of high school, I started working for a grocery store back in 2015. I’m currently 22 years old and almost done with college. Even though I already made the decision to move on, I think that this decision will benefit me in the long run.

After I got hired, I started out as a cart attendant for a few years. Then, I got trained for the following positions later on: cashier, stocking, produce, & prepared foods.

Since I was a seasonal worker during my time at college, I was regularly scheduled as a cart attendant during my college breaks, which made sense at the time.

However, the following reasons made me want to move on from my current job as of this past week:

  • At our store, newly hired employees are rarely hired as cart attendants. Most of them start out as a cashier or stocker.

Our store hasn’t hired anyone new on carts for awhile, despite having a cashier or two fill in during our vacation times, which made me question my store’s hiring and seniority process.

  • Even though my grocery store was a good company to work for, I should’ve looked for jobs that connected more towards my college major at the time (Sports and Fitness).

On the bright side, I still gained some useful work experience (Sports & Fitness related) during my time at college.

On an extra note, I started a new job a couple of weeks ago and they said that they can give me more hours once I leave the grocery store in August. I also got approved for an internship earlier this year, but I’m unable to start it due to the pandemic. Once I complete an internship, then I’ll be able to graduate.

Your first priority is covering immediate living experiences. If you’ve got that covered, the next most important thing is the internship that stands between you and graduation. Unless you want a career in the grocery business, there’s no real point in holding on to a McJob like that.

Sounds like the grocery job has served its purpose and it’s time to move on to something directly related to your intended career path.

You should look into how to complete an internship even during quarantine (because who knows how long it’ll go). Shadow someone who’s teaching fitness routines on video, or SOMEthing.

There’s nothing wrong with a career in the grocery business.
If your store has sketchy hiring and advancment practices, that’s the reason to leave. Right there.

I agree with upthread. Get that internship done.
Good luck

Beckdawrek: “There’s nothing wrong with a career in the grocery business.”

True. A fulfilling career as Senior Cart Attendant
Is coveted by many.

A guy in our church, let’s call him Andy, has been corralling carts and bagging at the local Q’n’Save for forty years now.
Great guy, relaxed, with a job that can never tax his cerebrum. Which, come to think of it, probably can’t handle more than that…

You probably don’t want to be Andy.

There are ways to advance in a grocery store. Management jobs can be lucrative.
It’s a honest way to make a living.
You know, YMMV.

What is your new job?

I think it’s going to be a little tough to get hired in a fitness job right now. Lots of gyms are closing and there’s going to be a glut of fitness trainers looking for work. But it may still make sense to try to get any kind of job in the fitness field. The gyms that are open still need desk clerks, managers, cleanup crew, etc. That may be good to get your foot in the door.

As for your cart job, make sure you speak up if you want to get promoted. Management won’t necessarily pluck people from other jobs to move up. If you want to be a cashier or something, be sure to let your manager know and ask if there’s anything you can do to increase your chances.

Since I already had some college dining hall work experience, I chose Chiptole.

I’ve also tried to speak up before (at my grocery store), but as I said earlier in this thread, I only share my cart attendant job with 2 other people, and one of them works 2 jobs as well, which means that he can only work certain days of the week, just like me.

Furthermore, management usually keeps people at the same position, due to convenience & availability.

Finally, the only other way I’d become a cashier, stocker, or any other inside position would result in a need for that position, even though I don’t mind filling in a day or two on carts.

Overall, I just felt like I needed to move on after 5 years. While it may have been a quick, in the moment decision, I think there’s better opportunities out there for me.

Very true that, supermarkets tend to have great graduate training programmes. My young nephew is now a store manager and earns more than I do (and I have what looks to outsiders as a flashy career with a fancy job title).

But everybody wants there to be Andys.

Some people just want to be able to sneer at them.

Plus which, as has been noted, some people in the grocery business wind up owning the store. It’ll probably be better run if the owner understands about corralling carts and bagging.

The particular OP, working at that particular store, may indeed be well advised to move on. Individual circumstances vary. (I don’t know Andy’s, and I don’t know whether you know Andy well enough to know whether they’re choosing to work at a non-taxing job for money while, say, writing excellent and complicated poetry in their spare time, as well as in their head while corralling carts.)

I also never understood why my store (or any retail store) doesn’t cross train older employees, like me, while the newer employees are being hired as cashiers, stock clerks, or curbside shoppers. One in particular is already working behind the counter as a front end associate.

Most people would assume that newer employees would start out as cart attendants or cashiers, rather than stock clerks or store associates, even though it depends on positional needs throughout the store.