NTU grad chooses retail job over bookkeeping

NTU grad chooses retail job over bookkeeping

He would have secured a job with one of the Big Four accounting firms.

He also turned down a good offer from another.

The honours graduate in accountancy from Nanyang Technological University walked away from it all to fold clothes, recommend them to customers and vacuum the shop floor.

Mr Jareth Tan, who graduated last year, does not regret giving up a potentially lucrative career to pursue what he considers his true passion - fashion and frontline retail.

"Money isn't everything, I can make do with what I have; anyway, I consider what I earn quite comfortable," explains Mr Tan, who says his salary falls in the mid-$2,000 range.

The extroverted 26-year-old declares his career path with Jay Gee Enterprises as his calling.

He started in July as one of its management trainees, and for the past three months, he has been dressing mannequins, manning the till and folding jeans bottoms at the Levi's store in Ion Orchard mall.

These are tasks Mr Tan will continue to do even if he gets promoted to boutique manager, a prospect he is looking forward to in a year's time.

While frontline-service positions may be considered too menial for some, it is certainly not beneath him, insists the older of two sons in his home and who admits that he rarely helps out with household chores at home.

Some might argue the sales job is elementary and reserved for non-graduates, but Mr Tan finds fulfilment and challenge in it.

He elaborates: "There's a great sense of satisfaction in dressing customers well and seeing them leave the store very happy with their buys.

"There's challenge in helping them locate the perfect pair of jeans, with the right type of colour and wash and the right level of material thickness.

"I feel like I've found my calling. I'm running on pure ability and personality, and I look forward to coming to work," he says.

Like many in the service sector, Mr Tan gets only one Saturday or Sunday off in a month. His other rest days fall on weekdays.

If he had remained at the auditing firm, he might be earning more and spending most of his time seated, rather than having to stand for eight hours at a time.

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