I’m doing well in my little job, so well in fact, that I am often first in various store metrics used by my company: sales, sales per hour, credit cards opened, etc.

The leads fluctuate among three of us. The other two top producers have worked at the store for years. Both of them have degrees in design, and have run their own companies. I am a criminal justice major who spent most of her working life in investigations.

My co-workers have formal training and experience that far exceeds mine. They can walk into a home or sit down with a client and quickly come up with product and arrangements that would take me hours or days longer, if I could do it at all. They deal with the store’s top clients, making presentations that lead to single sales in tens of thousands of dollars. I don’t.

It never occurred to me that I would be selling at the same level as our store’s top designers. But I do. Consistently.

So how do I manage to keep up? I’ve been examining this question lately.  The answer is that I just grind it out. I substitute effort for experience, and play to my strengths.  I keep my eyes open, and approach everyone. I engage. I listen. When I sense a lack of interest, I move on. When my customers display interest, I hang in, and respect their pace. My product sells itself; it’s my job not to get in the way.  And I truly enjoy what I am doing. I like helping people, and having fun. I tell them, “If you’re not enjoying this, we’re doing it wrong.”

Something tells me that if I apply this approach to my search for a “real” job, I may end up with one.