Susan Jacques’ Top 20 Traits to be Successful in Retail


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Susan Jacques, pictured at GIA's Carlsbad World Headquarters in 2014, shared her tips for success in the retail industry at GIA's mini Jewelry Career Fair in 2010. Photo by Kevin Schumacher/GIA
Susan Jacques spent more than 30 years in retail before becoming president and CEO of GIA in January 2014. She began her career at Borsheims in 1982, after earning her GG from GIA, and was appointed president and CEO in 1994.

She offered these traits for success during a panel discussion at GIA’s mini Jewelry Career Fair held on June 6, 2010 in Las Vegas:

PASSION: Warren Buffett says: “Tap dance to work.” Love what you do every day! Have it show.

LOYALTY: Remember who signs your pay check -- be loyal to your company. If you are unhappy and your job is not what you want to do, leave and find your passion elsewhere.

RESPECT: Know everyone in the company by name; show the same respect regardless of titles and treat people as you wish to be treated.

COMMITMENT: To your company, your job, your teammates, your success.

DEDICATION: Give 110 percent every day to ensure your and your company’s success.

HONESTY: Be a person of your word, always be honest and ethical in everything you do.

INTEGRITY: Have the highest standards of integrity, personally and professionally. Earn your stellar reputation and guard it with every action that you take and decision that you make.

TRUSTWORTHINESS: Trust is essential in our industry and in your company.  Be known for your trustworthiness.

TEAM PLAYER: Work well with others, be supportive and helpful. There is no I in TEAM! No prima donnas!

INITIATIVE: Don’t wait to be asked, take initiative, see the global picture.

CONFIDENTIALITY: NEVER breach confidentiality, what happens at X or with x stays there or between you.

DRIVE: Have the personal drive to succeed, do your best, set high goals and strive to exceed them.

EXCELLENCE: Always strive to exceed expectations and excel at what you do.

ATTITUDE: Keep a positive, optimistic, friendly, professional attitude EVERY day.

DETERMINATION: Be determined to succeed and be the best you can be and give every task your best effort.

FOCUSED: Focus on your goals and your ability to exceed customer expectations with every transaction.

MULTI-TASK: Learn to do many things simultaneously and excellently. Retail seldom allows you the ability to finish one thing before moving on to the next.  Be flexible.

EMPATHY: Be empathetic to fellow associates and customers. LISTEN to what they say.

CONFIDENCE: Exude self-confidence and believe in yourself and your ability to succeed.

KNOWLEDGE: Constantly learn and share your knowledge. It’s important to stay up to date on industry news, changes in treatments, product knowledge, social responsibility and sustainability. Stay in touch with GIA and continue to grow through learning!