3 Ways to Encourage Friends and Family to Thrift Shop with You

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By Patrice J. Williams

Thrift shopping is one of my favorite past times. Besides the affordable gems, I like the treasure hunt aspect. It’s just the thrill of the hunt that I love so much. While I tend to prefer thrifting alone so I can go at my own pace, sometimes it can be a little lonely. I have quite a few friends and family who thrift, but for the people who don’t, how do you get your loved ones to enjoy thrift shopping as well? Actually, it’s not that hard.

Sometimes new thrift shoppers just feel overwhelmed by the volume of items in the store. And maybe there are other times they may not know how many fashionable items they can find at Goodwill®.

Here are three ways to get your close friends or family to go thrift shopping with you.

“Remember that dress you love? I got it at the thrift store”

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Credit: @PatriceJWill

Sometimes you need to refresh the memory of your friends or family and be a visual reminder of why thrifting can be so great. If you love thrift shopping, there’s probably a dress, pair of shoes, pants, whatever it may be, that everyone just seems to love. This is your time to remind your loved ones that that stand out piece was found in the aisles of the thrift store. And it really helps if you can share a story or details about it. I have a gorgeous emerald green dress that many people compliment me on when I wear it. So I always share the story about how I found it for less than $20 at a shop in Brooklyn. This helps some of my friends think, “hmm, maybe I can find something that stellar?” That makes it all the more enticing for them to want to join the next time I tell them I’m hitting up the thrift.

Promise of a Meal

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Credit: Thrillist

It’s hard for anyone to turn down a good meal. Well, maybe that’s just me! But I’ve always found that throwing in an offer of brunch, lunch or dinner makes any thrift shopping trip all the more enticing. It usually goes something like this, “Hey, wanna grab some brunch at XYZ place? They have a good eggs benedict and bloody mary. And we can do some thrift shopping beforehand!” There’s a Goodwill in Brooklyn that’s near a few of my fave brunch spots so it’s a no brainer for me to tell friends to meet me at the Goodwill, we’ll thrift for at least an hour and then enjoy a yummy brunch. So even if your friend strikes out at the thrift shop, the day will be capped off with a nice meal.

“Can you help me find….?”

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Credit: Looking Fly on a Dime

Finally, sometimes it’s just too intimidating for newbie thrifters to feel comfortable scouring the racks of a thrift shop. But one tactic I like to use is to invite someone to thrift shop, but instead of shopping for themselves, I tell them they’re helping me shop. I’ll ask a friend to meet me at a convenient Goodwill location and say, “hey, let’s just check it out for a few minutes. Can you help me find a black dress?” Instead of my friend feeling pressure to find something for their closet, this helps them feel like they’re my thrift helper. And while they’re casually helping me find something, they tend to find something they love as well. It’s a simple, easy tactic that takes the pressure off. Before you know it, your friend found something they love and now they may be more open to shop with you next time.

An Experience of a Lifetime for Bob

Early in his life Bob proudly served our country for 4 years in the U.S. Navy sailing the east coast. Bob is thankful for his time with the Navy because he was able to “sail the ocean blue.” After his time with the Navy, Bob attended Western Iowa Tech Community College where he studied carpentry.

He received a job in Construction where he worked for a few years before he came to Goodwill in 1977. Bob worked in the production area of Goodwill where he received his first eye-opening experience with Goodwill by learning what Goodwill really does. Bob went back to school and received his English degree with a minor in writing from Briar Cliff University in 2009.

Shortly after Bob saw a job opening at Goodwill in the E-Commerce department, he was hired for the job and has been at Goodwill for 5 years. When asked about what he likes most about Goodwill Bob replied, “I enjoy what I do, and Goodwill is a great place to work. I have made good friends here. Most people just see the Goodwill store but what they don’t realize is that Goodwill is involved in the community by providing jobs to those who have difficulty finding work in the community.”

Bob loves working with the participants in E-Commerce and has learned a lot from working with them.  “It has been an enlightening experience working with the participants and seeing the challenges they face. It leaves me no room to complain, “Bob replied with reflection. Bob participates in chapel where he likes to play his guitar and share his musical gifts.

Offer Accepted. Now, Another Company Wants to Interview Me!

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By Randy Wooden

You’ve accepted a new job. You’re in the idle time before your first day on the job or possibly in your first few weeks of new employment. Then it happens. Another company calls you to set up an interview. What do you do?

Each of us has our own moral compass. So do organizations. Some companies rescind accepted offers or decide they really didn’t need the position after all – even after the new hire showed up.

While you must make the decision you feel is right, I would discourage you from going on the interview for several reasons.

Reasons for turning down the interview:

#1. You gave your word that you’d accept the job at a mutually-agreed upon rate of pay. No one forced you to say yes.

#2. You would permanently burn bridges, and word gets around. To protect your reputation, think long and hard about seeing whether you can earn a few extra dollars elsewhere.

#3. Give the new job some time, especially if this new interview would be held during that idle time before you actually show up for work. The grass may not end up being greener with that new interview, so you’ll have not only jumped from the frying pan into the fire, but you’ll have burned bridges. (See #2)

#4.  If you did go on the interview, how would you respond when asked about where you last worked? To be transparent, you have to mention the new job you’d just accepted.

#5.  If word about your interview gets back to your new employer, how do you think it would make the hiring official feel about your conducting interviews? Not the best way to start a new job.

In rare occasions, one might accept another interview.

#1.  The job you took was a temporary assignment with no guarantee of it being a permanent hire. That’s a big downside, particularly if the temporary job isn’t a full-time role with benefits.

#2.  If you started the job and were misled about job duties or if the work culture is highly toxic, you might want to consider another interview.

While accepting an interview doesn’t equate to accepting a new job, your decision has potential downside. Think it through carefully. Good luck.

Go on a Vacation– at the Thrift Store!

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By Jenna Pfueller

Feeling a bit of spring break travel FOMO? Or perhaps dreaming of a vacation that may not be in the cards on this year’s budget? I know I am. Just a few minutes on social media lately has me seriously jealous of the warmer climes. Never fear. As usual, Goodwill® has us covered. Just one trip can have you looking and feeling like an international jetsetter.

Don’t believe me? It’s road-trip worthy in it’s own right. But also, thrift stores are a souvenir treasure-trove and a hub of international style and decor options. Finding a little style inspiration is all you need to make you feel like you’re counting the days until your own relaxing adventure. Just check out Instagram for lots of awesome vacay style looks you can keep in mind as you peruse the Goodwill aisles.

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Credit: @ashleerosehartley

Sometimes the swimwear section is easy to forget at Goodwill, but trust me, there are treasures there to be had as well. Often overlooked, this is a great place to find a second tankini top to match the bottoms you love, or a suit in a style you’ve been dying to try out without the hefty price tag. These Goodwill finds below are proof you can bring a splash of the Caribbean to any pool party, even if it’s just sippin’ lemonade in a kiddie pool on your patio.

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 Credit: @kayjackhan

I also just love finding items that somehow found their way into my local Goodwills from far-flung places. Little bits of vintage souvenir flair in the form of t-shirts, mugs or artwork makes me feel a little more connected, and give my home a little more of that jetsetter vibe. It’s especially fun if it’s a place I’ve already been and have fond memories of.

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Credit: @DamnFineCoffeeMugs

Or handmade little pieces like this that give your home a little taste of distant cultures and major travelust.

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Credit: Jenna Pfueller

Are you lucky enough to actually be headed somewhere to kick back and relax? Good onya!

Obviously you’ll need to make a point to visit a Goodwill when you get to your destination, too. Just search our site for locations and make a date of it. It’s a perfect way to get to know the local culture a bit more, find something you may have forgotten while packing, and of course a perfect little something to remember your trip with so you have plenty of moo-lah for the ride home.

See? It’s easy to take a vacation at Goodwill. It’s a respite that’s always full of surprises, inspiration, fun, sustainability, and even creates jobs. Now that’s a true destination to embrace!


Three Tips for Transitioning from College to the Workplace

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By Randy Wooden

If you’re a college student or know one who is, today’s blog is for you.  Here are three tips for landing that first job after graduation.

#1.  For those about to graduate, you’ve missed this one already.  Internships give you exposure to corporate life and a leg up on your competition since the company with which you’re interning gets to see you in action. If you were an employer, wouldn’t you feel better hiring someone you’d already seen work? Their hard skills and their people skills? You bet. Internships often lead to a first job after graduation.

How do you land an internship? Check with your school’s career center for assistance. They’ve likely established corporate relationships. Talk with other students to learn how they secured theirs.

#2.  Network, network, network. You’ve heard this before. It’s more than asking others who they know might be hiring.  Let’s explore in more detail.

If you haven’t done so, create a LinkedIn account. Think of LinkedIn as a large professional network where you’re able to connect (or “link”) with others for any number of reasons including leveraging those connections to help get a leg up during the hiring process.

Conduct searches for alums already in the workplace. The fact you share a common college experience means they’re more likely to accept your connection invitation and share their college-to-corporate transition experiences.

Go to your school’s career center or virtual site to see companies that have taken part in past campus hiring fairs. If the school can’t or won’t provide recruiter contact information, check for those people via LinkedIn.

Your goal is to build rapport so that a hiring official will either know you directly or know someone who knows you and can put in a good word for you.

#3.  Don’t stress.  The job you land out of school will be the first step on a long journey of learning as you go. You may find your first job or industry isn’t what you’d hoped it would be. Take that knowledge as you move forward.

Unlike decades ago, people entering the workforce are much more likely to change careers than ever before.  If you’re the parent of a college student, are you  doing the sort of work you did right out of school? How relevant is your degree in your present job?

Bonus Tip:  Consider volunteerism to build your network, references and experience if you aren’t able to land a career-oriented job right out of school.  It look good on your resume, and you’ll likely meet people who have a similar passion.  They might be able to assist you with your job search.  Good luck!