how to get a job in IT with retail & hospitality skills

using retail & hospitality skills to snag a job in IT

Meet Tito! Tito’s awesome at many things and importantly for his job, he’s got killer customer service skills. How did Tito become so great at customer service? In addition to being a people person in general, his skills come from the experiences he had working in retail and hospitality jobs.

jobs to develop customer service skills

Ox: So Tito, what were some of the early jobs you had that built your customer service skills?

Tito: I started retail in loss prevention for Fry’s electronics and then as an armored delivery driver for Brinks because I thought I was headed down a law enforcement job path. While long term I didn’t end up in law enforcement, both of these jobs helped me develop excellent people skills. In Fry’s I had to deal with customers in stressful situations and that teaches patience and listening.

Ox: Then you went to Starbucks right? That’s a hard job. What were the skills you acquired from that experience?

Tito: From Starbucks, I think I acquired probably 70% of the skills that I use now, like staying staying level headed in a stressful situation. Also memorizing processes and keeping up with company standards.

showcasing the job skills you develop

Ox: Did you appreciate when you were there, how many skills you were learning or did it take a while to realize you have all these skills?

Tito: Not really. I didn’t realize until after Starbucks that my customer service skills are valued in other types of jobs like IT. I did have a conversation with my boss once where she told me the importance of people skills over everything else. When I was stressed about being able to manage the barista skills, she told me that she can teach the skills of being a barista and they come with time. It’s harder for her to teach people skills and that’s something I have and I’m good at.

deciding to get on the IT job path

Ox: So how did you decide while you were at Starbucks what you wanted to do next?

Tito: Well, I took an interest in technology and I started doing mobile development. I took a course at FullSail and I got my AA in it. After that it was kind of hard to find entry level mobile development work. I did a couple of small like projects making wireframes for people on Upwork. But other than that, it was really hard to find anything meaningful in the Sacramento area without more experience.

I started working with Ox and following the steps of telling my story and meeting new people in technology. I learned that there were many types of entry level technology jobs. I put my resume out there too with jobs where my customer service skills would be valued. I got contacted by an IT contracting company to become a desktop analyst with Sutter Health. I took that job and now I’ve been doing it for almost a year and it’s a great fit for me.

To find out how Tito’s doing in IT, how he got his break and what he’s working on as his next step, check out the video!

Ox guides can help you break into IT jobs

Getting on a job path in IT is possible and its one of the hottest job areas for growth. People skills you develop in retail and hospitality jobs are highly valuable and technical skills can be learned. Ox guides can help. To get an Ox guide, start a chat from We’ll ask you to share a little bit about yourself, like the type of job you have now and the type of job you’re looking for in the future, so that we can connect you with an Ox guide that's right for you.


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