LANSING | Brynn Williams always loved car racing and it was that passion that led her to a job with Advance Auto Parts in Lansing, where she has been a retail parts pro on and off for the last eight years.
The 32-year-old Calumet City resident says she enjoys helping customers with their purchases, whether its testing and installing car batteries, checking engine lights, the alternator and starter system or advising on what wiper blades to buy.
"I've always been interested in fast cars," Williams said, who drives a 2015 Camaro RS. She also has a 2001 Grand Prix SE that she worked on, replacing the spark plugs and air filter.
Most mornings she'll open the store on Ridge Road and then handle customer requests as they come in, typically 30 a day.
She derives the most satisfaction "when a male comes in and doesn't think I can help him and I prove him wrong," Williams said.
Although, she says, it always seems to be raining when people come in for new wiper blades, and then she has to go outside and install them.
Her advice for anyone seeking a job in retail is to be friendly even if the customer is not friendly with you.
As for her job, she said she received training on all aspects of her responsibilities and learned to search diligently on the store's computer system when customers come in looking for a particular car part.
To work in retail, Williams suggests you have to be a "people" person and be willing to learn. An interest in cars is essential in her particular line of work.
"If you don't, you won't be interested in what you're selling," she said.
How I got the job:
My cousin worked at Advance Auto Parts in Lansing eight years ago and introduced me to his boss.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of auto parts salespersons is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. People are keeping their cars longer and are buying new cars less often. Older cars need to be serviced more frequently, creating demand for car parts and parts salespersons.
What the job pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail parts salespersons earned an average of $31,000 to $32,000 per year in Indiana.