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What You Can Learn From Starbucks' Independent Competitors

What You Can Learn From Starbucks' Independent Competitors

Smaller coffee shops neighboring chain-of-all-chains, Starbucks, told The Seattle Times they no longer fear being pushed out of business by their famous Frappucino-making competitor. While Starbucks was initially a threat to independent shops, they were able to channel the success of the chain and sustain viable businesses, too. Find out what this attitude has to do with you and job searching when you


When we're applying for jobs with a pedigree that might not be as polished as other candidates, job searching can be an intimidating force. Most open positions will ask that you have so many years of experience in the industry and list several desired requirements. Just because you might not have a degree from a top-tier school or are new to the industry, it doesn't mean you don't have a fighting chance.

Your character and skills that are unique to your background can get you through the doors of prospective employers, as long as you know how to sell yourself. Just like the independent shops that persisted through the heyday of Starbucks, believing in your strength as a competitor and knowing how to sell your strengths will buy you opportunities for success.


Join The Conversation
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I love Starbucks, but there's something about an established, independent mom and pop coffee shop with all its character and quirks. They offer something unique that you can't quite get anywhere else. Interesting parallel to the business world, I definitely see it! Not that quirky = successful, but something that makes you stand out is what you need to succeed, be it your tireless work ethic, your sparkling creativity, or your easy, comfortable navigation of tough situations. Good tip!
looseseal looseseal 8 years
I prefer small local coffee places over Starbucks because I get sick of seeing Starbucks everywhere, homogenizing everything. It's like going to your local mom-and-pop store to buy stuff over going to Walmart. So in that case it's not because the local coffee place sold themselves harder. The part about uniqueness being an asset is true - but while it's possible for a little shop to see how to be different from a huge and highly visible corporation, you don't always know who your competitors are when you're a job candidate. How then do you know how you can be unique from them?
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
something that i've definitely learned in my years in the professional world is that sometimes you don't have to be the most qualified - but the most agreeable, or one that fit in the environment best or the most willing to learn and throw yourself into it. i think that sometimes that is more important than having skills - since it's often the people who are passionate about something that see things through the roughest of times.
syako syako 8 years
panda, I'm not trying to answer for Savvy, but I would like to offer a tip or two. I don't think there's any real tip to sell yourself that is universal, but I do think you should evaluate each position and company you apply for based on your past experiences and schooling. For example, I used to work for a non profit association. I wasn't doing what I wanted to be doing, so when I moved to a new city I started applying for jobs that would be more akin to my education. Since I no longer had the "experience" I had to find other ways to show that I was unique. One way was I applied for a lot of jobs at associations. That way in my cover letters and on interviews I could really relate the experience I had and the understanding I had about the inner workings of associations and common problems they are having. Other things you could look for/think of is - search for business owners who are alumni from your college, look for positions in companies in a similar field as your work experience, if you have some type of community/volunteer/school activity experience try to match that to a real world job. Bottom line is to find out what would make you different from the others.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
You know what's amazing? In the 1.5 block where I work, there are over 7 coffee shops! And not one single shop is a Starbucks!
dancingpanda1988 dancingpanda1988 8 years
do you have any tips on ways to sell yourself that aren't used and reused by everyone else around you also trying to get into the door?
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