4. Desmond Tan
What he learned: Endurance (and fashion sense)
Where he learned it: Working in retail
Being up and about at all hours of the day is part and parcel of success – just ask Desmond Tan, who worked as a retail assistant before entering the entertainment industry.
“For a few weeks, I worked at The Gap greeting people from the morning all the way to the evening,” Desmond reminisced. “This taught me hard work for the service line.”
“Now when I go shopping, I won’t mess up everything because it’s a lot of work to fold things again,” he said. “I pay attention and smile at people who greet me at the store, because I know it’s not easy to stand for hours. I was working and would OT all the time greeting people…but I enjoyed it because I like to interact with people and give them advice on what to buy. I would also upsell – if people wanted to buy a T-shirt, I would get them to buy a pair of jeans too! The long hours in the retail line helped me tolerate the long hours in this career as well.”
Plus, helping customers choose outfits also helped him hone his fashion sense (essential in his career as an artiste, and as a regular on our best-dressed column).