We came to Canada from Israel in 1989 and I didn't even speak English. So I went to Seneca College and took an ESL course for 6 months and I started to look for a job. I was working with an agency and they told me the Toys”R”Us office had just moved to their new location and they had a 1 month contract in Retail Admin.
We had a year old baby, travel was a hassle but I said “You never know, 1 month contract could turn into an opportunity, let me try”. When they offered me the job I decided to take it and two weeks later the Manager of the Accounting Department approached me and asked if I would take a full time position in Institutional Sales. I was very happy to take the position.
I stayed there for a year or a bit more. A year later another opportunity came in Accounts Payable Expense, and I always like to try new things, learn more about the Company and I accepted. I slowly started to climb the ladder, I was promoted to Senior Clerk, then Coordinator, then Assistant Manager, and then 2 years ago I was offered Accounts Payable Merchandising Manager. It was a big decision because I was very happy in A/P Expense and I could do my job with my eyes closed. I also liked people that I worked with very much. I had to move from a small Department with a few people to a group of 12 in a completely new area that I'd never worked in before. But again I decided to try and I've been there now for more than 2 years.
So this is my Toys”R”Us life for almost 21 years now! Almost half of my life I've spent here. I like it. I wouldn't be here for this long if I didn't! I like the people I work with and I have lots of passion for what I do.
I work with many people, internal and external. Right now it's a Department of 13 and sometimes I feel like a conductor in an orchestra! To make sure everything flows well you need to find the “special key” for each of them. I listen to everyone and whether we agree or disagree, in the end we find something that works for everyone. I enjoy this. I like to work with people and obviously I like numbers!
I think I became much stronger from a Leadership point of view. In the beginning I was a little concerned about moving to this Department because of the higher dollar value involved and huge responsibility – dealing with the Merchandise/Inventory side of the business. But in the time that I've been here I got stronger and built my self-confidence. I learn something new every day. You're not just a processor when you pay bills – you need to understand what the Company is doing and why. Learn new things and quickly adapt to changes as we grow.
Dolls – baby dolls and dress up dolls. I spent my childhood in Russia, and we didn't have a big variety back then. Now there are so many toys – we could only dream of that! We didn't have the fancy shmancy things that our kids have today.
The way I see Toys"R"Us after so many years is, if you have passion for what you do and you are dedicated, you have space to grow here and learn and gain professional experience Be patient, things don't happen overnight, don't hesitate to bring up new ideas and share your knowledge and experience with others.