Advice 1: On the importance of being organised and patient: One of the things that helps to deliver great results is organisation. Being organised helps you to anticipate what is coming, and prepare sufficiently. For instance, when preparing a group communication, you have time to speak to all of the relevant people involved and maybe set up a customer roundtable to understand client views. This is especially important when dealing with different countries, as you need to be mindful of and take into account the time differences. Capucine’s advice to herself when she was first starting out is to be more patient. Often the retail world is very fast and it draws you in. You constantly think about your next role, and the role after that. But sometimes it is great to enjoy the role that you have, take your time to understand what is going on, learn the market, learn how customers react.
Advice 2: On how to change roles within the firm and move up: You need to be proactive; things do not just happen. Capucine ensures to keep in touch with HR and meets with them every couple of months, which helps to maintain a good relationship. In addition, she meets with other department directors to get a better sense of what is going on in the firm and also to learn more about what they do – what they like, dislike, what they struggle with. Capucine finds that most people are very open and responsive to having a general conversation. This approach helps you to understand which roles you might like to do in the future and lays the groundwork for being able to move throughout the firm. When you do go for an interview for a job you would like, really go for it!
Advice 3: On working abroad and being sensitive to different cultures: Capucine spent some time in Taiwan expanding Carrefour’s e-commerce offering. She understood that the culture there is a lot less direct and outspoken and needed to adapt. Capucine recommends that everyone try working abroad to see what is out there, what you can get from it and what you can give. An experience abroad reminds you that other countries are very different, with their own cultures, languages and ways of thinking, something you’re often tempted to forget when you’re constantly immersed in one culture. The diversity makes you and your projects at work much richer.
Details of experience: Capucine is currently working as the Chief of Staff to the Carrefour Group Merchandise Executive Director, which involves helping to execute the merchandise strategy throughout the group. Capucine initially joined Carrefour in 2015, on the Executive Leadership Programme. Since then, she held a number of different roles, including being the Director of a Hypermarket in France, Head of E-Commerce Online Delivery and Head of Merchandise Partnerships.
What the job is really like: Capucine’s role involves helping the Group Merchandise Executive Director to implement the merchandise strategy throughout the group. This means working on and helping to implement the strategy around merchandise purchasing, negotiating, shipping, logistics and branding. The job has a significant international angle, as she works with nine different markets and is in contact with the merchandise directors in each country, sharing best practices and advising them on the bigger picture, rather than their day-to-day job. Capucine also helps the Group Merchandise Executive Director to prepare for webinars and interviews during conferences, including working on the messaging.
This post is written by Experience Share, based on their interview with Capucine Jacomin on 20/11/2020 and has been approved by Capucine. To listen to the full podcast, where, among other things, we discuss exactly what Capucine’s role as Chief of Staff to the Group Merchandise Executive Director involves, how to build relationships and move within your firm and the importance of being organised and culturally sensitive, tune in on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.