Working In Retail

July 19, 2016

Hello again. It looks like the sun has decided to say hello to the UK this week! Which is great for some, but I’m having to spend the majority of this week at work which means I’m going to be missing out on the rays. Therefore I thought I’d make a post about what it’s like to work in retail, and some tips if you’re thinking of applying for a job.

I’ve worked in retail jobs ever since I was 16. Well, I did have a paper round when I was 13 but I don’t really count that. My first ever proper job was seasonal temp job for a stationary retail chain. I’ve then gone onto work in various other retail chains which have all been different in their own way. I’ve had my fair share of difficulties whilst working in retail but now I work for a brand I enjoy and actually shop at. For me, working in fashion retail is great because it’s something I’m interested in and I get so many new outfit ideas.

Research the brand/company
This tip useful for when going to interviews. Employers are usually impressed if you have some knowledge of the brand and company. It also shows that you’re interested and dedicated to the brand. I know this has definitely helped me in past interviews.

Get to know your co-workers
This also includes your managers! Being in a friendly environment makes working as a team a lot easier. There have been times when my anxiety got the better of me and I became so afraid and nervous to speak to people I work with. As a result I wasn’t close to my co-workers and they probably thought I was a bit odd. This made me dread going into work and I felt so uncomfortable around them. Luckily, in my current job I’ve been able get along with my co-workers and become friends with them.

Have patience
There are going to be annoying customers no matter where you work, that’s just retail life. It’s important to have patience with customers and co-workers. I did find this a little bit difficult at first, especially if customer was being unreasonable. It’s something that comes with time and practice. Just remember, you’re getting paid to do this and the customer isn’t.

Try to look happy
I am a sufferer of resting bitch face syndrome. For some reason, when my face is relaxed I give off a really moody and feisty look. It’s just the way my face is, so I make a conscious effort to smile or try and look happier when I’m at work. This makes you look more approachable to customers and your co-workers won’t think you’re giving them evils.

Arrange holidays in advance
If you’ve got any holidays planned, it’s always best to let your manager know as soon as possible. Rota planning can be a difficult task on its own and having to then to re-schedule everyone’s shift can be a nightmare. Sometimes, if you leave it too late you might not be able to get the time off. So to avoid disappointment, book your holiday time as soon as possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

When my anxiety was pretty bad, I used to get so anxious that I felt nauseas when it came to asking for help at work. For some reason, I thought my manger expected me to know things I hadn’t been trained to do yet. Any good manager won’t get mad if you ask them for help or advice whilst at work. They’d rather you ask then for you to do something wrong. 

Although it can be challenging at times, having a career in retail can be really rewarding. From staff discounts to fast career progression, there are a lot of benefits. Even though I don't plan on having a future career in retail, I definitely enjoy having a part time job to help me out whilst I'm at university. Hope you liked reading this, I always enjoy reflecting on my past experiences.

I'll write soon, xox

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