4 Things to Know About Working in Retail

By Tamiera Vandegrift on April 13, 2017

If you are looking for a great, rewarding part-time job during your time in college, look no further! Working in retail might be the best option for you (if you want a fun and educational working experience, that is!).

Like any job, working in retail has its pros and cons. You have probably heard several horror stories from memes and word of mouth, but trust me when I say that working in retail is one of the best working experiences that you can possibly have! Every day will be an adventure in its own way and you are sure to learn a lot from the experience.

Read on to learn more about what to expect when you start working in retail!

You’ll meet new people

If you are a people person, this will be social heaven for you. You will have the opportunity to socialize with new people every day and help them find the best products. They will be absolutely grateful for your help and will show it by being super kind. Helping people is always a rewarding experience, and it will make the job totally worth it.

It is definitely a good, worthwhile feeling and not to mention you will have plenty of room for entertainment. Some jobs are not very social and will not allow for much contact with other folks, so definitely check out a job in retail if you need to fulfill your needs as a social butterfly.

Image via: www.pixabay.com

However, do not go into the job being naïve. Working customer service jobs of any kind have their drawbacks. Customers can sometimes be impatient or rude but do not let this discourage you. The purpose of your job is to help people fulfill a need of some kind, whether they need clothes, food, or any other kind of product. You are there to help. If you keep this in mind, none of the scowls or the rudeness that you will encounter will bother you and you will enjoy your time working a retail job.

You’ll find new friends

Do you remember that age old phrase “There is no ‘I’ in team?” Without a doubt, it holds a lot of truth, especially when it comes to working in customer service.

As much of a superhero as you might be, you would not make it far working in retail without some sidekicks. Your coworkers will become your family after you have been working for a while. You will have survived all types of disasters together, and the shared chaos will bring you all closer together. Think about it: you will be spending at least 15 hours per week with these folks, so eventually, you will grow close.

When the holiday rush has all of you gasping for air, your coworkers will be there to lift your spirits and your energy. When there is a crazy customer that just took everything crummy about their day out on you, your coworkers will be there to support you. When the day is going by slowly and you need something to make the time go by faster, your coworkers will be there to make you smile. Trust me when I say that having an epic team of coworkers will make working in retail so much better.

You’ll get epic discounts

What is perhaps the absolute best part about working in retail? You guessed it! The discounts! While you are watching all of these customers purchase all of the things you want for yourself, you can keep in mind that you will be able to get the same items for a lower cost. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

You can give in to temptation with discounts of anywhere between 30 percent and 60 percent off depending on where you work. Want a job at Charlotte Russe? Pick up some affordable heels while you are at it. Want to work at a grocery store? Enjoy some discounted groceries. Just do not let the power go to your head! After all, you do not want to end up spending every paycheck on things you might not necessarily need. Do not let your inner “shopaholic” get the best of you.

Image via: www.pixabay.com

You’ll have a flexible schedule

This is probably the most important aspect of any college student’s part-time job: the scheduling. Many places of work will be awfully stingy about their hours. I used to work at a part-time job that required 16 hours per week minimum. While that does not seem too bad, it certainly has its drawbacks when it comes time for finals week.

With that being said, retail managers are typically very understanding when it comes to college students and their schedules, so if you need to take on fewer hours for one week, you should be able to without a problem! Keep in mind, your supervisors will most likely need more help during the holiday season, so be sure to keep in contact with them and keep them updated on your schedule needs. You are more likely to get what you need when you are upfront right away.

Tamiera is a senior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing & Media and Digital Media Production. When she's not geeking out about movies and puppy videos, she's on her way to a career in screenwriting, while working intensely to finish a few novels before graduation. Besides writing, Tamiera is otherwise obsessed with Coldplay, feminism, dystopian novels, and various types of junk food. She hopes to see one of her works on the silver screen and eventually finish an entire tube of Chapstick.

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