Retail Career

Let me just make one thing clear…

I’m done working two jobs. I hope to never have to do that to myself again. But, it’s nice to know I can handle it if the time ever comes again. Let’s hope not. You never know with this economy though, right?  I met some awesome people doing it too, but I will not miss killing myself. I currently just work one part-time job until schools starts and life is much, much sweeter.

Now, do I miss my second job? I miss the people, yes, but the actual job itself…no. A lot of people don’t like their jobs, but I’d like to be at least a little happy. Most of the people I worked with slowly dropped off as well. That’s the vicious circle of retail–high turnover, and not enough “quality” applicants.  You don’t need anything above a high school diploma to work in retail (most of the time, you don’t even need that: where do you think young people start to gain experience from?),  so finding a good fit for retail can be incredibly hard sometimes.  When you cross into corporate—now that’s where the higher degrees come in and a little more earning potential.  I’m just content in that I gained more experience and learned more. Also, I’m very thankful that I have/had a job. It’s all a learning experience.  I have about 7 years of retail experience, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have that experience because who knows when I’ll need to lean on it in the future. I did when I  graduated from undergrad in my period of transition, and it’s naive to say I’ll never use it again.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I’ve had some pretty awesome retail jobs, but the problem with retail to me is that there is not a whole lot of upward movement and the pay is just terrible most of the time. It’s kind of like nursing: you cap out fast. Sales associate–>keyholder–>asst. manager–>store manager–>training manager–>district manager. But keep in mind, the jump from store manager to training manager to district manager could be years and years and years. The money increases between each tier (save for training manager to district) is not that much, and the workload tends to take drastic increases. I can speak from experience on that one; however, there was one company I worked for that paid extremely well, and if I had to work in retail again I would definitely want to work for that company–hands down.

I’ve seen a lot in my seven years of working–companies go under, bad management, sexual harassment,  etc. I remember sitting down with an in-house attorney at my first “big girl” job as a sales admin. telling him that the company was not going to make it. I was 19 at the time. And I was right…the company went under a year after I left. It didn’t take rocket science–the management was mediocre at best, there were so many layoffs that training became mulled and the company just lost itself. That place was a mess. But! I met some awesome people, and gained valuable insight. That job taught me more about how to run a business than any job I’ve ever had.

I look forward to what the future brings…whether it’s more obstacles or paradise. That’s life. I’m continually working to better myself and my life. I have a great person, Dan, to share that with, and he supports all of my hopes and dreams. I also wanted to take a minute to thank my friends and family. Honestly, my world would not be the same without you.

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