Retail is a line of work that typically gets bagged on, and I completely understand why. Trust me, I search the hashtag #retailprobs fairly often (mostly to get a good laugh), and I’ve done my fair share of scrolling through the Retail Robin pages on Pinterest (and believe me, I can relate to most of them). But over these past few months, I have realized that I love working in retail. While it can be extremely frustrating, it can also be incredibly rewarding, and-dare I say it- fun! Here are a few of the reasons why I love working retail:
I work, HARD.
Retail has truly taught me how to work hard. Now, I’m definitely not comparing it to the jobs of our service men and women, or jobs that are extremely laborious, but I truly do work hard at my retail job. I am constantly moving (like all.the.time), thinking, and interacting with customers. Every shift that I work in apparel is extremely busy, and the time totally flies by. I thought I knew what it was like to work hard at my old job, but that was child’s play compared to the busyness of a legit retail job!
Even though I work hard, the environment is laid back.
I realize that this may be partially due to my store in particular, but the retail environment can be fairly laid back. Yes, we help customers, re-design areas, and work on our projects- but we also have a good time. As long as we are working hard and being honest, mistakes are okay. If I do something incorrectly, I am able to receive constructive criticism and learn from it. Unless a customer feels disrespected or mistreated, mistakes generally aren’t the end of the world (for example: I typically don’t make mistakes dealing with customers. If I make a “mistake,” it typically involves apparel or design).
It challenges me to get creative.
Because I am in apparel, every now and then I get to re-design a wall or a table- or sometimes, a whole pad. I have never thought myself to be a creative person. I tend to doubt myself when it comes to designs, and I’m the first to admit that I have a hard time seeing the big picture. When my manager started giving me small projects to complete, I was extremely nervous and insecure. While I still tend to doubt myself, I am slowly learning how to put things together. I’m learning what colors go well together, where to put pants as opposed to shirts, how to re-arrange shelves on a wall to give it a better look, etc.
I have fantastic coworkers.
I realize that this one is basically completely relative to the store that you are in, but I just had to throw it in there. My coworkers and managers are all welcoming, kind, hardworking, and hilarious. I wouldn’t say that I’m “close” with any of them (we aren’t friends outside of work), but they make going to work enjoyable. There are always laughs to be had on a shift in our store! I’m lucky to have very patient and encouraging managers as well, so that’s always a plus.
It’s taught me how to have a good attitude.
Even if I’ve had a bad day, I have to flip on the happy switch when I get to work. I’m learning that the phrase “fake it til you make it” is actually legit. I have to have a good attitude for customers; and even if I’m faking it, sooner or later it cheers me up. I know that I need to have a good attitude toward my coworkers as well. It’s taught me that my attitude doesn’t have to be situational- in fact, it is entirely up to me to make it good or bad.
Have you ever worked retail? If so, did you like it? Why or why not?
What do you love about your current job?