5 Things You Learn From Working in Retail
Picking up a part-time job—whether to help pay for college or just for those new Lululemon leggings you've been eyeing—is tempting, and it can actually be super beneficial for your future in more ways than one.
If you do decide to take one on, there's a solid chance that that job might be in retail. So, whether you currently work in retail or are considering working in the field, it's good to know that you'll learn a lot from the experience (no matter if you choose to stay in the industry forever or just temporarily). Here's a little taste of that life knowledge you might gain:
1. People Can Be Rude for No Reason
We've all experienced "Karens" in public at some point—or at least seen the evidence of people acting embarrassingly entitled and rude on social media. What makes these experiences so bad, especially for the workers who are the brunt of someone else's rudeness, is that the behavior is truly unwarranted. Some people just try to make their problems into other people's problems, and when you work in retail, sometimes that person they do it to is you. The best you can do is treat it all with kindness, but remember not to ever tolerate abuse in any form and calling in a manager is always a safe move if you feel like you can no longer handle the situation. But don't worry, for every rude customer you get, you get 10 more who are so kind and appreciative that it can make your entire day in just a moment. Be like these people!
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2. Time Management Is Super Important
Whether it's making it to your shift on time or making sure you plan your break perfectly to match up with your work besties, you'll quickly learn how important time management is. In a grander scheme, this is a super marketable skill that could actually you help land your future job once you move on from retail as well as the college of your dreams if you're headed that way soon.
3. Who You Work With Is Everything
Your coworkers won't just be the people you work with when you're working in retail—they'll also be your support system, your break-time buddies and could even become some of your best friends. The people working a shift with you can make or break that entire shift, so spend time getting to know the people around you (many will probably be around your age or academic situation). Just remember not to spend your entire shift chatting with them (at least not while your manager is around and customers are waiting).
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4. How to Look Busy At All Times
Folding, rehanging, restacking and—more folding. These minuscule tasks will all become a regular part of your time while working, and mostly it's less for the sake of making sure the store looks great and more about making sure you look like you're working hard when your managers might be right around the corner. Hey, staying busy helps prevent boredom, and at the least, you learn some pretty solid life skills while you're at it. After all, folding laundry won't feel like such a chore once it becomes part of your workday habits.
5. The Value of Money
This one is probably the main reason that your parents wanted you to take on that job, but that doesn't make it any less important of a benefit. When you start calculating how your time turns into a dollar amount and what those dollars can translate into, it will make you rethink every purchase you make. That's a good thing, as you might quickly realize that all those $6 lattes aren't really worth it when you're trying to save for bigger and better things. You'll also realize that your time has value, so you shouldn't waste it on anything that doesn't benefit you in the long run.
Hopefully this list didn't scare you off from working a job in retail, especially since it can actually be such a great experience! And if it has you starting to think more about your money (and how you've been spending it), don't worry. You can check out our list of ways to have fun with your friends without spending all you cash by clicking HERE.