I left my retail job a little over a year ago to start my digital marketing apprenticeship. I always knew that my career was never going to be in retail. It was just a weekend job to get me some work experience and spending money. At the time I was at college from Monday to Friday and then working at the shop on Saturday and Sunday. It was full on! There are some things I miss about my little retail job though and I think they’re things that everyone misses about retail when they leave.
Usually in retail you have to wear clothing from the shop as uniform. When I first started we had a uniform allowance so we basically got clothes for free. But a few months later it changed and we had something like an 80% discount on uniform clothing. With an 80% discount the clothes were almost free anyway and, as long as my manager approved it, I could choose almost anything in the store. I was like a kid in a candy shop!
Being “in the know”
When you subscribe to a brand’s mailing list they like to make you think that you’ll be “in the know” about things that are normally top secret. Well, every retail worker knows you’re never truly “in the know” unless you work there. I knew when and where there was a discount coupon, I knew the exact date when the sale would begin and I always knew when we were going to get new stock. Knowing in advance definitely came in handy as I could keep my eye on the products I liked the most and get them a bit cheaper if I couldn’t have them using my uniform allowance.
Being close to other shops
This one is definitely something I personally miss, but my bank account certainly doesn’t! The shop I worked in was part of a complex which was full of high-end brands at discounted prices. It was so easy to go for a stroll around the centre at lunch and end up coming back with bags and bags full of goodies! My office is nowhere near any shops so unfortunately I can’t go shopping on my lunch break anymore. Boo hoo.
Even when I was at work first thing on a sunny Saturday morning, if a lovely customer said hello and gave me a smile as they walked into the store I’d be feeling cheery. I still remember some of the nicest customers I met when I was working in retail. Retail can be a difficult industry to work in so it makes the job so much better when the customers are friendly.
Talking to people
It sounds simple, but it’s one of the things I miss the most! When I was working in retail I was constantly speaking to people. Whether it be customers or my colleagues, I was always involved in a conversation. In my office job, I can go for hours without speaking to anyone. I work on my own most of the time so I don’t need to. My retail job was lovely for meeting people and getting to know them, even if it was only for a very short while. It’s surprising how much you learn about a person when you’ve only known them for thirty minutes or less.
The achievement of getting a big sale
When I first started my retail job I knew that there would be sales targets that I would need to meet. I didn’t think I’d get to serious about them though! The shop I used to work for was high-end so some of the garments we sold were over £300. It didn’t take me long to develop a determination to get bigger and bigger sales. The feeling when you cash in a huge sale is fantastic! If you work in retail or have done in the past then you’ll know what I mean!
Let me know in the comments if you used to work in retail or if you currently do. If you used to work in retail, is there anything you miss that I haven’t mentioned? If you currently work in retail what’s your favourite part of the job?