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Is a career in retail the right job for you?

Pondering the thought of a career in retail is one thing, actually being able to do it is another. To better understand some of the expectations of working in the retail industry, the next section highlights the desirable attributes that will determine your success.

This will also help you see if you have what it takes or if you’re prepared to develop the mentioned skills to work in retail. If you pass the first section read on to view some of the benefits available exclusively to retail workers, and then the options of how to take the first step in applying to launch your career in retail.

Read more: How to become a retail or fashion buyer in the UK: A guide

career in retail

Retail and desirable skills 

Although retail is mainly about presentation and customer service, it’s also about the psychology, shopping habits and behaviour of British customers. For example, according to theretailmutual.com, shopping is actually a skill people learn, as it requires dissecting signs and product packaging to enable people to find what they are searching for. During this customer buying journey, working in retail plays a vital role in helping to direct customers with a lack of shopping experience to their ideal in-store destination. In retail, you will become a go-to guide whose prime focus is to help people, not just for directions, but also for product advice. Take a look at the below skills of working in retail to see if you have what it takes.

  • People/customer service skills
  • Organisation
  • Decision making
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Sales skills
  • Presentable

Those who work in retail, whether branch managers or retail assistants need to be comfortable with talking to people from all backgrounds. You will be there to help, advise and solve problems, which requires someone who can think on their feet and build rapport. When you work in retail, you will become a chameleon in customer service, adapting if and when needed.

If retail doesn’t seem like an industry you would personally suit working for, research online for other opportunities that may be a better fit to your personality, or contact an employment agency and inquire about roles that will suit your skill set.

Benefits of working in retail

If you possess some of the above skills or are keen to develop these attributes, a job in retail may be a good fit for you. Now you’ve established if it’s something you’d like to do, here is the fun part of finding out what working in retail could offer you.

  • In-store discounts
  • Flexible shifts
  • Meeting new people every day
  • Working as part of a team
  • Overtime opportunities for extra money
  • Opportunity to progress to a senior retail assistant or branch manager role

How to apply for retail jobs

Different stores will have different routes for alerting the public that they have vacancies available. For instance, you may be able to take your resume and apply in store. If you decide to do this make sure you look presentable and have a CV to hand. Also, ask to see the manager, otherwise, if you pass your CV to an assistant in a busy period, it may be left on the side. Another alternative is to contact employment agencies in and around your area and ask what retail jobs they have available. They may ask you to send across a CV to either keep on file if any new opportunities arise or to put you forward for a role. Besides these two options, you may visit specific store sites, such as apple, co-op, Miss Selfridge, etc, locate the careers or jobs section (usually there will be a link at the bottom of the page) to see whether they have any opportunities within your area. However, one of the most popular options for job hunting these days is using the best job search websites. For example, you will find many available jobs in the retail industry on Jooble.

By considering the skills required to for a career in retail and the benefits you could receive, this will give you a better idea of whether a career in retail is for you.