All jobs can be a struggle from time to time, but sometimes retail workers feel like they take the worst of it. No matter how hard it seems to persevere, there are some things to keep in mind that can benefit you in your work, and can even be advantageous after that job has come and gone!
Don’t let your bad day cause someone else’s.
Newton’s third law of physics states that for every action, there will be an opposite and equal reaction, and we’re pretty sure that this has been proven entirely by retail. Customers react to you the way that you react to them. When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, sometimes that last thing you want to do is spend nine hours at the feet of each person that walks through the front door. Clothing can be so essential to a person’s self-esteem, and when they walk through that entry way they are putting their self-esteem into your hands. Regardless of how impossible it seems to fold and refold (and refold) those pesky shirts that seem to have found their way across the entire store, letting it affect the way you treat others can spiral downward, leaving you (and the customer) in a worse position than before.
You have the opportunity to make someone’s day!
When a customer walks past the register with a smile, you greet her with a polite “hello” and promptly ask about her day. She bursts into tears without warning and suddenly you’ve become her favorite person in the entire world. As a sales representative, you aren’t responsible for how their day begins, but you are responsible for how their day continues while in the store. Taking the extra minute to triple-check the stock room, or to offer assistance in holding items while they look around, can make a customer feel like you really care—even if you’re merely offering to be their Rachel Greene for 10 minutes. Customer service isn’t just about doing a job or merely meeting their needs, it’s about exceeding their expectations.
Making friends has never been so easy!
In reality, retail does nothing less than prep you for day-to-day interactions. What better way to learn how to make friends than to spend 9 hours surrounded by people? Through retail you learn to be patient, outgoing, and as a bonus, a phenomenal listener. Who says you have to be a therapist to listen to people’s problems? We are destined to love gossip, and no one will be your friend faster than the woman who’s shopping because her mother-in-law is driving her crazy and she needed to get out of the house. BOOM. Friend made.
Customer service experience lasts a lifetime, even if the position doesn’t.
This is SO important. You will never have a job that doesn’t benefit from the skills acquired as a retail worker. Retail isn’t always your long-term career interest, and that’s okay. Learning how to service others is going to aid in any position—anything from dentistry to football coach to film director to lawyer. Presenting yourself well is a timeless act, and retail will never fail to teach you that.
Don’t blow your paycheck in one shift, no matter how much you want to!
This is a personal issue; no matter how much you want it, DON’T DO IT. Working shipment shifts can be a fun way to introduce yourself to new products, but if you know that, it encourages ruthless spending, so opt for other shifts. Try to stay away from buying things you don’t need; it isn’t worth going into debt over, we promise!
No matter the trials of any customer service position, the lessons learned will last a lifetime and you’ll come to appreciate that job whether or not you keep that position, or decide to take life elsewhere!
Sources: [All gifs courtesy of giphy.com, thumbnail image by Holly Henson]