Retail Industry Jobs
Retail is a huge industry and encompasses just about any kind of product one person might want to sell to another—from food to computers to clothes to cars to items for the home, office or outdoors. Working in retail is great way to start a potential career because there are a few principles and skills that get carried through all the different fields of retail, which means that the experience you have in one area (say, selling computers) may carry over to selling something completely different (camping equipment). That means that if you don’t like working with one type of product, you have the ability to switch without losing all the benefit of your years of hard work.
Types of Retail Jobs
Most retail items are sold to the public through stores. Stores hire a combination of experienced and entry-level workers who fill positions such as salesperson, cashier, stocker and customer service representative. Typical duties include arranging and managing the stores industry, assisting customers, handling payments and, most of all, promoting the product to the customer to increase sales. Some salespeople work on commission. For those with experience, stores also employ managers and assistant managers.
Behind-the-scenes sorts of jobs in retail include accounting and loss prevention, merchandising and buying, website support and account management. Don’t forget the factories and warehouses—they need workers, supervisors and designers. Some jobs require college degrees, but others are attainable simply through hard work and experience. It is possible to start out stocking shelves and end up as regional manager or VP. The key is to find a successful, growing company that puts a strong emphasis on hiring from within.
Advantages of Retail Jobs
One of the major advantages of retail jobs is that they allow you to combine your personal interests with your work. Do you have a passion for cycling? Go for a job at a bicycle shop. Do you love music? Try selling it. If you love something, that will come out in your work and make you a better salesman and employee. You can spend your day around people who enjoy the same thing you do, talking about what interests you and convincing others that it’s as great as you think it is.
Another advantage of going into retail is that the job advancement potential is tremendous. It is an industry that you can enter on the bottom, without experience or special training, and turn into a successful career. If you really want to succeed, you will need to continue to train and take on more responsibility, but retail is one of those industries that really rewards talent and dedication.
Skills Sets for Retail Jobs
The precise skills you need for a retail job obviously depend on the exact job itself, but a large portion of retail industry jobs involve working with other people on a daily basis, often with customers. You need good interpersonal skills, the ability to work as a team and get along well, a nice smile and a helpful attitude. If you’re working in a store of a warehouse, you might need to be able to stay on your feet all day. Optimistic, high energy, outgoing people are perfect for any kind of retail. The same personal skills that help you sell a brand of tortillas in a grocery store could also help you sell a car someday.