i worked in retail for the past ten months, and i thought i would talk about it.
although retail is a monster in its own way, i don’t think it’s necessarily a terrible thing to work in. people always talk down about retail employees as if they’re lesser people, and although there are rough hours and sometimes mean people, it’s really a profession that you can admire if you think about it.
i got to know a lot of people while working in retail, and the people who really dedicate their lives to working it do make good money, and they actually love what they do. i don’t think it’s fair to think someone doesn’t have a “real” job just because what they do isn’t in an office with a typical 9-5 schedule. with that being said, when i started working, training was slow and almost monotonous because some people really need to be explained every thing. some people are just not as quick as others, and i realized that; not just employees, but customers too. you meet all walks of life and people who have completely different understandings than you. for me so many things that seemed obvious were clearly not, and retail really taught me that.
another thing i might add, i do not recommend working for a brand that you love. it is definitely exciting in the beginning, being surrounded by all the products of things you adore. the discount in and of itself is also nothing to scoff at when you’ve dreamt of owning those expensive clothes for so long. but the underbelly of the corporate side really begins to come to light once you work on the other side of the counter. the brand itself can become tainted by experiences you have at that particular brick-and-mortar, whether it be with the employees or the customers. you learn the true value and quality of the things you so sought after, and in a way it’s like taking off rose-colored glasses and seeing that the items you loved so much really are just things.
i don’t regret for an instant my time working – and honestly, retail is really fun. i would have enjoyed continuing my journey, but time to myself slowly became more sparse, and i unfortunately became unhappy with my environment. sometimes, you work with people that you cannot get along with, and when it becomes a scale between your overall happiness and stuff you love, the misery of coming home late at night from a difficult shift can really begin to weigh heavily.
i wish to remove the stigma that retail is for dumb people, because some of the most brilliant people i’ve met are people working hard to make their stores shine. i’m sad to say that this part of my life has ended (though i definitely wouldn’t mind working seasonally since that isn’t as draining since it’s in short spurts) but i’m glad that i gained so much from this experience. i can’t say enough how thankful i am to have met the people i’ve met and although i’m sure my relationships with them will end with this part-time job, i’m glad i met them nonetheless.
somethings you can only experience, so don’t forget to try new things and do something different than where you’ve always imagined yourself.