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Friday, June 7, 2013

5 Overlooked Perks of Working in Retail

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

With a 17% growth projection over the next decade, retail jobs are one of the most overlooked career paths in the United States. Working in retail has been given a negative connotation over the years and is usually tied to the phrase “dead end job.” Those who are in retail shouldn’t worry about the stigma behind working in retail because there are a lot of overlooked perks that don’t come with any other job. As a former HR Director in retail myself, I have come up with a few of the most overlooked perks that should make you consider a job in this industry.

Flexible hours. Are you one of those people who just hate the 9-5 schedule? If you are then retail might be the place for you. With one of the most flexible work schedules, usually available 24/7, retail offers almost any type of schedule for any type of worker. Rather you’re looking for a second job and need to work weird hours or you’ll wanting the flexibility to work at anytime during the day, retail is the way to go.

Discounts. Who doesn’t love discounts? The nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart offers a 10% discount to all employees. You might not think 10% is a big deal, but it’s usually big enough to cover tax and save you a lot of money over time. Whether you’re working at Wal-Mart or your favorite fashion outlet, discounts are one of the best-kept secrets for each employee wanting to score some good deals on their favorite items.

Plenty of jobs. When the economy fails retail jobs are still in demand. If you have ever been searching online for your next job you most likely came across several posts in the retail industry. Even if companies stop hiring full time employees they are usually always hiring for part time positions. Unfortunately they require fewer benefits, but some companies are working harder to get benefits for even part time employees. If you want a full time position they might be harder to find in a slow economy, but retail jobs will always be around.

Casual work environment. If you’re not one of those who love to dress up everyday retail is your ideal place to work. Another example with Wal-Mart is their completely lax dress code that is popping up all over the place. It used to be where employees worked in the iconic vests and now they’re simply wearing a t-shirt to resemble the retail giant’s color, blue.

Advancement. Not many people associate retail jobs with job advancement, but the fact is that the majority of retail stores promote from within. The retail sector has a larger percentage of career advancement because there are so many areas where advancement is needed. Working in retail can sometimes lead to an employee reaching a middle management job within a year of working or an actual manager job within five years depending on their work ethic. Those wiling to transfer and relocate are sometimes promoted faster.

One of the perks not discussed in this series is the opportunity to go anywhere. Most retail jobs have locations all over the United States or in specific regions. When moving there’s a good chance you won’t have to start over in your career because you can simply transfer. When you’re wanting to make your next career move think long about these perks, maybe retail is where you belong!

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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