5 reasons why retail isn’t even almost as bad as everyone makes it out to be

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There's more to retail than meets the eye. (Shutterstock)

The retail industry has garnered somewhat of a negative reputation due to the overwhelming amount of ‘customer service jobs sucks’ memes. However, there’s a lot more to working retail than just dealing with unfriendly customers.

In reality, the retail industry presents employees with amazing opportunities and a pleasurable work-life balance that tilts the balance beam more towards the pro than the con side.

Here are 5 reasons why you’d be dumb to pass up a job in retail:

1. It builds character

While you do face difficult customers from time to time, this is more an opportunity than a difficulty. This is an opportunity to learn patience, empathy, and grants you the opportunity to help others on a daily basis.

Being forced to remain calm and being tested has the added benefit of enabling you to control your flaring emotions, meaning you’ll be cool as a cucumber when your personal life shoots stressful moments in your path too.

Click here to apply for jobs in retail

2. You receive a Company Discount

Many South African companies offer their staff employee discounts so that when they purchase items at their store, they receive a certain percentage off the selling price. For example, Makro appreciates their employees and offers a staff discount which enables them to buy all electronic items at a fraction of the cost.

As an added bonus, employees of retail companies are the first to know when items are marked down. Buying an item that’s on sale and using your employee discount is exciting and can make you feel like winning the lottery. Imagine how much money you’ll save on presents this Christmas!

3. You can work for one of Several Departments

Many of us only think of the physical shop and think of ‘working in retail’ in terms of entry-level positions such as cashier jobs, floor assistants, packers, etc. However, if you stop to think about who the decision makers are regarding prices, product variety, and advertising, you’ll realise that there’s a lot more to retail than meets the eye.

Each retail chain has several departments: planning, administrative, buying, logistics, marketing, communications, HR, finance, IT, and the list goes on. The retail industry has several career opportunities for you to branch into.

4. Opportunity for Company Growth is strong

Retail companies usually have a tried and tested method that enables all deserving employees to move up the ladder. Promotions and rewards are commonplace and if you’re ambitious and hardworking, you will soon be able to call yourself Manager.

Click here to apply for jobs at Makro

Whether you start as a cashier or floor assistant, you could see yourself relocated to head office in just a few years’ time.

5. Access to Training and Development Opportunities

Many retail companies realise the importance of updating skills to stay on par with global trends. That’s why, as a retail employee, you’ll regularly get the opportunity to upskill through bursaries, graduate programmes, and other training courses.

While ensuring that employees are well educated in their role and armed with competitive skills to take the business to the next level, retail companies empower employees to reach new professional heights as well. Your family will be so proud.

If your company offers zero perks, do an online short course to equip yourself with skills that'll make it easier to quit and find a job elsewhere.

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