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Top 10 working in retail for the first time That Will Change Your Life

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How to Excel in a Retail Job: 11 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow


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A profession in retail is a unique experience. Whether you feel that selling merchandise to customers is your life passion or just a job to make ends meet, it’s important to understand that your position is meaningful, reaches out to many people in your community and leaves a lasting impression. As such, you should always want to excel in it. Excelling as a retail employee includes taking the role seriously, understanding what is expected of you and finding ways to support others in your team.

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    Be dependable. Try your best to arrive at work on time, ideally allowing enough time for traffic (whether you drive or take public transportation) and any unexpected delays as well. It’s a good idea to arrive at least 10 minutes before your shift is scheduled to start. This way, you can ease into the workday and have a little time to prepare before going out on the sales floor.

    • If you are habitually late you will be leaving your coworkers in a lurch. You also risk facing disciplinary action or even dismissal, depending on the jurisdiction in which you work.
    • If you can’t make work because you’re ill or indisposed for a good reason, alert your workplace as early as you can. This allows them to make alternative arrangements to cover your shift. Equally, if you want to get ahead in the job, making it known that you’re available to fill in at short notice can be a great way to get noticed, make more money and be seen as highly reliable.

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    Present yourself well. Retail work is very visual, and it includes not only the stock, but those selling the stock too. Smart grooming and good clothing are an important part of presenting a professional image that inspires confidence in anyone dealing with you. Make an effort, even if your natural preference is scruffy and comfortable. Good presentation can also provide you with a professional “shield” between you and customers, giving you the confidence to behave more professionally.

    • If the store requires a uniform of some sort, keep it well laundered and pressed (find out if the company covers such costs).[1]
    • Have a comb or brush handy for touching up hair during the shift, and perhaps a small mirror and some makeup for touch-ups.[2]

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    Take care to understand the store policies thoroughly. If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed, ask before doing or failing to do something, or you risk not following the store policies. Many stores give training at the commencement of your job but changes occur over time, so be sure to keep up to date with store policy changes the longer you stay there.

    • For example, you might want to take home used boxes from the store for your volunteer work of doing art with street kids. However, your store might have a policy that employees take nothing from the store; you’d need to know this beforehand, or risk being dismissed.
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    Get along with your coworkers. Aim to be friendly, polite, flexible, and sympathetic to the needs of those you work with. Successfully developing a rapport with your coworkers will ensure that they trust you, can easily work with you, and can count on you. Plus, enjoying the company of the people you work with will make any slow day go by a lot faster.

    • What about those times when a coworker wants to chat endlessly? Realize how bad this looks to customers, and how it can cause customers to shy away from asking for your help or service. Ask your coworker to keep the chatting to times when customers are not directly affected; if your coworker seems to keep chatting, it can help to ignore any attempts to engage you in conversation when it’s not convenient.[3]
    • Seasonal events can stress everyone in your team, when there are many shoppers, stock is strewn everywhere and you’re constantly stuck at the cashier’s spot. On such occasions, give each other pep talk, offer a word of praise now and then, and keep an eye out for coworkers who miss breaks and offer to cover for them so that they can take them to refresh.
    • Sometimes coworkers will behave negatively. On such occasions, be aware that workplace conflict is a natural part of working with others and is something to manage, not run from. Try to handle things yourself initially but if it’s too difficult or involves serious issues such as harassment, seek immediate help from your supervisors/superiors.
    • There may be times when one or more members of your team fails to take the role seriously. Realize that everyone has down days or feels fed up with what they’re doing. It’s not usually about you, so don’t take their behavior to heart. Ask them “What’s up?” and be compassionate about their issues.
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    Work with management, not for them. Get to know your boss (for example, the store manager) and any other authority figures (for example, assistant managers, sales managers, department managers, etc.). Know what each of your superiors expects of you in your position.

    • Aim to be flexible. This includes keeping an open mind if you’re asked by management to stay late during the busy holiday season or to take on an extra responsibility. If you execute this well enough, your efforts will be recognized and you are likely to receive some kind of benefits in the long run, perhaps even a promotion.
    • Ask questions. Whether it’s because you don’t know something or because you’d like to try something innovative but you’re not sure how it’d go down, asking questions shows engagement with the job and interest in it.
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    Provide a great customer experience. Greet each customer and find out what they’ve come into the store for by asking open-ended questions. Guide them to the product (if available) and assist them with answering any questions they might have. Then, offer to help them find anything else they could be looking for, or if applicable, if they would be interested in a warranty plan (cross-sell!).[4]

    • Smile and stay upbeat even when the customer doesn’t smile back. Customers do notice your smile, they may simply be too busy, self-absorbed in thoughts about what they have to do next or a shrinking violet. Your pleasantness may be enough to thaw the ice for the next person that customer meets!

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    • Be aware that disengagement from or lack of enthusiasm for your job is apparent to all––to your coworkers, your boss… and yes, your customers. And customers are super ready to judge that a disengaged retail worker is likely to not want to help them, setting up a defensive situation from the start. Even if this job isn’t your dream ticket to a future career, stay professional; it’s good training for any future job. And you never know when your next customer might be a source of information or work opportunities––or simply interesting!
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    Be a professional when it comes to the more challenging customers. Clearly not all customers are pleasant and some are downright surly or difficult, especially when waiting in long queues or holding unrealistic expectations about what your store can offer them. In such cases, don’t take their ranting or negativity personally. Realize that some people will be mean-spirited no matter what you do or say and that some people are simply out to make trouble, for whatever reason.

    • Be aware that often the more challenging customer has underlying emotional issues, such as anxiety about overspending, anger about something totally unrelated to the store/sale (and you’re sadly an easy victim), a sense of entitlement, etc. It is not personal (which is probably why it hurts even more, as you feel treated like an automaton). Whatever the cause, stay calm and polite, and if you feel you’re over your head, call for your supervisor.[5]
    • Debrief whenever a customer has been especially difficult. Whether it’s encouraged by your workplace culture or not, find at least one team member with whom you can talk through difficult experiences. If your workplace doesn’t already have such an opportunity in place, suggest that learning sessions be implemented to help all of you learn how to better deal with difficult situations in a more professional and constructive manner. Nobody is born knowing how to solve all conflict, and such skill-building should be part of your workplace training.
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    Know the store and the products you are selling. Familiarize yourself with the sales floor layout and which merchandise is located where. Research as much as you can about the products the store/your department sells, and what advantages your store or the products you sell offer over similar stores or competing products. This way, when it’s time to sell a product or service to a customer, you’ll be well-informed and can confidently close the sale.[[6] [Image:Excel in a Retail Job Step 8.jpg|center]]

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    Train often. Almost all retail stores provide some kind of basic training to new associates, typically outlining the proper procedures of your position and how to handle common customer scenarios. You can never learn too much, either, so feel free to ask management what training options you may have available if you need a refresher.

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    Help maintain the store. Even if your role is not in logistics coordination, you can make sure that shelves are neat, items are in their correct places, there are no messes or potential hazards around, and that employee areas are safe and adequately stocked.

    • Demonstrate to others how important it is to pick up stock on the floor, rearrange messy stock etc., by simply pitching in and fixing it whenever the need is apparent. You don’t need directions from above to keep the store neat.
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    Have fun. Most importantly, enjoy what you do and learn from the experience. You never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities your job will bring in the future.

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  • Always stay busy, even when there’s downtime. Find tasks to keep you moving and productive during lulls. Not only will this make the time go by faster, but it’ll help the store and earn respect from your manager(s).

  • Learn how to cope with stress. There might be times when you’re swamped by several customers, all wanting your attention, all frustrated and perhaps rude. Stay calm, be polite, and try your best to help them.

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  • Don’t share your discontent about your retail job on social media. It will likely be quite easy to identify you and the disloyalty shown will count against you. If you dislike your job, start looking for a new one and keep your thoughts to yourself. A good reference is essential to finding employment elsewhere.

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About This Article

Article SummaryX

Working a retail job for the first time can be nerve-wracking, but if you ask plenty of questions and treat customers well, you’ll do a great job. When you interact with customers, smile and try to stay upbeat, even if they don’t smile back since this will make you seem more professional. Answer their questions the best you can, or get help from a manager if you’re not sure. Focus on your work tasks, but take some time to get to know your coworkers as well, since this will make work more enjoyable. If you have any questions about store policies, don’t be afraid to ask your manager. This will help you improve faster and show your initiative. To learn how to deal with difficult customers, read on!

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Reader Success Stories

  • Caitlin Forrester

    Caitlin Forrester

    Apr 19, 2019

    “The advice given helped me focus on what I can control about dealing with customers and how to cope with factors…” more

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How to Excel in a Retail Job: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow

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Frequently Asked Questions About working in retail for the first time

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic working in retail for the first time, then this section may help you solve it.

Is a first job in retail a good one?

Despite the fact that a large portion of adults rely on retail jobs to support their needs, these positions are frequently viewed as “starter jobs,” which may have an impact on everything from employee retention to customer satisfaction.

What should you be aware of before working in retail?

9 things to consider before applying for retail jobs

  • You may be judged on your performance. …
  • Customer satisfaction is everything. …
  • You will have to get to know the shop. …
  • Wave goodbye to your weekends. …
  • Organising stock will be key. …
  • It’s extremely physically demanding. …
  • You will need to be a team player.

Is working at a retail store hard?

Needless to say, a career in retail can be tough work. It takes patience, diligence, and depending on your shift, a lot of caffeine. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, really.

What should I bring to my first day of retail job?

What you’ll wear isn’t the only thing to plan for on your first day. Make sure you’re also bringing these important items.

  • Identification. …
  • Banking information. …
  • Notepad and pen. …
  • Lunch money. …
  • Your A game.

Why do people quit retail jobs?

Retail Workers Are Quitting Because?

They want a well-balanced work-life. To be paid adequately for the workload and efforts they put into their work. Get support from the managers and see that their mental health is considered important.

Is retail a stressful job?

There are strong signs that the ?Great Resignation? is still having a major impact on the U.S. job market as a whole, and on the retail and hospitality industries in particular.

What are the 5 R’s of retailing?

The 5 R’s of merchandising are the right products, at the right place, on the right time, in the right quantity at the right price.

Why do people quit retail?

Retail employees often quit their jobs because they’re tired of working long hours for low pay. With the job market improving this year, the frontline workers have finally had enough of the thankless grind.

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