A Guide to a Retail Fashion Career

Retail can be a great job for anybody, from a college-age individual to one that’s past retirement, to develop people skills. If you choose a job in the retail sector, you must be ready and willing to be what your employer wants.

In the past, you did not necessarily have to know anything to be hired or stay in retail. While it didn’t matter then, it definitely matters now.


The truth is that retailers understand that some workers might be short-term but they still want an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. However, the world of retail is currently more competitive than it has ever been.

If you would like to start working in retail or already do, it is important to understand that it is no longer enough to be just a warm body any longer. You must think about what you have to offer instead of what your retail job can offer you.

10 Things You Should Know If You Want to Hold a Job in Retail

Performance Matters: Retailers are notorious for judging every employee and process of various performance metrics. You will not be an exception. Simply put, you will be let go if you fail to justify the cost of your pay.

Customers Are Always Your Customers: Retailers cannot afford to lose customers since they spend a lot to gain them. Customers should always be treated with respect. If a customer is being unreasonable, it is better to involve management instead of making it personal.

Go the Extra Mile: The more valuable you are to the manager, the better shift you will get and the faster you will get your raise. Managers want people capable of solving problems and who can handle all the details of their job without having to be reminded or without having to answer common-sense questions continuously.

Be Early Always: No manager needs the aggravation of a late employee; it means that 1 minute is too late. The reason is that the boss is probably already looking at you 15 minutes before you are to walk in the floor. If you fail to show, the boss will either have to beg somebody else to stay later or work it themselves, neither of which is to your advantage. Being late is also a way to alienate co-workers that will be less than enthusiastic about helping you when you need a favor.

Avoid Complaining About the Hours: Retailers will typically require that you first state your hours of availability once hired. You shouldn’t complain if the hours fall within your stated guidelines. You should also not change your availability suddenly i.e. the week that you get the job.

Avoid Being a Drag: Gossiping and the people that denigrate the retailer and its policies continually ruin it for everybody else. Not only are such people lousy performers themselves, but they usually drag good co-workers down to their level. Simply put, avoid being the rotten apple.

Be Flexible: Picking up an odd shift or staying late when requested is a great way to help your manager while increasing your hours. Your manager will also be the first person that comes to mind when they think about extra hours.

Respect the Rules: Never cut corners. Follow the set company procedures and policies faithfully without being told. It helps save everyone aggravation and will probably save your job in case of a problem. You should always follow instructions to the letter without attempting to make them your own.

Be a Team Player: Retail locations usually run on a prescribed schedule of procedures and tasks. Pitch in with the rest of your coworkers to ensure that these tasks are completed and you will find yourself being an invaluable member of the team. Bonus points will come when you encourage others to do their tasks without an attitude.

Reduced Hours Are a Sign: While businesses can be off sometimes, a reduction in your hours almost always means that your services are no longer considered very valuable. It is usually the first sign that you will receive some “performance counseling” or even let go if you don’t improve. Even if it is slow, managers won’t just cut the hours of the strong ones.

If you’re looking for more help with finding retail work, Four Seasons have a great selection of retail jobs.

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