Don’t Knock It ‘til You Try It


will-s-0209Retail careers can pay huge dividends.

When most of us think of jobs in the retail industry, the mere thought conjures up visions of working late nights, weekends, and holidays. Throw in the added burden of dealing with cranky customers and standing until your feet go numb— well, you get the picture.

The truth of the matter is the retail sector offers tremendous career options for many. It’s one of the few industries where you find hard working people who have climbed the ranks of management, without having advanced college degrees on their resumes.

Make no mistake; the retail industry has also suffered due to the faltering economy. Even major chains that once thrived, such as Linens N Things and Circuit City, were felled by economic doom.

Aside from the recent gloom and despair, the retail industry is, and will always be around despite challenges and setbacks. Lower-priced ventures, such as T J Maxx and HomeGoods stores, are actually thriving and even adding stores nationwide at a rampant pace. Many consumers have maintained their shopping habits but have scaled back their spending habits to take advantage of the bargains these types of stores offer.

Overall job losses have been significant, but there are indications that new jobs are surfacing at a steady rate. The retail industry provides opportunities beyond the sales counter. Aside from sales and management people, the industry is always seeking buyers, accountants, auditors, and loss prevention professionals.

Many people are surprised to learn how lucrative the salaries can be for strong performance in the retail sector. Outstanding sales performance, coupled with a steady grip on expense control, can send salaries soaring over six-figures annually.

Training is the strong suit for some of the more established retail-based companies, such as The Sherwin-Williams Company–who plucks candidates right out of college to enter its curriculum-based management training program. Upon completion, qualified graduates are then subsequently placed into various entry-level management opportunities throughout the company. Within one to two years, most trainees are either running their own store units or have jumped on the fast track to some other middle management opportunity.

If you consider a move to the retail sector, industry insiders suggest that you choose something that might appeal to your individual taste. If you enjoy clothes, then selling clothes might be the best path to consider. If you enjoy electronics, then selling electronics might be the most viable option. The key is to select an environment that can be fun yet invites challenge. This approach can help buffer the stresses the profession brings.

By the way, many retail conglomerates offer generous discounts to their employees, even upwards of 40 percent or more in some cases. I could see myself going broke in no time if I worked for Best Buy.

As always, do your homework and due diligence. Take the time to talk to those who have been in the industry for years. Your extra efforts might help launch exciting new career opportunities that have been right under your feet for years.

Good luck and always keep your head in the game!

Wil Smith is a Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. Wil has collected over 20 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Training & Development, Recruitment and Operational Management; with the majority of that time working with a Fortune 500 Corporation. He has also worked in the Sports/ News industry as a Reporter and Broadcaster.

1 Response to “Don’t Knock It ‘til You Try It”


  1. 1 hema October 3, 2009 at 2:31 am

    thank for sharing this information.


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