The World of Retail: Jobs in Fashion

By Amanda Cohen on October 12, 2017

Thinking about a job in fashion? Thinking about what to do as a part-time job? Thinking about what to do after college? Thinking about gaining communication skills?

Well, I have news for you all! If any of the above descriptions fit your needs in any way, shape, or form, then you should get a job in retail ~pause for dramatic effect~. I guarantee all of the nay-sayers are thinking that my suggestion is stupid, but I promise you it’s not at all. Before I get into all of the different retail opportunities, let me convert you into a retail-believer and delve into the benefits of working a job in retail.

First, if you have a retail job on your resume, a potential employer will think that you have fantastic people and conversational skills (whether this becomes true or not is your choice). Second, abiding by a strict retail schedule builds character and helps you to maintain a good, organized schedule. Third, you will learn amazing organization skills that can be applied to your current retail job, a future job, and your life in general.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about the money. Even though money in retail might not be amazing, it always feels good to get rewarded for your hard work and to treat yourself when that direct deposit hits! Now that I’ve told you about retail job benefits, let’s talk about the types of jobs you can hold while working in retail.

Stocker

Turns out, there is a good kind of stocker (see what I did there). A store stocker keeps an eye on inventory and makes sure that all of the shelves and hangers are fully stocked on the floor of a store. The exact responsibilities of a stocker vary from store-to-store, so it’s important to look closely at job listings and to talk to current store employees if this position interests you.

Cashier

I know that being a cashier doesn’t sound super exciting, but you still get to see all the action, without getting pushed around on big sale days. Being a cashier is pretty self-explanatory: swipe cards, give proper change, and make sure all sensors are taken off of every piece of clothing (there is nothing worse than coming home and realizing that the cashier forgot to take off the sensors).

Store Manager

The position of store manager is something that you have to work up to and, if you do work up to it, you need to realize how big of a responsibility it is. Store managers oversee absolutely everything and everyone; they have to be a jack-of-all-trades. Not only do they have to be hands-on in the store, but they are also responsible for implementing policies and practices that protect their employees, the store, and generally just boost morale.

Customer Service

In order to work in customer service, you have to be a people person. No ifs, ands, or buts. Customer service employees are constantly dealing with grumpy customers or store employees who don’t want to do their jobs. You need to be patient, kind, but also assertive because you don’t want anyone taking advantage of you. The best part of customer service is that you usually have a comfy chair to sit in!

Assistant Manager

If you have your eyes set on management, whether that be a store manager, department manager, or general manager, a great place to start is by becoming an assistant manager. Becoming an assistant manager takes time and dedication, and you will usually end up doing the grunt work that the main managers don’t want to do. However, you will gain valuable experience and develop great connections for future employment opportunities.

Sales Associate

Sales associates work on the floor and help customers out. This could be helping a customer find a new size in something, taking a bunch of clothes to a fitting room, helping a customer to decide what to buy, or to explain certain products. As a sales associate you are right in the center of the action, so you need to be prepared for angry customers, nice customers, and for customers who just enjoy breaking the rules.

Team Leader

Team leaders oversee the sales associates, and, at times, the cashiers. Team leaders have a certain group of people that they oversee; this can be organized by store section, types of products being sold, or the amount of experience you and your team have. You still work on the floor, but your main focus is to keep your team happy, efficient, and organized. You need to be a mentor to your group, not a dictator.

You see? There are so many job opportunities within retail. I think that everyone should work a retail job of some sort at some point because it truly does help to build character. I hope this article helps to guide my readers, and, if you are currently looking for a job, happy job hunting!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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