Get out of Retail??

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Comments (47)

Tiffany Elmore in Valdosta, Georgia

45 months ago

How do you get out of Retail in this economy? I have yet to find a good job, that is not retail or part-time, and I have a 2 year computer degree. :(

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

45 months ago

My transcript says I was a 3.8 GPA student, if any of them would bother to ask...

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Ok, now cross out "lousy student" in my previous post and replace that phrase with "uncompetitive". If there are job openings that match your skills and experience,
maybe the employers' resume sorting software doesn't consider you good enough to work for them because you don't fit the template of the ideal candidate , or the employers'resume sorting software only hires people from top-tier schools, or the employers' resume sorting software only hires people through employee referrals. Grades are important, but so are your certs, and internships, and "who you know."

Plus, there's that stigma that retail should be beneath anyone who goes to college. The competitive student,according to them,has an internship, a slew of volunteering commitments, and not a job in retail, which the average employer assumes is for beer money.There's a stigma against people who work in retail. The longer that person stays in, the harder it is for that person to get out.

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

45 months ago

I guess I'm screwed then, because I've been out of college for 7 years. =P

Too bad too, because I'm smarter, more dedicated, and a harder worker than many, MANY people who somehow qualify for these jobs that I'm getting snubbed for.

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Don

45 months ago

dontwanttobea99er,

How old are you?

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Just turned 32

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Kary in Weston, Massachusetts

45 months ago

I graduated with a BS in accounting almost 6 months ago. All my work experience was in retail and food service as well. I've had many interviews since graduation but no job offers. Employers snub their noses at my work experience because I guess I look like an unmotivated loser. It's hard to get out of retail when the competition is so fierce. I started spending more time checking out temp agencies. I ended up getting a job doing data entry. I don't like it but it's something other than retail while I continue looking. I hate temp agencies with a passion but they really are your best bet when you want to get out of the retail jobs cycle. Apply to as many as possible and check with them as often as possible. And maybe check out yelp.com to help find the better agencies in your area.

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

45 months ago

dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts said: I don't mean to be negative. .
Do you see anyone saying anything positive about getting out of retail?
Kary in Weston, Massachusetts said: I I ended up getting a job doing data entry.[/QUTE]
I think the mini-anecdote you've given is optimistic since many temp agencies give preference to seasoned workers If you know of any staffing agencies in the Boston area where recruiters actually have entry-level data entry jobs to hand out, I'd like to know about it because the Officeteam, and PSGs of the New England staffing agency world weren't very helpful when the unemployment rate was lower, a few years ago.

The last person I talked to, at an unemployment office, didn't even mention temp agencies. She thought I could walk into a clerical job, even though , unlike her,I was a guy, and didn't have a history of temp work because I didn't start out doing temp work in high school.

When it comes to white collar work right now, I think women may have an advantage (finally) because they are going to be more likely to be given a receptionist , or a data entry job, that will get them a foot in a door", because a lot of entry level office work is considered 'pink collar'.

What I'm wondering, Kary, is whether your mini-anecdote is replicable or if you the right person, at right place, and at the right time and maybe had a few good referrals.

Have you sent an application out with your new job on it? If so, are you getting interviews now because you have white collar experience?

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Yeah, I am definitely going to start looking into temp agencies. Anything is better than my current retail job, literally ANYthing.

But first, I have to decide if I want to stay in Boston, or move to NYC. NYC seems to have more opportunity in several areas. Boston seems to pigeon-hole people, and there are just waves upon waves of young people ready to take the entry level jobs. I mean, I've applied to places like Home Depot, Whole Foods, and Target...and THEY don't call me.

I also don't think that going back to school for anything will help. I was lucky enough to get a Master's without owing anybody anything, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'm thinking more of going the "new skill" route, and turning it into a small business.

I just hate how it seems like EVERY company and corporation A: looks at retail workers as less than dirt and B: assumes that people who work retail are unmotivated and goal-less. Hello? I have to pay rent somehow, and all y'all aren't hiring me. Should I sell meth, instead? oO

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

45 months ago

dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts said: I don't mean to be negative. .
Do you see anyone saying anything positive about getting out of retail?

Kary in Weston, Massachusetts said: I I ended up getting a job doing data entry.

I think the mini-anecdote you've given is optimistic since many temp agencies give preference to seasoned workers If you know of any staffing agencies in the Boston area where recruiters actually have entry-level data entry jobs to hand out, I'd like to know about it because the Officeteam, and PSGs of the New England staffing agency world weren't very helpful when the unemployment rate was lower, a few years ago.

The last person I talked to, at an unemployment office, didn't even mention temp agencies. She thought I could walk into a clerical job, even though , unlike her,I was a guy, and didn't have a history of temp work because I didn't start out doing temp work in high school.

When it comes to white collar work right now, I think women may have an advantage (finally) because they are going to be more likely to be given a receptionist , or a data entry job, that will get them a foot in a door", because a lot of entry level office work is considered 'pink collar'.

What I'm wondering, Kary, is whether your mini-anecdote is replicable or if you were the right person, at right place, and at the right time and maybe had a few good referrals.

Have you sent an application out with your new job on it? If so, are you getting interviews now because you have white collar experience?

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lyssa360 in Medford, Oregon

45 months ago

dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts said: Good luck. I have a M.A in Communications, and it's been worth less than the paper it's printed on. I'm currently working minimum wage at Sears, and it's a real struggle not to quit every day. But all numbers are greater than zero, even $8. In the meantime, I keep applying to things, and keep smirking when I get the "thanks but no thanks" email back.

what about applying within the company it self? or showing sears what you have to offer take it to corporate just a thought im sure you have tried it already though

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

45 months ago

I wouldn't enter retail management for any amount of money, after seeing what my bosses over the years go through. Ever see a dog that has been kicked too much, and now flinches the minute you move towards it? That's most retail managers. You have to sell your soul to the company, to be one of those...and the payout isn't worth the cost.

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

45 months ago

hehe, I'm a guy =P

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Ivette

45 months ago

Sorry, my bad (blushing) but I thought you were someone else.

Is your wife working?
Being single and broke is very hard considering nobody wants to hire even if you got a degree.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

45 months ago

Temp agencies would hardly be a step up from retail. At temp agencies, you're likely to be called in to fill out their paper work, have smoke blown up your back side and then never be contacted again. It's humiliating. You're better off with a steady retail job.

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Don't have a wife. Not a good shot at getting one either, when my date asks "what do you do?" and my answer is retail minimum wage salesperson hehe =/

I just rewrote my entire resume, so we'll see if version 2.0 nets me better luck. One thing is for sure...I can't stay in this situation. I can't believe I'm working 35 hours a week, and it's not even paying basic bills.

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IslandStyle

45 months ago

yea because a pyramid scam sounds like the answer to his problems.....

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Average in Everett, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: Temp agencies would hardly be a step up from retail. At temp agencies, you're likely to be called in to fill out their paper work, have smoke blown up your back side and then never be contacted again. It's humiliating. You're better off with a steady retail job.

Except the steady retail job prevents him from leaving retail. Whereas, one lousy temp job may provide a way out.

Retail managers have a pay that's usually $20,000 lower, which I'm guessing is the wage difference between a college educated worker and a non-college educated worker, than management in other fields. The reason why the pay is lower may have something to do with the idea that retail management seems like a life sentence to a low skill sector because the skills required to be a retail manager are non-transferable to fields outside of retail because a retail manager has no expertise in anything except maybe in sales.

Wheras a project manager can walk into a management job across many sectors because of a clearly identifiable skillset and certifications.

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seasoned manager in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

40 months ago

Average in Everett, Massachusetts said: Except the steady retail job prevents him from leaving retail. Whereas, one lousy temp job may provide a way out.

I have been a manager in retail for over twenty years.(By the way I do have a college education) Entry level managers make what is stated above. As you advance, you do make more money. I make around 50000 a year. The down side is very long hours,working holidays,and prepare to work weekends as this is the busy time.

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Jeff in Denver, Colorado

40 months ago

Average in Everett, Massachusetts said: Here's what I think. I think that employers expect any degree holder to find a full-time job somewhat related to his/her education right after he/she graduates, even in this economy, even if that candidate only has a two year degree. They probably think a six month gap between graduating and finding a job is pushing it. If you couldn't find a job within six months of graduating, I imagine that they think that you were a lousy student.

I don't agree. In the computer programming world, the ONLY thing that matters is how many years of experience you have with X, Y, and Z. It doesn't matter whether you have an A.S. or a B.S. or an M.S. or if you have a 3.8 GPA or a 4.0 GPA. Alan Turing couldn't get a job these days unless he had several years of experience with Java. You're either on the inside, because you were fortunate enough to at some point have landed a job in which you had the opportunity to use the tools currently in demand, or on the outside, and when you're on the outside it's very difficult to get in the door. You just have to try to hang on, don't give up, and hope that something turns up.

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

40 months ago

seasoned manager in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts said: on) Entry level managers make what is stated above. As you advance, you do make more money. I make around 50000 a year. The down side is very long hours,working holidays,and prepare to work weekends as this is the busy time.
Here's a question; can every entry-level manager advance? I think retail is all about sales. Advancement has to do a lot with sales and demand growth. The less growth there is, the less opportunities there are. For the person who is likes and is good at selling large volumes of products, they will be rewarded.

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hatemyjob in Saint Michael, Minnesota

39 months ago

The comment about not getting into retail management is a very wise one. Most companies figure out just how much to pay to make it very difficult to exit. This does create the situation of "selling your soul" to the company. Lousy hours, using people who are making pathetic wages like rented mules etc. This country in general needs to get away from the service industry crap and start producing something again! If you value yourself, DO NOT get into retail management!

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

38 months ago

LOL in Woodbridge, Virginia said: Yeah maybe you shouldn't have majored in communications.

Thanks, any more helpful hints Capt. Obvious? ;)

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Eric 01 in Lithonia, Georgia

38 months ago

The only people who should get into retail management
are masochists. Who love long hours, rude customers,
pushy bosses, low pay and lazy workers.

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

38 months ago

Eric 01 in Lithonia, Georgia said: The only people who should get into retail management
are masochists. Who love long hours, rude customers,
pushy bosses, low pay and lazy workers.

People who need to feed their families but can't get into a well-paying profession.

I never understood management. Only untrained and undisciplined workers need a manager watching over them. If there are clear rewards for producing a certain amount of work everyday, people will work towards that. If there are not clear rewards, or the goals are unrealistic, workers are not going to be motivated.

hatemyjob in Saint Michael, Minnesota said: This country in general needs to get away from the service industry crap and start producing something again! If you value yourself, DO NOT get into retail management!
Nope, simply, the act of changing the kinds of jobs available in the economy would be perceived as a form of wealth redistribution and would be fiercely resisted in the United States by those who have benefited from the service economy. Everyone knows that you have to pay someone who makes or fixes something more than someone who sells a service. You don't have to look far to find someone ranting about how much they had to pay a plumber electrician, or carpenter, the indignity of paying someone without a college degree the same as one with a college degree. I think this reason is why vocational education has become a dirty word in our service economy. The people at the one end of the spectrum fantasize about developing technology that will eliminate the need for humans to actually make and fix stuff. All the work will be concentrated in professional services and power will be concentrated among the technocrats, such as Bill Gates.

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Lord Zenu from Uranus in Lewisville, Minnesota

26 months ago

Retail is a vocational black hole that is so powerful nothing can escape it.

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anythingwilldo in Fayetteville, Georgia

25 months ago

Average in Everett, Massachusetts said: Except the steady retail job prevents him from leaving retail. Whereas, one lousy temp job may provide a way out.

Retail managers have a pay that's usually $20,000 lower, which I'm guessing is the wage difference between a college educated worker and a non-college educated worker, than management in other fields. The reason why the pay is lower may have something to do with the idea that retail management seems like a life sentence to a low skill sector because the skills required to be a retail manager are non-transferable to fields outside of retail because a retail manager has no expertise in anything except maybe in sales.

Wheras a project manager can walk into a management job across many sectors because of a clearly identifiable skillset and certifications.

I have to STRONGLY DISAGREE with your statement about retail managers...I have been a retail manager for over 10 years now. With everything we have to do, I would put my skills up against ANY office manager out there...I would give my right leg to get out of retail. I have been stuck for over 15 years but a stated when anybody sees retail on your resume, it's immediately filed away. I don't think people realize how many hats a retail manager has to wear...we are human resources, payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, customer service, and the doormat.

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mike in Garfield, New Jersey

24 months ago

hatemyjob in Saint Michael, Minnesota said: The comment about not getting into retail management is a very wise one. Most companies figure out just how much to pay to make it very difficult to exit. This does create the situation of "selling your soul" to the company. Lousy hours, using people who are making pathetic wages like rented mules etc. This country in general needs to get away from the service industry crap and start producing something again! If you value yourself, DO NOT get into retail management!

So you don't consider $120, 000 worth it to manage a grocery store?

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Lostmyhope in Virginia

24 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: Why harder if you are a black male ?

you really need to ask this??? and if you get a answer it will make you understand????

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Fillinthegap in Reno, Nevada

24 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: Why harder if you are a black male ?

I see the resident dodo bird is still trying to fly. Hopeless!

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

24 months ago

????

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Lostmyhope in Virginia

24 months ago

Fillinthegap in Reno, Nevada said: I see the resident dodo bird is still trying to fly. Hopeless!

lololol!!!!

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Average in Winnersville, Massachusetts

23 months ago

anythingwilldo in Fayetteville, Georgia said: I have to STRONGLY DISAGREE with your statement about retail managers...I have been a retail manager for over 10 years now. With everything we have to do, I would put my skills up against ANY office manager out there...I don't think people realize how many hats a retail manager has to wear...we are human resources , payroll, accounts receivable , accounts payable , customer service , and the doormat.
If I'm wrong,then you would be to parlay those...skills...into a sector outside of retail. The truth of the matter is those skills have low value. Customer servitude, and payroll are not in-demand skills. There is some sort of demand for costomer servitude , but like anything that is considered "added value",
added value definition said: Outside of economics, value added refers to "extra" feature(s) of an item of interest (product, service, person etc.) that go beyond the standard expectations and provide something "more" while adding little or nothing to its cost.

it's one of those things customers like but don't want to pay money for.

Being a human doormat is something to be ashamed of.

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Paul in Fair Lawn, New Jersey

23 months ago

Average in Winnersville, Massachusetts said: If I'm wrong,then you would be to parlay those...skills...into a sector outside of retail. The truth of the matter is those skills have low value. Customer servitude, and payroll are not in-demand skills. There is some sort of demand for costomer servitude , but like anything that is considered "added value",

it's one of those things customers like but don't want to pay money for.

Being a human doormat is something to be ashamed of.

Human doormat? Believe me, I've seen some of my managers in action, and most of them are not human doormats. They go toe to toe with the customer, and yes, most of the times the customers get what they want. But I've seen plenty of times where the manager won and watched the customer walk away defeated. Managers hold more ground when dealing with customers than regular part time workers, and they can get away with more.

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Retail Therapist in Blacktown, Australia

18 months ago

anythingwilldo in Fayetteville, Georgia said: I have to STRONGLY DISAGREE with your statement about retail managers...I have been a retail manager for over 10 years now. With everything we have to do, I would put my skills up against ANY office manager out there...I would give my right leg to get out of retail. I have been stuck for over 15 years but a stated when anybody sees retail on your resume, it's immediately filed away. I don't think people realize how many hats a retail manager has to wear...we are human resources , payroll, accounts receivable , accounts payable , customer service , and the doormat.

I have to say I am in agreement with you.I am in Australia and the experience is the same.I do everything and homework plus unpaid 10 hours a week extra just for the privilige of being called a manager.I find the loneliness of the job the most dehumanising aspect.What I mean by that is, that all the undesirable tasks of a business CEO or owner are allocated to the manager and he or she must submit to the logic that if you fail to complete a task in the projected timeframe or you fail, despite all efforts, to change the mindset of a disinterested,disgruntled non-committed worker,you have wasted all that time and essentially must feel guilty for accepting payment.This is where the loneliness is.The CEO cannot fail ,because the tablets he or she handed you are beyond reproach,and the worker cannot be blamed for your inability to translate them.Meat in the sandwich??BITE ME!!!!(not intended to offend)
I had 24 years in my own business raised 2 great kids as a single father and decided to change up when they became independent and use my experience by applying it to someone else's business.My advice?Stay out of retail.We live in the Asian Century and that means that retail prices are suppressed and there is no fat for people in-between the suppliers and the large business CEOs or owners.

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Johnny Test in Winston Salem, North Carolina

14 months ago

I just got on at Sam's Club, and i hate it. I hate selling to customer memberships. The only reason i applied is because it offers $9/hr and thats OK for a retail job. I'm currently looking to getting into a packaging job that'll pay $12 or more.

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Mike in Elmwood Park, New Jersey

14 months ago

If you have a Costco near you you should try them. I checked Glassdoor and my mouth nearly dropped. A cashier's average pay is almost $12/hr with some going as high as $20! For a cashier! Granted I'm sure that's after many years of service. But between Sam's Club, BJs, and traditional retail jobs, Costco has some of the higest wages for all of their positions. And they have a rating of 3.8/5 by reviewers, which is pretty darn good if you research some other companies on Glassdoor.

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FugitiveWits in Brooklyn, New York

13 months ago

Lord Zenu from Uranus in Lewisville, Minnesota said: Retail is a vocational black hole that is so powerful nothing can escape it.

Lol! It seems that way. In the meantime, we keep on truckin...

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Biff Bradford in Madison, Wisconsin

13 months ago

I work in healthcare. I've got 13 applications at this hospital, 10 at that one. My insiders tell me that in a single unit where I applied, they have 8 open positions that they haven't filled. The situation is tough all over despite what you hear on the news.

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Elizabeth P. in Buffalo, New York

7 months ago

dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts said: I wouldn't enter retail management for any amount of money, after seeing what my bosses over the years go through. Ever see a dog that has been kicked too much, and now flinches the minute you move towards it? That's most retail managers. You have to sell your soul to the company, to be one of those...and the payout isn't worth the cost.

Well said!

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NeedRealJob in Saint Louis, Missouri

7 months ago

Retail it all depends where you work. Grocery stores many pay store management really well as does Wal-Mart and Costco for example as well. However you work a ton of hours and strange hours too. Sometimes you will be working 7 days or more in a row if your store is short on managers.

Just too much stress but places like those store manager is not some low skill, low pay job and is a pretty good career if you can handle it. Like my first job at Publix that was the only job my store manager had. He started there when he was 14 years old as a bagger and worked all the way up to manager and was making some nice bank. That was 15 years ago and didn't go into debt going to college like others do who are making less.

If I lived in FL still I wouldn't mind getting entry level there again and working on up to management. Better job than other retail places.

And around here that is what most college students work is RETAIL or wait tables. The college I went to that is what most did. That is all who will really hire you if you go to school full-time because no one else will work around your school hours other than retail, and even then it's hard to as retail wants open availability.

There are only so many internships to go around with a lot of them not paying and not all year round.

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hashtaggggs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

7 months ago

I was in retail for five years, a manager for 3, and opened/ran my own store for 1. My employers required a minimum 90 hour work week out of me throughout the holidays so obviously, I needed to get out of there. I started applying in September to places here and there and was hired by November.

Retail management holds a lot more weight than people realize: you manage people, you manage customers, you market your brand, you use visual merchandising skills, you've hired/fired employees, and you understand KPIs, money management, inventory control, and a lot more, depending on your type of retail. These are things to REALLY highlight on your resume and talk up in interviews. For so long I thought I was "just in retail," but retail managers have so much incredible experience and know-how that others lack. You are not at a disadvantage!

Chances are you will take a pay cut. I make the same base salary but don't receive my monthly bonuses. That SUCKS and was hard for me to accept at first, but when I saw how my quality of life improved (particularly during holidays when I was able to visit my family), it was well worth it. Ask yourself 1) Why do I want to get out of retail? 2) What do I expect do change in my life? 3) What skills in retail have I enjoyed most? For me it was marketing--I loved looking at marketing opportunities for my new store so I knew that's what I wanted to do. I now have a marketing job for a small company and I'm much happier!

My advice is to customize every single cover letter to every single job (this is across the board, not just if you're getting out of retail) and explain why your specific retail experience will improve your company. This seems obvious, but it isn't for most people. If you want to get into marketing, explain how you marketing your store; if you want to be a receptionist, explain how you organized your back-end and worked with customers; if you want to work in design, explain your visual merchandising experience. :)

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Candlestick in Grand Rapids, Michigan

5 months ago

Paul in Fair Lawn, New Jersey said: Human doormat? Believe me, I've seen some of my managers in action, and most of them are not human doormats. They go toe to toe with the customer, and yes, most of the times the customers get what they want. But I've seen plenty of times where the manager won and watched the customer walk away defeated. Managers hold more ground when dealing with customers than regular part time workers, and they can get away with more.

candlestic

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Candlestick in Grand Rapids, Michigan

5 months ago

I have worked at quite a few retail jobs. And one way or another the management throws a associate under the buss. And totally agree with their lack of training that most people get. Not to mention the lack of promotional opportunities for older associates.

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Jackofnothing in New York, New York

5 months ago

Retail is the worst. Get out early if you can or don't start at all.

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brownman in Glen Allen, Virginia

24 days ago

I have been a Retail Manager for 7.5 years. I am educated, do works weekends and Holidays. I also have not made less than 99,000 in the last 7 years. It is very ignorant too make aaumptions based on what you think you know.

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EconGuy

23 days ago

Tiffany Elmore in Valdosta, Georgia said: How do you get out of Retail in this economy? I have yet to find a good job, that is not retail or part-time, and I have a 2 year computer degree. :(

Funny thing is I have a A.S. Computer Programming and some certs and also work in retail and supplement with freelancing.

In the US you can't get IT jobs without a B.S. or better and even then it takes networking. Except for some exceptions with repair shops but those are mostly family ran or salesmen.

You go to Europe or Russia you can take a two-hour test to prove your skills and you're hired. I know this from first-hand experience.

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