Is working in retail really to dye for?

I first started working part time as a retail/sales assistant two years ago, shortly after I turned sixteen and haven’t left the industry ever since. However, that doesn’t mean it’s how I’d like to further my career – far from it! It has had its benefits for me though…

Yes, there’ll be the odd day where I simply cannot stand the customers that come into the store, whether they’ve just ruined the hour-long folding display I completed right before their eyes, or were just plain rude to me. But, after some consideration when tweaking my CV this weekend ahead of applying for ‘real’ jobs (PR internships… fingers crossed!) I’m beginning admit that actually, working in retail has helped my transferable skills enormously!

I currently work for Jack Wills and have done since September 2012, moving from the quaint Aldeburgh store back home to the impressive flagship in Covent Garden! Whilst some may see this as a step up the career ladder (don’t get me wrong, my eyes are open for any opportunity for progression!) I have to admit my retail days could be numbered as my PR career progresses.

Talking in my CV about how personal professionalism is my ‘passion’ (come on, it’s really important!) got me thinking about how I’ve learnt about conducting yourself in the workplace – my retail experience! When your working on the shop floor you’re constantly exposed to the public and therefore can’t lose control of your emotions, whatever they may be! Similarly in PR, no matter how well a pitch has gone or how much you might be hurting from the latest media report about your company, remaining professional is key in staying on track and being successful.

Your own personal PR, your personality and ‘brand you’ is the best persuasion tool you can have

is a life motto I’m determined to stick to!

Retail, thank you – you’ve taught me an awful lot of life and career lessons which will prove invaluable to me in the future! Unfortunately, my eyes are just set on bigger sights than the shop floor… but for now, you’re still my part time job that is to dye for (after all, the perks are great!)


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