Retail Careers – The Many Faces of the Industry

retail careersWhen looking for a starting job or a job to do while going to school, many turn to retail. There are a number of different options available from simple cashiering to sales and more. Check out this list of retail positions and companies that use them. Decide for yourself what would be a good fit for you, and go get that starting job. Take a class in supply chain management, a key part of the retail industry.

Become a Salesperson

We have all run into a salesperson at one point in our life or another. They work for car dealerships, Walmart, Verizon Wireless, and so many other companies. If you’re interested in a position in sales, there are a few things you should consider first. Take a course in sales skills to make selling easier.

Being a salesperson can be difficult. You need to have a specific set of personality traits or know how to fake them well. You’re also going to need a specific set of skills. Learn more about both the traits you would need and the skills to make you a great salesperson.

Traits That Make Up a Great Salesperson

If you really want to make a lot of sales and boost your commission, there are a couple of personality traits that will help you go a long way. First, you’re going to need to be social. You can sell things even if you’re shy and quiet, but you won’t sell as much as someone who’s outspoken and can strike up conversations with anyone.

You’re going to need to be able to bounce back from rejection. Even the best salesperson ends up rejected by a customer now and then. The key to being a great salesperson is bouncing back from that denial and preparing for the next opportunity. You’ll also need a high tolerance for embarrassment. A lack of inhibition will give you the desire to fight hard for your sale.

Salespeople know the product they’re selling inside and out. They’ve tested it and tried it, and they’re willing to stand by the product. They’r also unafraid to ask questions of the customer that might be seen as a little personal. Consider the car salesperson asking a woman if she has any family. He’s trying to gauge what car to sell her. Contrary to the popular stereotypes, the best salespeople are modest and humble. They work as part of a team.

Skills for Becoming a Great Salesperson

If your personality matches, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t brush up on some skills that will make certain you make plenty of sales. Brush up on body language so you can always know what your customer is saying even when they don’t use their words. You might want to consider public speaking as well to enhance your social skills. Also, don’t forget to research the product and any competition. Research skills will go a long way.

Become a Repair Technician

Although many view it as a dying field in retail, it is still a position that many businesses still employ. Even places like Target either hire outside repair technicians or employee their own department of them to repair things when they break. If you’re going to become a repair technician, there are certain skills you need to have especially if you’re going to have your own repair business.

Skills for Becoming a Repair Technician

The most obvious skill would be, of course, repairing things. Take an online class in computer repair if that’s your decided area of repairing expertise. You should also consider some basic business management courses if you plan to run your own repair shop either now or in the near future.

Join the Food Service Area

This particular area of the retail industry is a little more complicated than the rest because there are so many different positions that can fall under food service. You could be a server, a cook, an expeditor, a baker, a pizza delivery person, and so much more. The skills and personality traits suggested will vary depending on the position you’re going for. The basics for any job in this field are below.

Traits for Food Service Workers

Obviously, if you’re a server or pizza delivery person, you’re going to be interacting with the public far more than the cook might. Being a social person will obviously help you in that area. You should also be polite, have a high ability to handle stress, and you should have an upbeat attitude that allows you to stay positive no matter the situation.

Skills for Food Service Workers

You’re definitely going to want some kind of food handling skill. It is a very rare food joint that won’t require a food handler’s card or license of some kind. Take a class in food handling, and get a head start on getting your certification. Be sure to check with the place you plan to apply to whether a food handler’s card is necessary or not. Some places don’t require a card for people that will only be bussing the tables.

Become a Security Guard or Loss Prevention Specialist

This particular field involves the guards you see usually at the front of the store. They have uniforms, they watch the customers coming and going, and they’re always prepared for any situation. If you’re thinking about joining this field, think about the traits and skills you might need.

Good Traits a Security Guard Should Have

One trait a security guard should have is also something that could be taught – you should be able to read people. Some are born with the ability to read people, and others actually need to have a little training. Take a class in body language if you have difficulties seeing what people are saying with their bodies.

Skills a Security Guard Should Have

As mentioned before, reading body language isn’t always something you’re born with, and you can learn how to read it to include as one of your skills. You will receive training in how to use basic security programs if the company that hires you requires them, and you can use that training as part of your skills when you apply for a new job as a security guard. You should also have some basic fighting or self-defense skills just in case things get hairy.

Become a Cashier

One of the most basic jobs in the retail industry is the cashier, but it is also one of the most important. The cashier is the one that helps companies like Target and Walmart make money. A polite, helpful, and courteous cashier will encourage a customer to come back. A rude cashier will encourage a customer of the opposite. Here are some traits and skills anyone should have if considering becoming a cashier.

Personality Traits for Cashiers

Like salespeople, it’s a good idea to at least be able to handle social situations. If you can’t even speak to someone you don’t know, you’re going to have problems as a cashier because you are usually the last employee a customer sees before leaving the store. You should also be upbeat and positive because you will have to deal with all kinds of people. Also, you should be patient because people will sometimes take out their frustrations on you even if you have nothing to do with the situation.

Skills Every Cashier Should Have

In this modern day and age, it’s rare for a cashier to have to actually count out change, but you should keep with your basic math skills in the event that you do have to count out change. Take a class in math fundamentals to keep them fresh in your mind. Businesses that hire cashiers will teach you how to use their particular cash register, and you will get to keep those skills when you leave. It could come in handy if you go looking for another cashier job.

Get That Interview and Ace It!

Once you decide what retail job you want, you’ll have to apply. When you get an interview, be sure to check out this helpful article on facing the interview. If you’re a great fit and show off your best at the interview, you will more than likely be starting your first day at your retail job.