Chain retail is a fast-paced, accelerating industry, and its workers are a homogenous mass. We must put the needs of the business before ourselves. Working in cosmetics, my job is to make people feel pampered by focusing on our luxury products and teaching women creative ways to enhance their beauty. In fact, the job itself is quite pleasant. I really do love to sit down with someone, listen to their needs and have them relax with a lovely facial treatment. Creatively coming up with ways to convince them that they need to spend $500 or more on the products, however, is where the fun abruptly ends. Having to spend eight hours a day on my feet, running after people, listening to customers complain and oftentimes being the one to blame for the shop’s failure to meet goals can, on any given day, be a nightmare.
Many days I feel tired, rejected, and terrified at my retail job. So, what are the solutions?
Believe it or not, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
After ending each working week with a heavy heart, a good friend advised me to list ways to transform my working life without giving up and starting all over again. So, after a few months of tried and tested home remedies, here’s my advice!
This is of utmost importance. Once I sat down and really re-evaluated my work life, I realized that that was exactly what I had. A work life. At the store 6 days per week for 8-10 hours at a time, work became everything and I suddenly realized that this was the problem. I had made a slave out of myself. And for whose good? Find that work/life balance. If your day ends at five, clock out at five. It will all be there for you in the morning.
2. Remember, you are only one person
This is something that my mother has said to me all my life. Remember this, and use it as your personal daily mantra if you have to. You are only one person, and as one person, you cannot be expected to carry the company by yourself. You just need to know when to cut yourself off. This is definitely a tricky one, especially if you find yourself heavily invested in the company. But the truth is, you will ultimately be more productive — and above all, happy — if you stop taking on everything and pass some tasks on to others every now and again.
3. Adjust your attitude
Over the years, one of my biggest challenges has been dealing with a negative work environment. People will always try and find something to complain about. Try to avoid those conversations and focus on the positives. Focus on why you love doing what you do and why it gets you up in the morning. In every job, no matter what it is, there will always be someone who wants to talk negatively and complain. Stay as far away from this as you can. It’s easier to get sucked into giving out than finding the positive. Finding the positive will give you that drive and ambition to keep going.
4. If you have to, re-evaluate your choice in career
This is, on the surface, an easy one. Think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. If this is the exact opposite to what you saw yourself doing, then there is no harm in re-evaluating your choices. If your childhood dream job is completely out of the question, why not find a way to incorporate aspects of it into your daily life somehow?
5. Don’t let your job define who you are
It’s important to use your free time wisely. Remember to detach yourself in the evenings and weekends. If you are a fellow retail worker, don’t take it all so seriously. Yes there are rules and required behavior when you’re on the clock, but if you ‘play the game’ the way you’re expected to, things will start improving and doors will open up! Go back to basics and bring yourself out for a walk or to meet a friend for coffee. There’s a whole world outside of work. Find it!
Simple but necessary advice. As my mother always said, ‘Find a job that you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!’ Easier said than done, but possible!
Photo credit: Quote Pictures