(Closed) Help Me Escape Retail Hell!

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 4
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@MissTatas:  What is your highest level of education? any other experience besides retail?

Post # 5
2457 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Unfortunately, I don’t know what to say since you don’t have education to fall back on :/ I know that sounds really really horrible and I don’t mean for it to; I got lucky and got a job doing what I went to school for, but I was in retail mgmt for 5 years. 

What about moving up? Instead of being an SM or something, what about doing the DM position? I know they tend to have  completely different type of job that those who work in the stores themselves. Or maybe try to get into a different branch of the company (merchandising, marketing, etc)? I’ve known store managers to do that, and they ended up loving their new jobs. 

Otherwise… maybe consider going to school for that thing you’ve always wanted to do? What kind of job have you always wished you could have?

Post # 6
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My situation is a bit different from yours but I thought I’ll give your thread some love! I started out in retail (since I was in HS) but the only thing that got me away from it was finishing college and starting internships in my field. Do you think it is the specific type of services/goods that you are currently selling that is bothering you? I think there are definitely different “types” of retail and some are more bearable than others. For example, working in the clothing department and having to constantly clean up fitting rooms and hanging clothes is a lot more physical work than doing giftwrap and customer service and maybe you just need a switch? I guess you can also work your way up into management at a larger retail store (e.g. Nordstrom) to the point where you become a department manager or higher. You spend a lot less time on the selling floor and you still get to use your experience and not start at ground zero. In my experience, a lot of these retail management positions are internal promotions, so that works to your advantage. In addition, if you work at a major retailer (e.g. Nordstrom), you can actually work specifically for a brand (e.g. Theory) and then move your way up in that clothing brand and that will get you out of the direct sales/retail floor position too.


Post # 7
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

If you have the cash or wouldn’t mind taking a loan, I would suggest taking some night school. Even a 2 year community college program can get you into some amazing careers. Hell, certain CC have programs that are only 1 year, and they have placements included at the end of them.

If you could risk spending a year at school it could get you into an entirely different field.


Post # 9
4275 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I was stuck doing random jobs for awhile, probably more then I would have liked.

The food industry, city work, clerical, and retail….

Did not like any of them.

Got a waiver, went to school. Now I am where I want to be. So, school is definitely something to consider.

Post # 10
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Can you attend a degree program part-time while working? Maybe in something related to the retail industry so you’ll have some relevant experience when you finish?


Post # 12
4275 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Yeah, maybe get a business degree to move up to corporate. Better hours, better pay. Plus you have the experience…

Post # 13
1697 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@MissTatas:  oh honey I FEEL you, not because I was in retail but because my Fiance JUST got out of it! Ugh it was awful! Once you have that degree hundreds of doors will be opened up to you, in the meantime having a job as a manager will give you a ton of options once you get that degree!Any chance your man would switch places with you so you could get your degree first since you have a year of credits under your belt?

Post # 14
656 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I did retail for a very short amount of time when I was younger. It just wasn’t for me. I honestly couldn’t ever do it again. 

I went from retail into an entry level call center position doing collections, which was happy I had retail under my belt, even if it wasn’t a lot. I don’t mind collections at all, but I will stress it’s not for everyone. You sit at a desk, 8 hours a day, calling people who yell at you, hang up on you, or don’t answer. You repeat yourself A LOT, and hear a lot of sob stories that are hard to not get caught up in. You do grow a shell (especially after catching people in lies). But, the pay isn’t bad for what it is, and most collection agencies have a bonus structure, which is where the real money is. Once you get the hang of what you’re doing, its not bad at all, and if you’re a good collector, the money definitely reflects it. Plus, nowadays, collections has more of a customer service basis to it. From there you can get into management, growing with any collections agency and move on. If you’re done with the phones, you can transfer into quality assurance, or HR, or whatever else depending.

I took my collections training and got into the banking industry doing soft collections/customer service on home loans. I had experience with past due HELOCs from the collections agency. From there, I transferred departments in the company to mortgage modification/loss mitigation, and now I specialize in that. It was just taking past training and moving it to apply in other fields. I have a small amount of college under my belt, but not having a degree hasn’t stopped me from growing. It’s definitely possible.

A lot of financial industries my friends or I have encountered, like the bank I’m at now, offer tuition reimbursement as well! So you can get into a new field, and expand from that using their help.

Another friend of mine has grown in the banking industry because she started out as a teller. so maybe another option if call centers arent for you?

Post # 16
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

@MissTatas:  I’m in a similar spot. I do have a degree, but have up until recently been managing a large clothing store. I don’t want to be on the floor anymore but, as you know, when you’re a manager of a store you actually have so many different aspects to your job – which are all transferable skills.

If you think about the aspects of your job that you like best you can go from there. I personally love doing the reports and analyzing sales data. So I’m now looking to get into a planning role. It’s still in retail, but has a lot of potential for growth, and suits my analytical mind. 

So, do you like the hiring and staff management aspect? You could do HR. Or do you love visual merchandising? You could seek out a job with a larger company where they have specific merchandising and mannequin people. Events management? Marketing? 

You have so many skills from, as you say, wearing many hats. Depending on what you decide to do I really don’t see that you need a degree. Unless you decide to be a criminologist, lol. But short term you have plenty of options. You just need to own your skills and right that cv well! And then when your life opens up a bit in a few years time you can think again about studying. 

Good luck!

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