Yup, the title of this post certainly says it all. One of the coolest things about working in retail is that ……you get to MEET A LOT OF NEW PEOPLE! Now, I know that there’s a ton of introverts out in the world (some studies even say that introverts significantly outweigh extroverts in population), so meeting a lot of new people may not be all that appealing to you, but for those of you who LOVE meeting new people, this might give you one more reason to pursue a career in retail.
Now, I never officially worked a “retail job,” but I did work in food service for a number of years and some consider food service very similar to retail. I currently work in an office job where I have a desk, cubicle, computer, and I’m surrounded by the same people every day. There are definitely a lot of advantages to working the typical white collar, 9 to 5 office job. Some of the advantages of working a regular 9 to 5 office job typically include not having to work late nights or weekends, good benefits, reliable pay, less susceptibility to physical injury, and pretty clean working environments . All those things are great, but there are certainly a lot of disadvantages, such as decreased physical activity (which means you can get fat easier), a relatively boring environment after a while, staring into a computer screen all day which is bad for your eyes, and not being able to interact with customers directly.
Back when I worked as a server in a restaurant, I was able to interact with people ALL THE TIME! I had the opportunity to have conversations IN-PERSON with customers. I could ask them questions like, “how are you?” or “are you from around here?” or “have you been here before?” or “what’s your favorite dish?” I had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. The people I interacted with were of all shapes, sizes, age groups, ethnic backgrounds, and occupations. It was so cool being able to interact with all types of people from farmers who love their tomato stand to the fitness guru who just typed up the latest D-Bal review.
In addition to meeting new people, you’re able to actually feel the warmth of in-person communication. Nowadays with Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and a myriad number of social media platforms, it’s very easy to get lost in lazy communication and just interact with people from our laptop or phone. Even with video communication like FaceTime or Google Hangouts, I don’t think there will ever be a true replacement for the magic of in-person communication. If you talk to someone in-person, you’re able to feel their vibes and understand them on a completely different level than you would if you just talked to them over Skype.
Meeting new people as a retail employee also contributes to skill development. Working in retail enables one to develop the art of in-person communication. You’ll be able to exercise your communication muscles and develop skills related to facial expression, speaking clearly, proper enunciation, and proper body language. Not only will your own skills develop, but you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of other people. You’ll be able to watch how other people interact and behave which can help give you a better understanding of how people think and why people do what they do.
What will you do the next time you’re offered a job in retail?