According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for those people interested in a retail career will soar over the next five to ten years. Retail opportunities are expected to grow in virtually every type of position, but the need for customer service representatives, marketing managers, and counter clerks are projected to grow up to thirty-five percent by the year 2014. The Bureau estimates that companies will need nearly 2.3 million retail salespeople by 2014 and almost 1.8 million cashiers. High-growth jobs in retail also include those who work in merchandise display and who are purchasing managers.
The Flexibility of Retail Jobs
There's truly never been a better time to get a retail job. In addition to the unprecedented number of job openings, retail work has a number of benefits and opportunities that are simply not available in other industries. For example, when you're taking the first steps on your career path, store jobs provide incredible flexibility. You can choose to work part-time or full-time, depending on your schedule and circumstances. Similarly, temporary positions abound during peak seasons, such as mall jobs during November and December or retail jobs at resort destinations during the summer.
The flexibility of retail jobs extends to the type of company for which you wish to work. Perhaps you would enjoy working in an independent boutique, for example, or maybe you enjoy the atmosphere of a "big box" retailer. It could be that mall jobs entice you, or perhaps you like the idea of working for a national or international retail chain. Because retail jobs are so ubiquitous, the choice is completely up to you.
Learning on the Job
Aside from the flexibility offered by jobs in retail, these positions offer education and training that you often don't find in other fields. Large companies may have intensive training programs specifically tailored to the position you're filling and to the company for which you're working. Although you may begin in one position, you can easily earn opportunities for advancement and training in a variety of other retail fields.
While smaller companies often rely upon on-the-job training for their new employees (rather than structured classes), you most likely will have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills. For example, if you are hired as a sales clerk in an independent clothing boutique, you may find that you have the opportunity to work on merchandise displays, to help design in-store promotions, and even to accompany the owner to market to select fashion for upcoming seasons.
Financial Benefits of Retail Jobs
Because there is such a great demand for those pursuing a retail career, employers often offer a wide range of financial incentives and benefits to their employees. From health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and retirement plans to parental leave, paid vacation time, and employee discounts, retail jobs can be as financially rewarding as they are satisfying.