Retail is not for everyone, of that there is no doubt. The industry exposes our unsuitability by offering no place to hide for those who want to hunker behind a web of denial and deception.
But, what an amazing career - well worth considering. Where no two hours are the same.
A vocation that demands every aptitude, including gut instinct. Coupled with natural flair, the courage to respond at a moment’s notice and doctrine to stick to the basics. Ensuring compliance whilst at the same time pushing the boundaries of creativity. Though, unworkable, without the engagement of a workforce striving toward a shared goal and the prospect of the individual.
Retail is a continuum of wit and attention to detail that adds to a shrewdness which wakes the flames for a lifelong calling. A pragmatic occupation about people, for people, by people. Part of a deep-rooted clan that can be dysfunctional at times, to depend upon and grow.
There is the cynic who advises against such a path in favour of an easier alternative or to apply peer pressure for a job with a more civil appeal. The clue is in finding the right employer for your personality. Choose the one you relate to as a user and resist the allurement of substitutes who promise the earth, yet fail on key performance indicators.
So what is it all about?
First-up is the sight of a cheerful consumer in harmony with the bleep of the ceaseless checkout. Unsurpassed because the noise affirms a successful transaction with the potential it may lead to another – the reason for our survival.
Then there is the joy of exceeding customer expectations. Something which the trade thinks it focuses on but few do well. All too often a team’s approach is blamed, instead of poor leadership for instilling a fear of being slowed because of an unrealistic workload. Others are poor housekeeping, the drudgery of ambience, range and marketing.
So too the theatrics of planning and delivering on seasonal events culminates in the pageant that is Christmas. A three-month extravaganza demanding every ounce of resolve plus a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears. All justified in the gratification of improved outcome.
Never forgetting the pleasure and honour in coaching an enlightened team. A group committed via effective communication, sound direction and an inspiring work-smart have-fun savoir faire. This facet is vital for integrating generations X, Y and Z.
A business impossible to master for peddling is an art form as much as retailing is a science.
Retailing is a fine and magnanimous livelihood, regardless of social status or academic prowess. It has given me the freedom to work all over the world because the same principles apply. There is no greater divergence of cultures and ideology to add value to my twin passion for writing. There is a sense of belonging, one of a comradeship that is only superseded by the family.
Thoroughly worth the effort.