Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Cashiers are lower-level retail employees. Their job primarily involves completing sales transactions for customers, but cashiers also frequently handle inventory, assist customers on the retail floor and deal with returns and exchanges. Because pay can be low, and because the job requirements also are minimal, cashiers do not hold a lot of prestige. However, you can benefit from working as a cashier in multiple ways, as the work hones skills important to any job.
Communication and Social Skills
As a cashier, you deal with people one on one. You solve problems, complete requests, clarify issues and work with other employees. As a result, your communication and social skills develop. Later, you can put those improved skills to work in a new job or for personal projects.
Discounts and Freebies
Stores routinely offer their cashiers discounts or free items as a perk. For example, if you work in a restaurant, you might get lunch at half price. Perks can make up somewhat for the fact cashiers' hourly wages averaged $9.15 as of 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Even in times of economic turmoil, there is always a need for retail associates. Additionally, the skills you learn as a cashier are transferable to other customer-service positions, such as working in a customer support call center. As a cashier, you thus have a fairly stable level of job security, although you may occasionally need to switch employers as the market fluctuates.
As with any job, you can put your work as a cashier on your resume. Even though the job title may not be that glorious in the business world, it still counts as consistent employment. It looks particularly good if you can show exactly how you were responsible for money, improved sales and initiated positive changes on the retail floor. The experience you gain as a cashier may qualify you to apply for store or even district and regional manager positions.
Cashiers often have to handle more than one task simultaneously. For instance, they might complete a transaction or check inventory on the computer while answering the store phone. The ability to multitask translates to greater efficiency in virtually any job you might take in the future, as well as in your personal life. In the business world, this ability and the resultant efficiency sometimes means promotions or pay raises.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.