Working in a retail position typically requires long hours on your feet and working during non-traditional hours on weekends and many holidays. However, it can also prepare you for other careers in which you will utilize the skills and experiences mastered while working in retail.
Demonstrators and Product Promoters
A career as a brand or product promoter or demonstrator involves a lot of contact with the public promoting anything from a new food or cosmetic line to a type of car insurance. It may involve engaging consumers in sampling a product, playing a game, or providing their e-mail and other data for contests or additional information. Outgoing individuals with customer service skills succeed at these jobs and are more likely to land full time positions possibly managing traveling promotions. This career can involve long hours on your feet, working on holidays and weekends when traffic increases, and non-typical work schedules, which most retail workers are accustomed to. According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow between 2008 and 2018 as fast as average with the median hourly wage, as of May 2008, being $11.18 and the top ten percent earning more than $19.94.
Customer Service Representatives
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.3 million individuals held these positions in 2008, and the field is expected to grow faster than average. A career as a customer service representative is an excellent prospect for someone who formerly worked in retail. Many customer service positions are in call centers or answer customer inquires via e-mail, fax, and through the mail, although some are face-to-face. Those who work in retail use a variety of customer service skills from assisting customers in finding or ordering products, providing information on the product, and processing returns or resolving issues. These skills can be used as a customer service representative. Most positions require only a high school diploma and training is provided on the job.
Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Similar to retail positions, real estate brokers and agents often work weekends and evenings. A state license is needed to work as a broker or agent. Agents and brokers seek out the type of real estate in the right location to the specifications and in the price range that their client is seeking. They work with them throughout the contract phase, during title work and through the closing of the house. Most realtors have a high school diploma and attend classes to take a written test to obtain their state license. The career is highly dependent on the housing market and overall economic factors. The salary largely ranges depending on the market, the experience, and how successful the realtor is, but as of May 2008, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary was $40,150.