The nitty-gritty: Big chains and boutiques add part-time workers during the "season." You may have to open or close cash registers, count money and separate charge slips, coupons and exchange vouchers. In addition, you may stock shelves, mark price tags, take inventory and prepare displays. While there are a variety of retail positions that can be as basic as greeting customers and folding sweaters, most have a physical aspect to them. You need to be prepared for bending, stretching, lifting and walking around without plopping down in a chair for long periods. Plus, customers can be demanding, so cool demeanors come in handy. The underlying incentive: discounted merchandise. Sweet sale-o-rama.
The hours: If you're willing to work evenings and weekends, you might find more opportunities to flesh-out schedules with year-round staffers.
Median pay range: Pay can range from median hourly wages, including commissions, of less than $7.37 to more than $19.14 an hour. Upscale shopping areas will usually pay top dollar.
Qualifications: Previous sales experience helps. If you're new to the game and eager, on-the-job training is standard fare. Each store operator has their own way of selling and running things from security procedures to customer service peccadilloes, so even old hands have a learning curve. It helps if you have a passion or familiarity with the goods you are selling. Enthusiasm is infectious and opens wallets. Top-notch people skills are the underlying ingredient to making this a good fit for both you and the employer. Employers might run a background or credit score check on you, to make sure you're trustworthy. Practice saying: "Did you find everything you were looking for?"
Kerry Hannon is the author of What's Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job.
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