Topic: Retail Sales

Is Working Retail Bad For Your Health?

By Bob Phibbs

retail sales trainingA retail salesperson asked me, "Is working retail bad for your health?"

My quick answer, was to say "no."

I mean, a salesperson in retail is not like a salesperson selling door-to-door or selling tin siding...

However, as a retail expert, I realized that answer doesn't give the question the consideration it deserves.

Sure, there are things you can do when working retail that have a negative impact on your health. It's not the job, it's how you approach it.

Water is typically good for you-- but you can still drown in it.

After a little more thought, I realized that there are some behaviors that can make working retail as a salesperson look unhealthy.

Five challenges to your health:

Bad Diet- Many retail stores are located near food courts and fast-food restaurants. If you make that your diet during work hours, your health can suffer.

Bad Digestion- Many retail salespeople are always on "go." If you don't take the time to sit down and eat your lunch, but just grab quick bites when you can... you won't feel too healthy.

Expensive Food- Economic health is very important. If you're living on a diet of fast food and carry out, the costs will add up.

Stress- Like any job, retail salespeople will encounter stress. Those who don't learn to decompress will suffer.

Always On- There's a "go, go" mentality in retail. It's great in the store, but you've got to find time for yourself too.

It took a few minutes to think of those five negative health aspects of working retail.

As you can tell, I love retail, and believe it's a good career for those who choose to do it, and choose to do it well.

Maybe that's why it was easier to come up with these...

Ten health benefits of working in retail.

Exercise- Whatever you can say about retail salespeople, they aren't lazy - walking the floor, stocking shelves, and moving merchandise all take effort.

Social Skills- From bosses and co-workers to customers, salespeople interact with a variety of people.

Goal Setting- Once you know how to set, and meet, your sales goals, setting personal goals becomes that much easier.

Positivity- If you make it through your 90-day retail sales training, you'll have a more positive outlook. Customers don't buy from negative salespeople so, if you're still there, you've learned something.

Belonging- A good company and good team members can give you a sense of purpose and belonging that is usually reserved for families. There's no better feeling than walking into work and knowing that people are happy you're there.

Teamwork- Retail sales training will teach you to work with other people, even if you don't see eye to eye. This skill will translate to your life as a whole.

Problem Solving- Whether it's a merchandise problem, a customer problem, or a team problem, you'll be involved in finding and implementing the solution.

Time Management- A skill to last a lifetime. Retail sales training teaches you what your time is worth, and how to use it.

Diversity Training- No matter what you do, you're going to encounter people of all races, creeds, cultures, and attitudes. Few things can prepare you for the challenges in life like working retail.

Economic Health- If you work at it, improve yourself and work for good retailers, you can make a decent living .

Can retail work hurt your health?

Sure. Like any career, you'll get out of it what you put into it.

If you carry grudges, wallow in stress, and refuse to be accountable for yourself, anywhere you work can hurt your health; retail is no exception.

On the other hand, if you respect yourself, and the job, retail can give you skills and benefits that will last a lifetime, not matter what career you end up in.

Just look at Sharon Stone, Jeff Bezos, Keenan Wayans or Kevin Spacey.

Or even me...

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