23 Nov Tips For Surviving The Holiday Season As A Retail Employee
There are many benefits to being a retail employee at the holidays. Increased sales, the festive atmosphere, opportunity to work additional hours, commission and bonuses. It can be fantastic! I have personally experienced 13 Christmas’s in luxury retail (jewellery). This will be my first season as a business owner outside of the store environment and so I thought I would share some tips on surviving the busiest season of the year. Don’t let retail steal your holiday sparkle. These are my own personal tips. If you are seeking more, check out this excellent article that can be found at http://www.retaildoc.com
If you are a seasoned retail employee then you will know that planning is key to enjoying the holidays on a personal level. Most stores have time off restrictions but most leaders won’t mind an important request as long as they are given reasonable notice. REALLY IMPORTANT events like your child’s Christmas concert or spouses holiday party add to your enjoyment of the holiday season. I missed my son’s concert his first year in school and I still feel bad about it. Please plan properly and attend those events. Family comes first! Do your own shopping, home decorating and wrapping early in the season to avoid stress and burnout.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
I am the first one to love a nice pair of heels but please invest in a comfortable pair of shoes. When your feet are hurting you will not be at your best. I have met many flats that I have found uncomfortable too. Footwear is key to surviving the holiday season in retail.
Take Your Breaks
YOU MUST MUST MUST take your breaks! As a responsible hardworking employee when the store is busy we tend to skip breaks. Don’t feel guilty for taking your break even if the store is full of shoppers. If you are in a mall environment avoid heading out into the mall chaos for your break. Sit with some headphones (so nobody can interrupt your break to call you onto the sales floor). It will happen! Use the time to recharge and don’t feel guilty EVER!
Avoid Working Unrealistic Hours
Here is where things get tricky. Staffing can be light at times and pressure is on from your leader. Work what you think you can personally manage physically and also while balancing your family life. Ultimately the last two weeks before Christmas most leaders would love to have their staff work 12 hour days and give up all days off. The overtime and commission makes it appealing to the employee too!! Be prepared to work extra hours but know your personal limits and become familiar with the labour laws.
Don’t Go To Work Sick
I am not talking just a little stuffy nose. I am talking full on coughing, flu, infection or anything major that can be spread to your coworkers and clients. Once the first team member infects the staff it’s game over and everyone starts to drop like flies.
Stay Out Of The Staff Drama
Enough said. Leave your drama, don’t touch her drama, stay out of his drama and don’t start the drama.
Stay Calm With Angry Customers
This can be very difficult at times. This is especially difficult the last week before Christmas when you are completely exhausted, hating Christmas music and just want the season to be over. Take a deep breath (believe my I know it’s not easy), handle it the best way you know how and think of all the happy customers you have helped this season.
Make It Fun
Create some friendly competition within your team by deciding on some fun goals. Goals that different from the ones set by your leaders. It could be something as simple as trying to sell a particular item in the store that has been in inventory for a long time. Enjoy holiday treats and take turns bringing in snacks to share with the team.
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The Blonde Gemologist
Sherrie Anne Taylor
Graduate Gemologist Appraiser & Registered Master Valuer