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Like a lot of teenagers and post-secondary students, I worked in retail as a seasonal employee. I liked my summer job at a wholesale warehouse for the same reasons many young people are drawn to retail: the hours were flexible, the pay was good, and I got to meet other people my age. Despite these benefits, most people my age take this kind of work casually and don't see the experience as an important career step. They see it as the chance to make some money, maybe score some discounted merchandise, and that's it.

But a seasonal retail job can offer students and recent grads more than puny perks. With the right motivation, anyone can turn a seasonal sales job into a career in retail. As the holidays approach and seasonal positions start to open up, now is the perfect time to get your foot in the door at those department, clothing, and sporting goods stores. Find out how you can make this happen and why retail is a great place to be.

Start dropping off resum├®s ASAP. Seasonal recruiters start early! A lot of the time, this is because employees need to be trained in the fall so they are ready to go when it gets busy. If you wait any longer most of the jobs will be gone.

Once you land a job, impress your supervisors with a bright attitude, an ability to learn, and a willingness to move your butt! Always offer to stay past your shift if extra sales help is needed. After closing, ask if you can help to clean up the aftermath of holiday shoppers and help put out the next day's merchandise. By showing your supervisors a killer work ethic they are more likely to add you to the store's permanent staff once the holiday season ends.

But don't wait until you've been hired on to let your boss know that you want a career in retail. In fact, telling your employers this may increase your chance of getting a permanent position. According to the Retail Council of Canada, retailers are always looking for people who want to stay with the company and work their way up. And seasonal workers have an excellent chance of getting permanent positions since they have already been trained and supervisors already know what to expect from them. It is also a good idea to let your supervisors know if you want a more senior position or if you are interested in getting into the corporate office: advertising, human resources, or marketing. If they are aware of your ambitions, they can let you know if a position opens up or if there is a training program that will give you the skills to work in a different section of the company.

A seasonal job is also a sure-fire way to find out if a certain company or type of retail is right for you. If you enjoy the experience, then you might be able to stay. If you decide you don't like it, you can leave without causing an inconvenience or feeling guilty since you haven't made a permanent commitment to the business. Retail experience can be valuable to anyone who simply wants to enter the working world. For most people, working in retail is their entry into the working world. It helps you understand the basics of work and teaches you customer service. It is an introduction into the business world.

For those who are sure about a career in retail, a seasonal job is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of an industry that treats its workers very well. Retail offers more opportunities for advancement than in the past, and the pay is better than ever!

So if you plan on getting a seasonal retail job this holiday season, make it into more than just a chance to make some money and get some cheap stuff. Let it be an opportunity to learn skills that will help you in your chosen career - whether it's retail or not!

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