I've known a couple of people that worked in retail, and every single one of them had nothing nice to say about it. I don't know anyone who's been in retail for any period of time that has recommended it. The pay is bad, the customers are horrible, managers are idiots, and it's basically a dead end job. No wonder it ranked as one of the worst jobs in America.
So quit. But first you need a plan. I don't have experience in retail, but I have lots of experience quitting and finding jobs. Plus, I have an extremely awesome job right now, which I'll share with you below. Before you get started though, I wanted to share The 22 Most Crushing Things About Working in Retail. You are not alone in hating this job – that post is laugh out loud funny.
Everyone needs money, so you can't just quit tomorrow. Below are some steps I recommend to working towards that quitting date.
1) Step One: Understand that you are quitting
One of the hardest things for me to do is keep my cool in a job that seems like it's going to go on forever. You think retail is bad, try thirty plus 5-year-olds running around screaming a different language while you try to convince their uber-rich parents you are teaching them English?
Let's not start comparing horrible job stories.
The point I'm trying to make is that part of what makes a bad job so bad is that it seems like there is no relief. It's your life. You can't just quit, but you're not exactly qualified to do anything else, or there are no openings to do whatever it is you are qualified to do.
Chill out, make you quitting plan, and bide your time. Flipping out and stressing at your job is just going to make time go slower. Do whatever mind gymnastics it takes to at least tolerate your job for the time being, and get started with the quitting action plan.
2) Set a Goal
You can't just quit. And you can't just quit one retail job only to go right into another one. Without an idea of where you're going to go, this is all just a pipe dream. What do you want to do?
No goal is unreachable. Seriously. Anything worth doing is going to take some time. Regardless of whether it'll take 6 months or 6 years, it's going to start with an idea, a goal, and the first step towards that goal. It's a bit corny to think, “A journey of 1000 miles starts with one step”, but it's true.
This is your chance to map out the rest of your life exactly how you want it. Don't hold back.
3) Map out your plan
Goals are great, but they're worthless without a plan. Even just a broad idea of what you need to do will at least get you working towards what you need to do tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Get as detailed as you think it needs to be or as vague as you need if you're not exactly sure. You can change it later.
4) Take the first step towards that plan no matter how small
Do you want to go back to school in the Fall?
Go to your university of choice's website and see when classes start.
Do you want to be a Wall Street investor?
Look into online finance courses.
Do you have a degree in computer science?
Look online for startups that need techie brains.
Obviously there are a million things you could do here, but there are just some examples to show you that big goals start with small steps. There's lot of information online, and if you really just don't know anything at all, join a forum, as Yahoo! Answers or type your question into faithful old Google.
5) Be Productive
While you are taking steps towards quitting your horrible retail job and working your way towards the goals that you set, it's important to be productive. It may seem like an ‘easy way out' to just slack off at your current position because you're quitting anyway, but this isn't the case.
If you are gunning for a new position at another company, they are going to want to know what you've been doing for the past X amount of time. If you tell them, “Well, I don't really know. Screwed around at work I guess.” that's not going to sound good.
If instead you tell them that you worked X hour weeks, took night courses, and started a website about one of your hobbies in your free time, that is going to sound awesome. You are going to look like a positive, motivated individual.
If you are looking to go into business for yourself, go back to school, or some other alternative, think about it from a mental health perspective. When your time is over at this minimum-wage-horror-story do you want to look back and think, “Wow, I wasted 6 months of my life being miserable”? Or do you want to look back and think, “That job sucked but at least I learned a lot.”
I think the second answer sounds better.
What I Do
Like I said, I haven't worked in retail, but I've been in some jobs that I absolutely hated by the end. I took many of the steps I outlined here today, and they worked. Yes, I've quit several jobs over the last decade. I usually have a great time for about 2 or 3 years, but after that time I start to get seriously jaded, very quickly.
Finally I decided to go into business for myself. I learned how to make websites and make commissions by promoting products or services I'm interested in. It takes some time to set up (6 months to 1 year), but it's totally legit, and you can pretty much make a website about anything you want to. I cover this in more detail in my email course (free). Or, you can get a head start if you like by reading about where I learned how to do this (also free).
Do you hate working in retail? Did you quit? Share you story below.