career: Retail

What's it all about

When you think about a career in retail, you might think about teenagers folding £3 shirts in Primark but I can assure it’s much more than that. Behind the scenes, retail is a huge industry full of different job roles. The best news? You don’t need a degree to get involved.

The shop floor isn’t where the world of retail stops. There’s also a matter of buying, deciding stock, ordering, advising as well as HR and financial roles. There are even marketing and PR roles available in the retail world, it all depends on what’s right for you.

Maybe you like the more physical aspects of work and would want to be on the shop floor making sure things look organised and neat. If you like talking to people and problem solving you’d enjoy working behind the till and in customer service. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a bossy boots and team leader you could excel in a more managerial role. There are loads of options and they all have the possibility to lead to promotions and progress in your career.

What could I be doing 

What could I be doing

  • Sales assistant
  • Personal shopper
  • Customer service
  • Management
  • Team leader
  • Supplier
  • Till operator

Routes in

When it comes to retail jobs in store, no qualifications are needed. In fact, many young people start out with Saturday jobs in shops while they’re studying at college as a way of earning some money and getting some experience.

When it comes to starting your career in retail, experience and personality is key. A part time job in retail looks great on your CV for when you’re ready to start working full time and start your career. Employers will be able to see that you have an understanding of how the industry works and have experience in dealing with customers.

For the more specific, behind the scenes roles such as marketing and consulting, it’s possible to do an apprenticeship in these subjects. This means working while you gain qualifications and on the job training, and is a good way to work your way up through an industry. However, if you’ve started out on the shop floor and worked your way up to a managerial role it might be possible for you to get such a job through experience alone.

What skills will I need 

What skills will I need

  • Team work
  • Customer service
  • Friendly
  • Personable
  • Fashionable
  • Organised
  • Efficient
  • Time management

Been there, done that

We’re still on the hunt for a fabulous case study to show us how it’s done. Are you #DoingItWithoutADegree in this field? Then get in touch by emailing hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out how you can inspire our ambitious school leavers.


Expert opinion

Are you an expert in this field? Then we want you to tell us what it takes to make it in this industry. Get in touch by emailing us at hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out more.



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