In the last year, the national annual staff turnover for retail companies has ranged from 60% to more than 200% of their payroll. And in difficult conditions, some companies are less likely to take on more permanent staff, however this can be great for those looking to gain more experience in retail, as it offers variety and an opportunity to work with different companies and learn new skills.
Many of these positions are seasonal. The busy time for retail can be around Christmas and the New Year and also the summertime. This can work well for students or those who are looking to earn some money before Christmas or over the summer. It can also mean you gain experience in retail and pick up skills while on holiday time that will help in a future job.
So what temporary positions are available? The seasonal positions are usually shop-based – so they will be looking for cashiers, shop staff, people for stocking, cleaning, pricing and tagging, as well as some assistant manager and manager positions.
The sooner you start looking for a job, the better. Most shops recruit early for seasonal jobs, and you may miss out if you leave it too late.
But those looking to get into retail often don’t realise that temporary positions in retailers head offices can also be available. If you have the right background and some experience you could be offered temporary or contact work for positions in PR, IT, logistics or administration.
And temporary can mean anything from two weeks to an ongoing temporary position. Some companies will state that they will need you for a specific amount of time – such as a three-month contract, but others will just have a rolling contract with you. So if you do a great job, then this could end up being an ongoing position.
Temporary positions offer flexibility and invaluable insight. If you are unsure about a permanent position in retail or with a specific company, temporary work will give you a taster of the company, the job and the people.
It can also mean you are able to work around other commitments – such as studying, traveling or other jobs. Leanne Westbury, an actress from London has just started a three-month contract with Harrods. “Its great, as I know I can work my auditions round it, and after the three months I will have some money behind me to get back into acting full-time.”
And let’s not forget about the variety of skills you will pick up in different positions. Working with different companies could mean using different till and computer systems, as well as working in a team, on your own and with customers – all of which are great skills to add to your CV.
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