Welcome to a potentially hot future. Lucky for you, there is robust demand for staff at junior levels. Armed with ambition and a flair for learning, you can rise to greater things. Certainly, if your aim is to work your way up to a managerial store role, and you have a good general education, then a sales assistant position is a good place to start — particularly in fields such as food or fashion, which can be tough to break into later.
So, where to start? If you haven't been through college, you should look for an employer who offers an apprenticeship scheme. That said, some management training schemes require two A levels/H grades or equivalent.
Those of you with an HNC, HND or a degree in a retail or business subject, should aim for a company with a graduate training scheme. On the whole, these tend to be the bigger retailers.
If this is your first foray into retail, you'll soon be hooked by the buzz of working in a shop, meeting the general public and handling great merchandise. But whether you are ambitious or not, you'll still need the brains to know the stock inside and out, and the brawn to be able to stand on your feet for long hours.
In some cases, such as in technology, you might also benefit from having some specialist knowledge.
A top tip: make sure you build up the experience you need before trying to move to the next level. If you work hard at being well presented and courteous to customers, maintaining a good product knowledge and providing after-sales care where necessary, you will be in a good position to aim for that next dream job.
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