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Surviving Working Retail During the Holiday Season

Five Tips to Help Make It Worthwhile

I've been working part time in retail for two years now at a local mall that is relatively busy year round. The store I work at is pretty popular, so things tend to get busy after Halloween. I remember how hectic my first holiday season was at work, but I can promise you, you can (and will) handle it. Here are five ways to help make this holiday season in retail one to remember.

1. Develop friendships with your coworkers.

The amount of time you're going to be spending at work is unreal. You're going to get really close to your co-workers really quick, and you're going to like it! The people who work with you are also the people who are there for you. They listen to you rant about customers, they cover for you while you sneak to the back to go to the bathroom, and they talk to you about literally everything, which not only makes work go by quickly, but it also makes it fun! You will never know how amazing your coworkers are until you've worked an eight hour shift with them at 1 AM on Black Friday, and it makes the holiday season so much better when you have someone there to share it with.

2. Make the most of it.

One way my team and I make it through the holidays is by simply enjoying as much of it as we can. Black Friday cues the beginning of Christmas movies being played on a loop in the break room, everyone bringing a dish to contribute to the weekly potluck, and free T-shirts and gift bags being put in everyone's lockers. This is one of my favorite parts about working during the holidays. It makes a stressful time more fun, and it is a great way to stay motivated while working in retail.

3. Remember customers are people, too.

I know, they get on our nerves, they ask dumb questions, they mess up the display table you just spent an hour working on, but customers are people, too. They're shopping at your store for a reason. Maybe it's to find that sweater their teenage daughter won't stop talking about, or the pajama set for their newborn grandson, or the earrings that would look amazing on their soon-to-be wife. Whatever the reason, YOU can help this customer have the perfect holiday. Put yourself in their shoes. Remember that this is your job, it's what you're here for. Stay positive and helpful, and I promise you won't regret it.

4. Take care of yourself.

Even if you do have to work long hours or overnight, find time in your schedule to rest up. Make sure you have scheduled at least one day off to give yourself time to relax and rejuvenate. Otherwise, you'll turn into a cranky scrooge and won't get anywhere in terms of work or positivity, and the next few shifts will become your worst nightmare! Get plenty of sleep, eat a good meal, wear comfortable shoes, do whatever you need to ensure that you are stress free and prepared for work. Remember nothing can or should come between you and your physical and mental health. Self-care is key!

5. Get in the spirit!

It's the holidays! Get excited! Maybe you are working, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun! Don't be stingy just because you're stressed, otherwise your negative energy will rub off and no one will want to be around you. You don't have to be uptight because of work. Instead, think of the positives: Making money, working with friends, helping people, and getting ready for the best time of the year. Convince yourself that you're having the time of your life, and you will.

Hopefully these little tips help! Happy holidays from your fellow retail employee.

Suzanne

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