The retail industry is the largest private sector employer in America, so jobs are not scarce. For this reason, students of all majors often take positions at local stores for extra spending money (and usually an employee discount).
Although it may not seem like it, retail jobs provide various benefits to students that can help later in life–regardless of if it’s a future career move or just a summer gig. Here are five ways how:
1. You become a gifted communicator.
Jobs in retail almost always entail talking with people, so it’s not surprising that you would eventually get comfortable striking up conversations. Plus, being able to read and connect with a variety of people is a talent that will be useful no matter what job you have later on.
2. You learn to find solutions to problems.
You’ll encounter angry or upset customers as a retail worker, and you may be the only person available to solve the problem. Learning to ask questions, listen, and think on your feet can help you in any industry.
3. You learn to handle pressure better.
Working with multiple customers and trying to keep everyone happy can seem daunting, but it becomes easier with practice. Staying calm under pressure will lead to less stress for you and happier customers!
4. You become a work-life balance guru.
After a few weeks of working various shifts including days, nights, and weekends, you become adept at managing work, other responsibilities, and your social life- even if some tasks are completed during less traditional hours. Once you have experienced this type of schedule, balancing any work schedule becomes much easier.
5. There are opportunities for advancement.
There are plenty of jobs available in the industry regardless of your college major. If you work hard and have a passion for the field, there are endless opportunities to earn more money.
The benefits of working part-time at a store during college are enduring–even if you don’t stay with the company post-graduation. You’ll develop skills that will be useful no matter where your career takes you.
This article was originally published on USA TODAY College.