Passion for Retailing – Even Now!


Why Young People Should Opt for a Retail Career 1/26/09


In an effort to look at the bright side of life, anyone managing to launch a retail career nowadays will have the excitement of unsurpassed opportunities to persuade shoppers to shop. If they can find a job in the first place, that is.

The challenges partially explain why “over half of career advisers still see retail as a good sector for young people to work in,” according to new research commissioned by Skillsmart Retail and reported in Specialty Food Magazine. According to the survey, despite the recession, 51 percent of career advisors considered retail to be a better place for young people to work in than five years ago, when the economy was booming.

The report showed that retail comes out on top when compared to the hospitality and finance and banking sectors in the development of useful workplace skills, provision of opportunities for employees of all ages and the prospect of being given responsibility at an early stage.

Skillsmart Retail’s chief executive, Anne Seaman, reminded the magazine, “Career advisers are very influential in helping young people make choices about jobs in different sectors. Because of this, it is good to know that they believe retail is a better place to work now than in 2003 – in spite of the current financial climate.”

Discussion questions:  What do you think of retail as a career? In what ways can the retail industry improve how it recruits talent?

My post: 

I have been a retailer for over 25 years and have loved my career and hope to remain a retailer for years to come.  Why?  Retail is a complex, dynamic business with an incredible diversity of areas to focus on.  Finance, accounting, merchandising, management/leadership, design all have important roles to play in a retail business.  It was this diversity that attracted me to the industry and which has kept me passionate and energized for over 25 years.

I highly encourage high-energy, bright and ambitious young people to consider a career in retail.  Few industries offer a faster track to meaningful responsibility – running a complex business, managing people and financial resources.  For the entrepreneurially minded, an early career with an established well-run retailer provides an amazing foundation for going off on your own in a few years.  For those who thrive in a company environment, the upward opportunities are amazing.

Don’t allow today’s economic difficulties to thwart a desire to get into retailing.  There will always be consumers wanting an amazing shopping experience.  Why not be one of the people who make that a reality in the future?  And don’t limit your thinking to just one country.  I’m an American now working in Hong Kong.  The opportunities are endless for those willing to work hard and keep their options open.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist

Go to the full discussion at


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