Black Friday is coming … R U ready?

I know that my DW and I rarely (as in maybe 2 times) went out on “Black Friday”. However, we do that more so because we don’t want to deal with the craziness that goes on. You know the stampeded over employees just to get in for a “big sale item”.

While I do feel sorry for the retail workers, especially since I worked retail for a year or two, I can’t say that I agree with articles (like this one: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/black-friday-truth-retail-170758939.html) that mention that they need to be paid more, etc.

Why? Well put simply what skill set do they have that warrants some large increase in income? After all, if they are recognized as having extra skills or ability to learn faster than their counterparts and apply those skills to their position they are usually elevated up the ranks higher and faster. For instance, starting out as a stock person and working their way up to head cashier in a relatively short timeframe like 2-4 years.

The article mentions that “the sector’s profitability reached a 10 year high in the first half of 2012″. That’s great, but what did they employees do to increase that profit? Was it because the costs of the goods that the retail store purchased was less perhaps? Or was it because they actually sold more widgets? If it is because of the latter, then the management needs to work with the folks that helped increase the sales of those widgets. If it is however due to a decrease in the cost of manufacturing, then the retail chains didn’t increase their sales or increased their sales mildly. But then I digress, since it is also up to the management to examine where the increases/decreases in productivity/sales were because that’s what they get paid to do.

Let me reiterate that I wish those that work in the retail sector the best. And if they are tracking their own productivity and showing increased sales then they need to bring that to their management’s attention. This is one of the things that helps them stand out from the crowd of employees.

How did I manage to stand out when I worked retail? Well, I worked closely with the customers and helped them resolve their problems the best that I could. I didn’t just try to sell them a product that they didn’t have a need for. For instance, I am reminded of a customer that walked in to the store looking for a software product that allowed them do set a web page up easily. Keep in mind that this is during the infancy of the WWW. I pointed them to several productss that could help with that which I had personally used. They asked further questions and I mentioned a way that they could make their web page more dynamic by using one of those tools initially and then going in and editing the HTML directly after the web page was created.

Don’t forget that if you don’t like your employer or the work that you’re doing, then it may just be time to move on and do the work you enjoy or are really good at! Fear often holds people back because they get “comfortable” or complacent in their daily duties. That doesn’t help them to grow, or to help the company to grow. There are always going to be those individuals that can sell twice as much as the lowest paid person, or increase their sales year after year. That should not stop someone from trying to achieve their dream, no matter what it is!

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