In 2018, I applied for 100 jobs outside of retail and was rejected by all of them, leaving me feeling that my retail experience counted for nothing. I thought that if I ever wanted to change careers, I would have to start from the bottom, but my good retail salary provided me with the lifestyle I wanted and needed to maintain. Therefore, that wasn't an option. I felt trapped by my salary and my lack of experience in other industries. The only people who really understood the struggles I was going through were those in the same place as me, also stuck in retail. As a senior leader in retail, I was accustomed to people always relying on me. However, I decided to pluck up the courage and ask for help, which was the hardest step of them all.
Being a big believer in following the advice of those who have walked the path you desire, I spoke to hundreds of people, including career coaches, recruiters, and those who had successfully escaped retail themselves. I discovered that everything I knew about changing careers was a lie. The traditional job search methods were old and outdated, and they don't work for retail managers looking to change careers. Instead, those who had escaped retail had created opportunities for themselves by connecting with real people in other industries. That connection allowed them to showcase their transferable value without making a single online application. Once I followed the same approach, it too opened the doors to an amazing opportunity in a different industry.
As a result, I not only secured a job that gave me an amazing work-life balance, but it also came with a pay increase. Fast-forward to today, and I am now the person I wish existed when I felt stuck, lost, and trapped in retail. The moral of the story is that I wasted years sitting on the fence, wondering if there was more to life than retail, but I'm living proof, along with thousands of others, that there is a way forward. You've worked hard to get to where you are in your career. Now is the time to start enjoying life with more balance, and you know you won't get it working in retail. Life is too short to accept a career and life less than you truly deserve. It's time to do something about it
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