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In college we learn to go by the book. It seems that all we ever do is look at a textbook. Textbooks are good for looking up variables and symbols. They are also good for looking up theories and things of that nature. But will that textbook prepare you for real life?

real world, worried, scared

Are you ready for the real world?
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My experiences thus far.

I used to work in retail and I can tell you one thing for sure, nothing is what it seems. There are many people who go into retail management or fashion merchandising as a career path.

Have you ever stopped to question why you want to take this path?

See it’s not enough to say that you love clothes. I mean we all love clothes, but many of us don’t make the career choice for retail or fashion merchandising.  Some choose this career path because it’s an easy move to make. For retail, all you are required to get, for the most part, is a 4-year degree and that is it. Some make the choice to go onto grad school, but very few apply themselves. Because for retail it’s not needed.

Working in the retail world is very cut throat. It’s not enough to say that you have a college degree. You have to be willing to play the game. The game can be a harsh little mistress.  Some choose it because they have that cut throat mentality within them already. Others do it because they don’t have any other options.

I only worked there for a good few years, but it was enough to know that not everyone is as nice as they appear to be. It’s like being back in high school, but with an expense account. You have people in their little clicks. If you are not part of their click, than they don’t want you there. There are some that I have worked with that are very nice on the surface and yet very smug when you turn your back.  In any work place you have the back-stabbers, the manipulators, the gossipy children, etc. In retail, it’s far worse.

What does the real world expect of you?

The only way to get a head in this business is to brown nose or gossip your way to the top. These days they are hiring on the less-competent and educated, and getting rid of those who know what they are doing. In one situation if you were Hispanic, for the most part you could kiss getting a promotion goodbye. I worked with this one lady who was very much ready to take a store management position. But because she was Hispanic, she was denied the promotion. They fed her some crap line about how she wasn’t ready, when that couldn’t have been further from the truth. That’s just my experience.

You need to make your own choices when it comes to what the real world expects of you. If you have the stomach for this, you can become a success. But just know that your success is about them, not you.  So consider this before you sign on the dotted-line.

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