So, you’re looking for your first job in retail. Every job advertisement you look at is asking for previous experience, and you don’t have any.
One of the biggest things employers look is prior experience in the same or a similar role. So, how can you get experience for a job, without already having the experience needed to get the job?
You have two choices:
1. Get lucky and somehow be the best candidate by outshining those that do have experience
2. Gain experience, training and qualifications at the same time by becoming an apprentice
It isn’t impossible to find a job without having previous experience, but it’s extremely difficult. Normally to get a job you have to be the most suitable candidate, and it’s hard to make yourself stand out against experienced candidates who would probably require less training.
By becoming a retail apprentice, you can bypass this stage. As an apprentice, you wouldn’t be required to have any experience. Instead, your personality and traits would be more important.
That means, if you’re friendly, patient, polite, enthusiastic and generally good to be around, and you can get that across to your interviewer or potential employer, you have a much better chance at getting the job.
Apprenticeships aren’t a free pass to employment though, and you’ll need to work hard and knuckle down. You’ll gain the valuable experience that is so highly sought after and, at the end of it, you’ll be in a much better position to progress in your role.
Maybe you’ll become a supervisor or manager. Who knows?
The point is, if you want to get ahead in your career, you need to make some smart decisions early on. If experience is the deciding factor, you need to figure out a way to get it.
Apprenticeships are a great way to gain that experience, whilst working, and being paid. The best part is, you’ll come away from the apprenticeship with working knowledge of the industry, and a nationally recognised qualification.
If you’re looking for an alternative route to get experience, volunteering is another great path to explore. Although volunteering is usually unpaid, it does mean that you’re more likely to land a job. Working with charities looks great on your CV and you’ll also have gained working experience – the downside is that you don’t get any money for it, and you don’t get a qualification at the end.