Getting a side job in retail

Christmas is approaching and it’s a great time to get a second job in a retail store. In October and November many retailers are hiring extra employees for the Christmas season. Working at a retail store is a great way to make some extra money. You could use the money to pay off some debt, build up your savings, or simply buy gifts for others (or even yourself!).

Several years ago I was working full-time as an accounting instructor at a local community college. Everyone always thought I made a lot of money being a “professor” but the reality was my salary was pretty comparable to a public school teacher. I had some credit card debt and wanted to make a little extra money to pay some things off. I started a job at Kohl’s in November of that year. Kohl’s is a place that I normally shopped anyway. Not only did I make extra money, but I also got a discount to buy clothes for myself and my kids.

I just want to say that I LOVE retail. I love new clothes. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of working there. I worked out on the sales floor organizing clothes and putting clothing back on the shelves when customers tried things on in the dressing room. I also worked as a backup cashier. It was definitely hard work because I was constantly moving and on my feet.

It was only minimum wage so the money I was making certainly wasn’t paying much debt off. I utilized the clothing discount to buy clothes and was able to build up my professional wardrobe for my main job which was nice. I was dressing nicer than ever! It really helped me with my tendencies to overbuy clothes because I started to think of how many hours I would need to work to buy something. For example if I wanted a sweater that was $30, I would calculate that I would have to work 4-5 hours to make that money. It was a huge reality check!

I worked at Kohl’s for a little over a year. At first I worked 3 days a week which was tough because I also had a full-time job. After the Christmas season I went down to only 2 days (1 evening during the week plus a weekend shift). In the summer when I wasn’t teaching I was able to pick up a few more hours. I only made a few thousand dollars total but overall it was a good experience. I quit when I was able to get more side teaching gigs, which brought in more cash.

I still shop at the store and sometimes want to get a part-time job there again! Comment below to tell me about your retail job experiences!

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