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Jul 15

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The Retail Trap

Looking back over my life, I can recall some early traps that caught a few of my friends and probably prevented them, or at least inhibited them from reaching financial freedom. The one that caught many is what I call the Retail Trap.

Back when I was in high school, jobs and money were hard to come by, but retail always seems to be hiring. Their trick is, if you are competent, to quickly move you out of an hourly wage and into the higher paying management roles. How is this a trick if they are paying more? The positions are salaried, meaning you get paid the same amount REGARDLESS of hours, and no commissions. So, on the surface you are making great money, especially compared to all your part time employees you have to manage, but who fills in when staff quits? Who works all the shifts doing inventory or whatever?

The other part of the trick though, is getting them in high school…it’s a vulnerable time. If they can pay you the “big buck”, relatively speaking, with routine increases, and keep you happy for just a few years, then they have you. You won’t generally go into a post secondary education more than a few years out of high school, so there you’ll be, early 20’s with no real skills, a glass ceiling for advancement, and no education. Trapped neatly into the retail industry for the rest of your life…

You can still escape, but it’s usually better to never get caught in the first place. Retail jobs are not terrible, just be aware of what you are stepping into.

Lesson: sometimes making less money, allows you to make more later on.

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