Working in retail can be super exhausting. How does one have a work/life balance if every day off is spent sleeping? My sleep schedule is never “regular.” One day I’ll be working 5am-2pm the next 5pm-2am. I feel like I’m constantly tired. Over the years, many of my friends have told me the same in their retail experiences. A lot of people become exhausted from the rotating hours.

At most retail jobs, employees are given their schedule a week or two in advance. I often times do side jobs or plan things with friends or family when I’m not working, so it is important for me to know my schedule. It is frustrating that retail schedules are based on business need that could change weekly. When frustrated with my schedule, I remind myself of my purpose for being there and what my goals are with the company. It helps me to think that my situation really is not that bad, and there is a reason why I am working so hard.

What are my tricks to retail life?

1. Don’t call out. Management can trust a worker who consistently comes to work. Mangers are more willing to approve days off when your not sick every other week. Of course there are emergencies in which calling out is necessary, but limit these days.

2. A minute late is late. This is what my job has taught me. We clock in to work using codes and fingerprint scanners. A minute late could mean someone else is getting off late. It could mean that that person is missing their bus and now has to wait another hour before the next. If you believe in this concept, you will rarely be late. I usually get to work about half an hour early.

3. When you need sleep, take it! I’m really lucky in the fact that I can sleep at any time of the day so I can always get in sleep. I feel bad for people like my mom who can not sleep when the sun is up. I never understood the importance of sleep until one night last November. At the wheel of my Honda Accord, my body had become so exhausted that my eyes shut, and the car crashed. I could have died that night. Every time I think of that night I thank God I walked away safely. It was an extreme wakeup call to me on the importance of sleep.

4. Take full advantage of days off. Try not to waste the entire day sleeping. Theses are my hiking days, my blogging days, or my beach days. Try to live life as much as possible during these days. Take time to hang out with friends or family. Days like these make working days worth the struggle.

5. Take vacation time. Most companies offer vacation days for a reason. Working 40 hours a week takes a toll on everyone. This is why vacation days are necessary. I absolutely love to travel so I take all my vacation days doing just that. With friends and family that I love.

What are your tricks for keeping up with retail life?


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