While most retail positions are considered entry-level jobs, the industry builds a long list of transferable skills gained from retail jobs, most of which perfectly suit a career in payments.
If you’re interested in working in the payments industry, your retail experience is certainly worth mentioning. Here’s a showcase of some of the key skills you can use to your advantage as a payments professional.
Transferable Skills Gained from Retail Jobs
Retail workers have a long and varied list of responsibilities, which is why retail jobs tend to build up a long list of fully-transferable skills.
With every job, people always get to work on their “soft skills,” which include aspects such as communication and multitasking. However, some of the best soft skills gained from retail jobs that will benefit you in the payments industry include:
- Customer Experience: Even if you take a back-office position in the payments industry where you aren’t typically interacting with customers, you must be able to empathize with the needs of the customer and act accordingly. In the payments industry, customer experience is key to timely payments, building relationships, and preserving a company’s reputation.
- Communication: Aside from helping to keep customers happy, retail workers also practice communication every day. Examples could include communicating with loss prevention, discussing inventory needs, and constructively passing on customer feedback. All of these communication skills gained from retail jobs will be hard at work in the payments industry. After all, communication is key to smooth processing.
- Team Work: If you thought a job in the payments industry was solitary, think again. Teams must work together to prevent delays, communicate concerns, and work around technical issues so that things run smoothly. As a retail worker, you have to step in to help co-workers, especially when there’s a surge of shoppers, and you regularly collaborated to make sure that service, stocking, and cleaning tasks were handled on time.
- Flexibility: Retail workers are incredibly flexible and able to pivot at a moment’s notice. One minute, you may be working on your organization skills stocking a shelf, and the next, you might be upping your customer service as you man the cash register. In the payments industry, you may find yourself in a fast-paced environment with a lot on your plate. The ability to stay focused, manage your time, and be flexible enough to multitask when needed will be a major asset.
These soft skills can be developed both on the job and in your personal life, but these are far from the only skills you will build with a job in the retail industry. Hard skills are even more valuable to potential employers.
The hard skills gained from retail jobs vary depending on the exact position you took on, but you may find that you developed some of the following:
- Point-of-Sale (POS) Experience: One of the major points of focus in the payments industry is POS hardware and software. After all, it’s what allows businesses to collect payments from the customer, and it also shapes the customer experience. As a retail worker, you gained hands-on experience with POS systems that will prove valuable in many positions in the payments industry.
- Money Handling: Being trustworthy and mathematically capable enough to handle money is a key requirement when working in the payments industry, and a job in retail helps showcase your aptitude for securely and reliably processing payments. If you handled any bookkeeping tasks, that’s yet another important box you can check off when applying for a payments job.
- Business Operations: Even if you do not hold a management position, most retail workers learn a great deal about the behind-the-scenes operation of a business. If you were involved with inventory management, purchasing, shipping, receiving, or stocking, you got a glimpse into operations that will help prepare you for a career supporting other businesses.
- Marketing and Branding: Most all retail workers are involved in marketing activities, even if they don’t realize it. Your job as a retail worker helped shape the customer experience, not only through direct interactions but through how you presented the store (e.g., cleaning up, tidying shelves, etc.). If you were responsible for greeting or assisting customers, then you influenced their perception of the store’s brand to an even greater degree. These hard skills are directly transferable to a career in payments and many other industries.
Depending on your position, you may be able to list out more hard skills that your retail job helped improve, like administration and sales experience.
Tips for Moving from Retail to Payments
Once you look back on all of the various tasks that you handled on a day-to-day basis as a retail worker, you’ll find several transferable skills that will suit your career in payments. The next step is finding the right payments company to work with that will appreciate your hands-on experience and put you in a position where you can continue to learn, grow, and thrive.
As you go forward to adjust your resume based on the hard and soft skills that are most applicable to the job you want, it’s important to remember that your retail experience is something you can leverage in every position you take on going forward, including your first job in the payments industry.
About National Merchants Association
National Merchants Association (NMA) is an industry-leading merchant advocacy group dedicated to reducing or eliminating the unnecessary fees associated with accepting credit card payments.
Since 2004, NMA’s payment processing solutions have been delivering tailored solutions, best-in-class customer service and high-quality service offerings for local and national businesses across multiple industries. Whether it’s high-risk or low-risk, brick-and-mortar or eCommerce, National Merchants Association will create the best processing experience for your company. For more information, visit www.nationalmerchants.com or call 866 509 7199 to get started today!