Why I Quit Retail & Why it was the Best Thing I've Ever Done for my Well Being
Before I get into anything here, this is just a personal experience that is rooted from the environment that I was in. I don't want anyone to think that I'm totally against working retail and that this is the ONLY way it is, but just hear me out and take away the best that you can from this.
If you used to read my blog, you know that it started out as a fashion blog. My main focus was personal style and trends. I was passionate about that stuff for a bit and wanted to go to school for it. So, back in 2015 I got a job at Nordstrom and was ecstatic about it. What an amazing first step into the fashion industry, right? I got to meet people who were passionate about the same thing as I was, work with managers that encouraged my goal to make it in the fashion world, etc, etc.
After about 10 months of working there I became miserable and burned out. This was mainly because of a relationship with a manager that was consistently stressing me out and making me hate the job. Plus, actually being in that world made me realize that getting into fashion is the furthest thing from ideal for me. I also was finishing up high school, taking my last quarter of running start classes, and was overly ready for a materialistic cleanse.
So, that's what I did. I stopped working at Nordstrom, finished the school year strong, got a job at a coffee shop, stopped wearing makeup, stopped doing my hair, stopped worrying about what I was wearing, and just relaxed.
Fast forward to about 3 months ago...
I was planning a move to Seattle but was in desperate need of a job. Right when I started to doubt everything, I got a call about a job offer from Nordstrom and took it. It felt right, and it happened at the perfect time, so why would I say no? It seemed like the universe wanted me there.
The first week went well. I was staying optimistic, I sold a lot of product, started making friends with my coworkers, and didn't mind the hours- since I was just there to make money anyway.
By the second week I started to get drained, my attitude began to go down, and my motivation to sell was lacking. All within one week I started feeling this way.
I have been doing a lot of self-help work for the past 8(ish) months and hadn't felt miserable in a while. In fact, I was peaking and in a very good place before I started this job. However, I tried to just make it through a little longer and see how I felt. It's a high stress job, so I figured I might've just been trying to adjust to that, coming from a laid back/low maintenance job.
As a couple weeks went on, I only started to feel worse. I did not want to sell, I didn't want to go to work, I didn't want to get ready for work, and I was consistently drained.
I remember I had an extremely rough day that made me realize I had to get out of the environment as soon as I could. It was on one single day that it all hit me- I was able to realize why it was such an unhealthy place for me.
First of all, I'm an environmentalist. Despite all of Nordstrom's acts of making conscious and positive efforts for the environment, it still made me feel off to work for a huge company which sold certain brands that doesn't follow the same idealistic environmental habits as Nordstrom itself. I was also selling one of the brands that I no longer purchase from or support because of this reason.
Second of all, it made me feel absolutely terrible convincing people to spend money on things that they do not need. Yes, you need to buy new jeans every once in a while, or a few new t-shirts, or maybe a necklace because looking trendy is fun. However, when you're in a position where you are pressuring people to buy things they didn't go in there to buy, that they really don't need, are way overpriced, and just for my own benefit of reaching a sales goal, it isn't satisfying... I found it to be degrading for me. It even got to a point where a woman wasn't sure if she should buy a shirt (she was buying a lot of other things for her and her daughter) because she wasn't in love with it, so I told her not to buy it because she didn't love it and didn't need it. That completely defeated the purpose of my job (kind of funny, kind of sad.)
Third of all, I was constantly surrounded by the negative energy of my coworkers and customers. I hadn't been around people who talk down about themselves or other people in so long that this took a very large toll on my mental and emotional health. I would be helping a customer who was not at all comfortable in their own skin and would pick at parts of their body that they found to be ugly or that they just "didn't like" on a regular basis. It made me really sad, to say the least. I heard people compare themselves to each other based on bodies, skin, hair, face, whatever. I had worked very hard to get out of a negative mindset on how I look, and I am comfortable in my own skin (working on it, still, but comfortable.) This wasn't something I wanted to fall back into, but I started to feel it happen.
I was working in a place that, in a way, went against a lot of my morals and beliefs. I wasn't happy, I wasn't gaining anything from it, and I became depressed in the short amount of time that I worked there.
I used to say that I'm just an inconsistent person, because whenever I start to feel unhappy in a job, I quit and find something else. I would put a negative light on constant change in my life because nothing ever stays the same, especially when I feel unsatisfied. However, a huge realization I had was that I just believe and hope that there is better out there for me. Why would I stay in a place that wasn't good for my emotional and mental well being? What's appealing about wasting such precious time like that? If you could give me a really good answer to that, I still wouldn't stay.
To me, it isn't worth putting stress and depression upon myself to make money.
Each day that I was there a voice in my head and my heart kept saying "get out." I immediately started looking for a new job after I had my really bad day. So, I found a new job and am a million times happier where I am now. Now that I've been away from that negative energy for a while and I'm back to normal, I'm able to focus on my career goals and I realized what I really want out of life (a big deal, I've been pretty conflicted.)
I think that if you're in any environment, or surrounded by anyone who makes you feel less than whole, then wanting a change is completely necessary and nothing you should be ashamed of. It's important to be intuitive and know how certain things are affecting you. It's a day by day process of change and becoming a better person for yourself. Action is a huge factor when it comes to living a fulfilling life.
For me it was my job, for others it might be a friend, or school. Whatever it is, try your best to find happiness and walk away from anything keeping you from that. It's not immature, it's not unethical, and it's not about anybody other than you. It is worth it to make the best decision for yourself.