Enjoying The Journey · Faith

9 Things I Learned From Working In Retail

9 Things I Learned From Working in Retail

The last twelve months of my life have been spent working in a high-end home furnishings retail job. My job wasn’t high-end (I ran the customer service desk) but the clientele and merchandise was high-end. It wasn’t my favorite job of all time, but I did meet some nice people and of course I enjoyed the environment of home decor! That job has come to an end – the store is closing and God miraculously provided a new job for me.

I thought it might be interesting to read through the posts I’d written as a result of experiences I’d had and lessons I’d learned at work over the past year. As I began to scroll back through my blog archives, I found myself overwhelmed with the things God taught me. I knew I’d written a couple posts, but I didn’t remember there being nine of them! As I said, it wasn’t my favorite job ever, and I went through a few unpleasant days (as with any job). The last couple days were by far the most unpleasant. I certainly needed to be reminded of the precious ways God was at work over the last year. 

When I began my look back, I didn’t intend for it to result in another post. This might not be what you expected when you clicked on the title – but here it is!

9 Things I Learned From A Year Of Working In Retail

  1. He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.
  2. The ultimate benefit of kindness is that it helps me look more like Jesus and less like Whitney. (Also, giving women a genuine compliment can totally make their day!)
  3. God uses hard situations as faith builders in my life – so that every day I can realize that He alone is all that I need.
  4. People of all walks of life generally handle one thing the same way – not getting what they want. I need to be aware of how I respond when I don’t get my way.
  5. I get to decide what fills my thoughts each day.
  6. Deceit should not have a place in my marriage.
  7. People are mean. That’s why my home should be a place where my family is safe from the criticism, bullying, comparison and general meanness that is so common in the rest of the world.
  8. I don’t have to let my situation – whatever it is – take away the joy I find in doing what God has called me to do!
  9. I teach people how to treat my husband.

In high school, my church went through a Bible study called Experiencing God. It had a profound impact on the way that I approach my relationship with God – the basis of the study is simply that God is at work all around us, and He invites us to join Him in that work. I’ve made it a point of my life to look for God in every situation. Without His presence in my life, I have no hope or joy, so joining Him in His work is a great thing!  I’m so glad I documented the things God taught me over the past year.

If you’re going through a season of unpleasant circumstances, be alert to the areas where God is at work. There you will find hope and joy, no matter the circumstances!

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31 thoughts on “9 Things I Learned From Working In Retail

  1. Good reminders for all of us Whitney. I am so glad you were able to get a new job and I hope it is one you will enjoy. ( Well as much as you can enjoy any job!lol) I loved nursing but I often felt frustrated because I could not do it the way I was taught because of time restraints and poor staffing. No job is perfect but our attitudes do determine our satisfaction. One of my friends from nursing school remarked that 40 years ago we learned how to give comfort care each evening before the patient went to bed. We would bring a warm cloth to wash face and hands. We would rub their back with some lotion or alcohol and tuck them in! Oh my goodness…what poor nurse has time for that now? Well I did not mean to write an epistle but your post just made me stop and think about when I was a nurse. Now I am a homemaker and that job is no picnic either on some days. God Bless you in your new job! I know you will have an impact on the people you meet.

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  2. Whitney, I remember reading a few of these posts. How special to be able to look back and see everything that God has done for you in these different situations. Whenever I am having an unpleasant day, I offer up a prayer to God, and it always helps. He is always there! Best wishes to you in your new job! 🙂

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  3. These are all such great tips! #7 can really be true, especially when everyone gets tired and is rushing around trying to get things done for the holidays! The home should def. be a place to unwind and relax each day.

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  4. This is great advice! I think one of the most important things to remember is that God never gives us anything that we cannot handle, and he is always here to help us through challenging situations. Working in retail can be tough, and I think it’s wonderful that you found a way to focus on the positives. 🙂

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  5. Great learning points! I always try to remind myself my example and sharing kindness and being positive is sometimes more a witness to God than anything else I can do. It has helped me step back and not lash out when my human side would prefer to say something that wouldn’t reflect my witness.

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  6. Great post and reminder to look back and see how God has worked in your life in the past to remind us he is always at work around us. We’ve done experiencing God at my church a couple times – great study!

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  7. You’re right, I wasn’t expecting this kind of list when I read the title. Isn’t that one of the great things about blogging, you can look back and see how God was at work in your life! There were some rough times during the early years of my marriage, and when I look back now, I can see how God was at work in my heart through the difficult situations.

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  8. Wow! It’s amazing to see how much God taught you through this job that wasn’t your favorite. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes we’ve got to do things we don’t love in order to grow and learn. I’m glad you took the time to look back and see the lessons in this job. I think everyone would benefit from recalling the tough times in their lives and see what God taught them in the midst of those hard moments. Can’t wait to hear about your new position 🙂

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  9. It is so encouraging to see God at work in our lives! I love that you were able to go back through old blog posts and clearly see how He’s brought about growth in you through the difficulties you faced while working that job. It’s so amazing how He truly works all things together for our good and ultimately His glory!! Rejoicing with you in His provision of this new job and will be praying for you as you begin! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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