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With an abundance of opportunity in retail and fabulous career prospects why do so many fashionista’s bypass exploring a career in fashion retail? Many, many industry successfuls have started their careers in fashion retail. So let me convince you that a career in retail is one well worth considering…

So what is it with retail… some people are just made for it and others just don’t get it… but what do you really need to make it in retail and get to the career level you have dreamed about…

Everyone who is anyone is fashion will tell you that there is just one way to make it, hard work and perseverance. Put in the hard yards and you will get your break, but the question is, will fashion break you before you make it?

So many fashion hopefuls totally bypass the idea of starting their career in retail. It is the perception for some that once you start on the retail shop floor you are trapped for life, or is it the idea of saying ‘that’s so you’ all day long that gives retail a connotation of brain depleting work… for those who might be thinking this – you are mistaken.

I speak from experience… I started my career in fashion retail working for Country Road. I was studying at the time so I admit I was not full time but retail unexpectedly gave me more training than I expected. Many companies offer their staff excellent training, motivational speakers, talks by sales guru’s and product training that I still refer to today. At 18 I didn’t know the difference between a set in sleeve and raglan nor did I know that a cap sleeve was different again, I had never been given a budget to motivate me nor was I experienced in making the register balance at the end of the day. These were all things I was fortunate to learn and whilst I observed, learned and enjoyed the product discounts I could see that retail does offer lot’s or career progression in many different ways… and uniquely often faster than other fashion disciplines.

So you start off in Sales, progress to Assistant Manager and then Manager. If you show creative inclinations and (perhaps) do a visual merchandising course you could find your next step in working with the visual team.

If you are more inclined towards the ‘business’ aspects of fashion you could find a Cluster Manager (managing 2-3 stores) then moving into Area Management, State and National Management will see you leading a large team, responsible for critical business performance outcomes and earning great dollars. The fabulous thing about a career in retail is that you can compound your knowledge and experience as you move through the ranks. This not only makes it interesting but rewarding too.


Just a word of warning! (Especially for you who want it and need it now…) it all takes time. Learn the ropes, enjoy the adventure and your time will come to reach your full potential within a retail environment.

We offer an abundance of great roles in retail fashion… click here to explore them now…

Natasha Zurnamer, Founder + Director, Ragtradejobs.com

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