One longtime retail employee caught the attention of thousands after revealing the main reason she can’t leave the job she’s worked at since college.
In a viral video posted November 4, TikTok user @spillame lamented over a vicious cycle commonly associated with retail work, and argued that her experience dealing with customers should serve as qualification for employment elsewhere.
“When [your] ‘temporary’ part time retail job through college has transitioned into a full time retail job,” @spillame wrote, in a text overlaying a video of herself.
“And every job you apply to denies you because you have no experience in anything other than retail,” she added.
Captioned, “Working in customer service should be enough to tell you I am a STRONG candidate for the stuff we deal with!” the viral TikTok has amassed more than 7,400 likes and has been viewed more than 95,000 times.
With the holiday season approaching quickly, the rush to find seasonal retail employees is on.
And according to recent projections by the National Retail Federation, U.S. retailers are expected to take on between 450,000 and 600,000 extra employees in the coming weeks.
However, while retailers scramble to meet holiday demands, those who have spent an extended period of time stocking shelves and working with customers are struggling to get out.
Résumés filled with retail experience are enticing for retail employers, but the same cannot be said for all employers. As a result, employees looking to make the leap outside of retail are often held back, stuck in the cycle same described by @spillame.
Indeed, a leading worldwide employment website, recommends that employees facing similar circumstances tailor their résumés to draw attention to qualities valued throughout the work landscape.
“Candidates with only retail experience [should] highlight transferable skills they’ve developed such as…customer service, organization, communication, problem-solving and teamwork,” a spokesperson for Indeed told Newsweek. “Communication is a skill that enables you to work well with customers and colleagues in a retail, or another work setting.
“Instead of just listing duties, job seekers should try to use numbers to explain measurable results they achieved at each position,” the spokesperson added.
Despite the presence of similar advice across the internet, many commenters responding to the viral TikTok expressed empathy for @spillame, using their own work experience to relate to the plight of longtime retail employees.
“In my field of study it’s frowned upon to list retail/service jobs on your resume,” TikTok user @anvf646464646 commented. “I am STRUGGLING [because] I have no experience and can’t get any.”
“Tell me about it,” @sarahstone617 agreed. “I can’t leave my job!”
“That happened to [me],” @dianarosel98 chimed in. “Took forever to get out but [I] finally did.”
In a series of separate comments, multiple TikTok users acknowledged similar conditions for employees in other industries.
“Literally me except for in the restaurant industry,” @domdrayer94 wrote. “It’s like I’m stuck.”
“I got put into a receptionist position and now I can’t get hired for anything,” @raeri995 echoed.
“I’m gonna be looking for jobs with a [STEM] degree when my only job experience are all in the arts and working with children,” @pippin.n commented. “How is a dance teacher, summer school teacher, florist supposed to find a job in BIOLOGY[?]”
Newsweek reached out to @spillame for comment.
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