Vocational Training Helps You Excel Today While Preparing for the Future
Retail offers rapid advancement opportunities for people willing to make a professional development commitment. A part-time, entry-level retail associate job can be the first step on a rewarding career path that leads to department leadership roles, division management duties, and eventually executive oversight.
Shaping your professional journey is something totally within your control when you leverage the power of self-guided coursework to advance your retail management career.
With career development coursework, you gain the skills and knowledge needed to step into a management role with confidence. The time to start preparing for your next retail position starts with being an excellent employee — growing where you are planted now. Here's why:
An exceptional floor associate gets noticed by department managers and customers. Customer service reps who approach service with passion garner praise from peers and superiors. And, mid-level managers who are always prepared for the quarterly meetings show they respect and value relationships with those above and below them in the chain of command.
Develop Outstanding Communication Techniques With Online Coursework
Communication affects every touch-point in the retail customer journey. Floor associates help customers find what they need, even when they aren't sure what they are looking for. And, customer-facing associates need to be able to share customer feedback with supervisors about customer accolades and complaints effectively.
Basic communication skills include both written and spoken conversations. No matter what product or service a company offers, it is essential to be able to read and write effectively.
Entry-level associates assist customers by reading, and sometimes interpreting, catalog descriptions and labels to help customers learn more about how to use products. Working the floor also requires a willingness to guide customers without coming across as condescending or arrogant.
For example, pointing out a garment is dry-clean only could help a client avoid giving a gift that the recipient never enjoys because he or she prefers wash-and-wear clothing. One key to delivering brand-building relationships is recognizing body language and applying active listening skills so you know how to guide a customer toward better buying decisions. Communication classes help you learn these skills.
Online communication courses teach verbal techniques, as well as basic letter-writing skills for digital and print conversations.
People preparing for an annual review, and hopefully a promotion, may benefit from taking an online communication course designed to improve techniques and computer skills. Adding Word certifications to your resume demonstrates you recognize the value of communicating effectively, and you are willing to invest your own time and money gaining new skills to become an expert.
Fine-Tune Office Skills With Self-Guided Courses
Everyone who successfully moved up the retail career ladder can agree efficient, effective communication lays a solid foundation. They also understand knowing how a business works, and how to track progression is essential for growth and prosperity.
Here are a few ways to prepare yourself for your next performance review with online courses.
- Consider getting QuickBooks certifications. You'll learn valuable techniques for handling money coming in (receipts) and money going out (expenses). Plus, the course teaches you how to track spending, so you know how much your department invests in payroll, supplies, overhead, and marketing.
- Update spreadsheet skills with an Excel module. This allows you to learn basic spreadsheet design, converting data into easy to read charts and graphs, and writing formulas for everything from managing inventory to identifying which products deliver the highest profit.
- Learning about business processes. Classes teach you how to set up and run a business, so you will be able to confidently pitch the idea of reorganizing a department or division during your annual review.
When you need advanced education to qualify for a promotion, online programs offer flexibility that traditional campuses can't. Twenty-four-hour access to training, testing and support allows students to fine-tune their current skills, or learn new ones without taking precious time away from job duties or family.