Accomplishing goals (no matter how small) is the secret to happiness.

Scientific research has suggested that happier people set themselves both long term and short term goals. The continued completion of short term goals keeps the individual sated with a steady supply of dopamine, whilst the long term goals can be worked on over a longer period of time for a bigger accomplishment payoff. 

retail-workerIt’s been proven that dissatisfaction in the work place is commonly strongly associated with a lack of goal setting. Low to minimum wage employees are most at risk of suffering from occupational ennui, as a result from performing repetitive actions and having little promotion opportunities.

Imagine working in a retail job, where the same task was asked of your 5 days a week, for 40 hours. Where you never see your Manager and are never given any feedback for the work that you perform. This is the reality for the nearly 3 million British people who work in the Retail Industry, the largest private sector employer.

Is there a way to live a positive life, if you’re stuck in an undesirable retail job?

Of course there is! As with most things, it’s all a matter of perspective. Working in the retail industry can be a tough, thankless experience. The hours can often be awkward, bordering on impossible – the pay is low and the career ladder can feel more like a slippery slope to an early death through drinking. So what can you do to keep yourself motivated and feeling good, whilst your stuck in the unfortunate position of serving customers for a living?

Get Up Early


Getting an early start to the day is clinically proven to increase mood and happiness. Instead of waking up half an hour before you need to leave the house for your afternoon shift – wake up early. You might not be able to always get an early night, due to your difficult hours, but you can get yourself up early if you really want to. Rising at 7am every day gives you a whole day to function, regardless of the hours you’re working. This gives you time to prepare good food to power you through, as well as a few extra hours to pursue goals outside of work…

Keep Looking Elsewhere


Although it’s not healthy to find your life constantly dissatisfying, if you’re not in a good position professionally – you should be working as hard as you can outside of work hours to change that. This can be as little as researching job positions during your lunch break or as big as contacting companies in your favoured industry and offering your part-time services free of charge. You have over 100 hours of free time at your disposal in your average week (where you sleep and work for 8 hours a piece, a day), don’t waste them bingeing on Netflix and drinking booze!



One of the most difficult things to organise whilst working a shift-job is socialising. If you have friends who work 9-5 jobs, you’ll find it impossible to drag them out of the house for a midweek session. Similarly, your fellow retail working comrades will each have their own conflicting schedules making organising even the most casual of get togethers an absolute nightmare. Still, you must persist! Plan ahead and utilise group chats to rally the troops. Don’t panic about missing friends out on social occasions, you’ll get a chance to see them soon enough – the most important thing is that you take time out to have fun.

Stay Clean


Just because you’re feeling down in the dumps and your work’s keeping you busy, doesn’t mean you can let your life go to pot. Brutal hours may well throw you into a state of confusion with no set schedule, but there’s no excuse to let your standards slip. Regardless of how small your apartment might be, it’s always going to feel smaller when it’s covered in trash. By keeping your living spaces clean and tidy you can relax in your home, when you have the opportunity, and get some better rest. This goes the same for your kitchen as well – don’t fall into squalor. If your floor’s filthy – mop it. If you’re oven’s caked in grime, call OvenU and get them to clean it!

Get A Hobby


Drinking doesn’t count, regardless of how passionate you might be about craft beer. Dating doesn’t count, engaging in the hollow pursuit of physical contact will not make you feel good about yourself. Lastly, watching Netflix definitely doesn’t count as a hobby. It doesn’t matter how many people have told you to watch Stranger Things or how tired you are – television is a passive activity that has no hand in your personal development. As tired as you might be, you need to continue to pursue a skill, hobby or education in your spare time, in order to progress and develop as a person.

Working a retail job can be the hardest, most depressing, occupation for anyone. Don’t let the hours get the better of you. Wake up, plan ahead and never stop growing.