For Retail Employees: How To Appreciate Your New Job During COVID-19

There are 25 million Americans unemployed to this day. On the other hand, 12 million Americans are set to lose unemployment on late December 2020. There are tough days for folks ahead of time.

For those who just secured a new job during COVID-19, many prefer working full-time rather than part-time because they want to make a decent amount of income to pay off their bills, rent, mortgage, etc.

If you are a new hire for retail employers like CVS, Duane Reade, Starbucks, TJ Maxx, Wholefoods or Target, you may be wondering why you are only getting part-time hours (20 hours per week) when you thought that it would be a full-time schedule (because you applied for a Full-Time position), and at a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

Instead of being disappointed that you are only a part-time employee or thinking about quitting to look for another full-time job, you want to take this moment to appreciate the job that you have because many individuals are laid off with no jobs, individuals are being ghosted by recruiters after 10 interviews and there are individuals that are on the verge of homelessness, while they are still struggling to find jobs.

First, unfortunately Sales Associates and Team Members always start off as part-time employees (especially if it isn’t during the holiday season) with the opportunity for periodic full-time hours or promotion to full-time employees based on performance. On top of that, you must understand that during this unprecedented time — many employee hours and pay are being cut as well.

In the first month, sometimes new hires work less than 20 hours because supervisors are still trying to place them into the existing schedule.

Image via CB4 Spotlight

Second, Black Friday and Christmas is right around the corner which means that the holidays are upon us. Therefore, it is suspected that most staff will be getting more hours over the coming weeks so long as business picks up for the retailer.

Lastly, it is recommended that you should bring this goal up with your Team Lead, Department Supervisor or the Captain/Store Manager. You could start by stating that you are enjoying the work, happy to be part of the team, and interested in additional responsibilities. You can then follow up with questions such as:

  • “Can I cover or pick up additional shifts?”
    • Picking up shifts from co-workers requires and allows you to develop relationships at work.
  • “I noticed that X can be solved with Y, can I take on that project with additional hours?”
    • Asking supervisors at the end of a shift if they need support tomorrow or the next day shows that you are taking ownership and asking them to give you the opportunity to make smart decisions on your own instead of relying on them.
  • “I noticed that X shift is one that is difficult to schedule, can I step up and add that to my workload?”
    • Providing your phone number to a scheduling supervisor, letting them know that you are available to pick up shifts will tell them that you have an open schedule.

It is all about open communication and relationship building. Increased trust and dependability leads to more hours.

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