How To Get Out Of Retail Without A Degree (Steps, FAQs)

Taking up a retail job should remain a temporary choice. Most retail jobs hardly pay well enough to meet your needs, and their career opportunities are pretty low.

However, most people find it hard to quit this job and transit to another career, and if you fall into this category, then this is probably the best piece you will ever come across today. 

This article provides steps for getting out of retail without a degree and the transferrable skills commonly demonstrated in a retail job.

Steps To Get Out Of Retail Without A Degree

You can get out of a retail career even without a degree by following the steps below:

1. Establish the reason

Begin by establishing the primary reason you are getting out of a retail career.

Once you can accurately define what irritates you about your present retail job, it can enable you to pinpoint the things to consider when searching for a new job.

For instance, since retail jobs have limited job opportunities, you can prioritize finding a job that offers better career development prospects.

Doing this will also enable you to find the correct answer for prospective employers demanding to know why you are switching careers.

2. Evaluate your interests

Immediately you figure out what you hate about a retail job; you can analyze what you look forward to experiencing in a new career.

Begin by writing down what you cherished about your retail job and the leisure activities that kept you going during your free time.

However, if you observe that any of those leisure activities can serve as a career, having a go is a good idea.

3. Discover your skills

Once you discover your interests, determine the skills you have acquired throughout your career.

To achieve this, begin by writing out the tasks you performed and the skills you have that enabled you to accomplish them.

When making a career transition, you may discover that many of these skills are requirements for the jobs in your targeted career.

Knowing which retail skills are valuable in other careers can enable you to point them out in your CV or mention them during the interview.

4. Look for jobs

Immediately you have written down the type of jobs you would love to do, and the skills you currently have that can enable you to do the job well; begin to look for jobs that suit these skills.

Completing a search can assist you in discovering the available jobs in your chosen career path.

You also have to look at the requirements of the jobs and discover if you may need to acquire a degree before landing any of them.

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5. Update your CV

Ensure that your CV contains information on your latest work experiences, professional skills, core skills, accomplishments, and, if possible, your hobbies.

Also, attach information on any ongoing training you are currently engaging in. Search the internet for good CV samples to enable you to create an impressive document.

However, once you discover any job opportunity, personalize your CV to suit the position before applying.

It does not matter if your work experiences align with the job description; you can streamline them in a manner that exhibits your skills.

To personalize your CV, use keywords and phrases that you find in the job description.

This will signal to your prospective employer that you know the personal and professional traits the job requires and that your professional experience and skills suit the position.

It will also boost the rating of your application on applicant tracking systems. 

6. Reach out to your network

There are several ways to grow your network as a professional, and some of the most effective ways to achieve this are by leveraging social media, attending professional events, and joining professional groups and organizations.

When looking for a job, besides jumping from one online job board to another, you can talk to your professional networks about available job opportunities in their field.

Tell them about your professional interest, skill set, and knowledge you possess so they can find suitable job openings for you.

If you happen to share a close relationship with professionals working in your field of interest, ensure that you seek their counsel.

They are in an excellent position to tell you what duties come with each job in their industry and what employers desire from candidates.

They can also tell you about the requirements for the jobs in their industry so you can work towards the ones you don’t have. This will make your career switch to be far more seamless.

7. Be open-minded

You may have to start your desired career in an entry-level job to enable you to gain valuable experience.

However, in this case, even though the job does not pay well and does not have the prestige of the top jobs in that field, don’t look down on it, but exercise patience, keep your head down, and get to work.

No matter how low, starting from somewhere can enable you to achieve your professional goals faster.

On the other hand, if an entry-level job is a far reach for you, you can look forward to taking on internships or volunteering.

These options will also enable you to acquire relevant experience while understanding your desired career. 

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Transferrable Skills Commonly Demonstrated In Retail Jobs

Working a retail job for some time can enable you to develop valuable skills in many industries. Here are examples of such skills:

1. Adaptability

Retail jobs are meant for people that can work in an intense setting.

Adaptability, a skill you can develop while working on a retail job, can help you adjust to a new work environment while performing your responsibilities well.

Also, this skill will enable you to keep an open mind and establish a good working relationship with other employers and your supervisor.

2. Problem-solving

You have been in situations where you needed to provide an instant solution to a customer’s challenges. Overcoming such problems could have only been possible if you had problem-solving skills.

So, the problem-solving skill you developed while discharging your duties in a retail position enables you to assess different cases, understand the challenges of different individuals, and make the proper inquiries.

Most companies always look out for people who can resolve problems by themselves, no matter how complex it is or the level of tension in the air.

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3. Teamwork

When discharging your daily duties as a retail job worker, you have surely partnered with colleagues on several occasions to offer quality service to customers and enable the company to meet its sales targets.

However, this could have been only possible because you can work in a team structure, which is a skill that will be highly beneficial in any work setting.

This skill will enable you to sustain a refreshing work environment where others feel valued and loved in your new career.

4. Customer service

Empathy, patience, and oral and written communication are skills you will develop as you provide valuable customer service in your retail job.

Holding good conversations with customers enables you to discover what they want. Good customer service skills will prove valuable in any career you switch to.

They can also enable you to relate well with your new colleagues and bosses.

5. Sales

There is no way you could have survived in the retail industry if you could not sell.

The ability to make sales is a valuable skill that will enable you to settle down seamlessly in another sales-associated career or one that requires interaction. 

5. Perseverance

Working a retail job for some time will empower you to persevere.

This skill is helpful in various industries as you would develop into someone who does not give up no matter how the going gets tough.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On How To Get Out of Retail Without A degree

What are the alternative careers to retail?

Instead of retail, you can pursue a career as a real estate agent, sales engineer, insurance agent, customer care representative, administrative assistant, and sales representative.

Is any qualification needed for a retail job?

You don’t need educational credentials to get a retail job, even though some employers can demand a high school diploma.

Is retail a promising career?

Yes, retail is still a promising career despite its drawbacks. It is an excellent career choice for anyone that loves being around people and possesses good interpersonal skills.

Is retail a stressful job?

Yes, retail is a stressful job requiring long work hours, low wages, and the challenge of attending to many people simultaneously.


Getting a job in retail is still something you should only consider doing as a stop-gap measure. Retail jobs typically don’t provide sustainable pay, and the prospects for advancement are minimal.

If you’re like most people that find it difficult to quit this job and transition to another career, I am sure this post has answered all your inquiries.

With the skill set you acquired in a retail job, customer service representative, real estate agent, and sales engineer are some of the jobs you should target, even if you don’t have a degree.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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