You have a long shift at work today and like usual, you’re not excited. It’s a great opportunity for you to make some cash but the labor in itself isn’t the ideal way of how you would want to spend your evening.
Having a job is a blessing and many people would love to have the job you have right now whether you like it or not. Whether you work in a book store or in a corporate office, there is someone in the world who wishes they were in your position.
Even if you’ve accepted the fact that you are blessed to have a job, that doesn't take away from the fact that there are slow days at work. These slow days can be dreadful, you even start to consider looking for another job because it’s so slow at your current one.
Having a slow day at work can be one of the hardest experiences to go through mentally because you're walking or sitting down doing absolutely nothing. There’s nothing that needs your immediate attention and you have no customers going into the store.
If you currently work in retail then I know your pain and you’re not alone. Having a slow day at work isn't only having a negative impact on you but also on your coworkers as well. You can feel the lack of energy that is going on in the store and you can’t really do anything about it.
What’s also fascinating about this whole situation too is that you didn't see a day like this coming. You probably expected a normal day where your shift would eventually go by and you would be back home in your bed.
Do you remember all of those times when you complained about your job being too busy? Well, you finally got what you wanted with a slow day at work and you’re even more miserable than before.
Stop letting yourself look at having a slow day as a negative. Work on having better days at work so that the time can go by faster and so you can feel like you’re being productive.
Slow days are inevitable and they will keep happening from time to time when you do have a job and no matter where you work it will happen.
Give Yourself a Project to Do
When really looking at the place you work at, there’s always something to do whether the store is busy or slow. When the store is busy, it always seems like there’s something to do but it’s the opposite when it’s slow. Take a good look at where you’re working at closely.
What can you do in the store to make the presentation look better? Presentation and organization are key aspects of any store that has a high sales record. Pick a section of the store where you think needs improvement.
Even if that section was already organized to the best of that employee's ability, you may have a different vision. When you get more familiar with the job you have, you will see that there is a part of the store that looks nice but there are a lot of things in that section that doesn’t belong there.
At first, you’re not going to want to do it but when you’re actually engaged in that project you set for yourself, you’re not going to want to stop and the time of your shift will start going by faster.
You need to have the ability to set up projects like this on your own because your manager or whoever is over you is not going to always tell you what needs to be done.
When a manager sees that you took initiative and started doing something on your own that will help the store, they will start to have more respect for you. If you’re focused enough on the section then you won’t even realize when your manager walks by.
There’s a difference between working hard and working smart, do your best to work smart when working on these projects because you don’t want to create a lot of unneeded work for yourself later on in the shift. Don’t you want time to go by faster?
Interact With Customers
This is probably my favorite way of making time go by faster while at work. If you’re someone who’s been wanting to improve your people skills then this is a great technique to practice while at work.
If you have nothing left to do during your shift then you can start asking the customers in your store how they’re doing. See if they need help with anything whether if it’s with picking the right product for their needs or if they just want to have a conversation with you.
You would be surprised by the number of people who just want to have a conversation with you when out in public. If you approach that customer with good intentions and with actual care of helping them, they will be able to sense that and they will ask you tons of questions.
Do your best to help the customer and try to build a professional relationship with them. This is how you get customers to come back to the store and keep your business running. People are always willing to buy from a place where they feel welcomed and appreciated during their shopping.
Not every customer is going to want to have a conversation with you and that’s okay, it’s just part of life and it’s a good learning lesson for you to take outside of work as well.
You don’t ever want to force a conversation or a personal relationship with a customer because this can make the customer not feel welcomed or even a little annoyed.
When a customer feels this way, they’re not going to want to return to the store and they may even write a bad review about the company. This is stuff you need to think about when trying to make time go by faster while you’re at work.
Don’t try to waste time at work at the expense of getting a customer complaint. Lastly, if your store sells memberships, try to sell some memberships while you have time. Treat this almost as a game and see how many sales you can get while also keeping the emotions of the customer in mind too.
Help Your Co-workers
Helping your co-workers should be something you’re doing at work regardless of the day but let’s be honest, we all have our favorite co-workers. Having a good relationship with your co-workers is important because you never know when you’re going to need their help and you don’t want them to give you negative energy when you come into work.
Always offer your help to a co-worker when seeing them, or if you really see them struggling, help them without offering, just do it. You want to be able to talk to your co-workers when around them, the more you guys talk and strategize how you’ll work during your shifts, the faster the time will go by because you both have a plan.
If you see a co-worker bored, don’t be afraid to ask them to do something for you because they probably wanted something to do anyways. If you have co-workers that are more experienced than you at the place you’re working then ask them for advice on how to do certain things and how to move up in the company.
Your shift doesn’t have to go by slow, there are so many things to do when you’re there. Look at a slow day as an opportunity to improve your people skills. I’ll leave you with a quote from Janet Dailey that says
“Someday is not a day of the week.”