If you made a list of challenges and likes about your job in retail you’d probably find that the things that made you crazy, e.g., changing priorities, limited resources, multiple goals, would actually be on the other side of why you liked the job, e.g., never dull, always interesting, a new challenge every day, forced you to be creative, develop key skills.

I was facilitating a senior partner meeting yesterday and the idea of work-life balance came up for the group.  After some discussion I offered a slightly different perspective.  The word “balance” implies equal parts.  My experience has shown that especially in retail, people tend to enjoy their job and even when they move to another company it’s not as a plumber or saxophone player but at another retailer.  I would suggest that since the work of retailers adds value to oneself that the word “mix” might be better used to describe work-life distribution of time.

Making sure you do have time for family, community, to re-charge is an important part of the mix along with work.  Retailers complain about work but often do get as much out of it as they put in.  Do you believe in ‘balance’ or ‘mix’?  What works for you?  Tweet us @mohrretail or post a comment here.


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.