I currently work in retail and I had another job in retail prior to it. I've learned so much from these experiences and I think everyone should go through working in the service industry. I can only speak from the retail perspective but I'm sure people who have worked in any other kind of service industry will be able to relate in some ways!
Here is why everyone should work in retail at least once in their lives:
You Meets All Kinds of People
Whether it be your co-workers or the customers you meet all kinds of people! I've met customers from all over the world which is pretty cool if you ask me. Sometimes you find people traveling to the United States to shop because our clothing can be cheaper than in their country. Also, in retail you may work with people your age, older than you, younger than you, it all depends but at the end of the day you all learn from each other and tend to have a great time.
You Get Those Good Customers...
You don't always get bad customers! Some can be very patient and understanding when the register is giving you problems or when you don't know the answer to their question and have to ask someone else for help. Some will even mention that they've worked in retail so they can relate!
Then You Get Some Bad Customers!
I'd be surprised if anyone in retail can say that they haven't had a bad customer before. It's something that is bound to happen but in a situation like that, you shouldn't take it personal. Perhaps the customer had a bad day and you happen to be the one they are taking it out on. I feel like when that happens, you usually have a good customer later on that makes up for it. Retail definitely toughens you up and prepares you to work with all types of customers.
Who doesn't love a discount?! Don't overdo it though. You don't want to spend all your checks at your store haha. That would be tragic. It's always nice to treat yourself once in a while. You deserve it.
You Get Hands-on Experience Working in A Busy, Fast Paced Environment
Does Black Friday or the holiday shopping season ring a bell? Yes, it's a very busy environment for us retail workers to work in! Somehow we make it through. You learn how to multitask and prioritize in order to keep customers satisfied and work efficiently. These are things you can definitely apply to your future jobs.
You Become a Better Customer
When you're shopping at other stores, you suddenly feel bad if you put something in the wrong section or if you don't fold something back correctly. You find yourself being more patient with the workers because you can imagine how they feel. You get it because you've been there.