Are you tired of watching your super awesome barista and cashier friends take all the cool points? Do you also want to meet interesting people, make money, and gain hipster street cred?
Then look no further! The cashier position is probably for you. And you don’t have to be a hipster to do it.
I met with cashier extraordinaire Hannah Milos to get the scoop on what it takes to do the job, and why anyone in their right mind would want to stand behind a register all day!
Hannah knows more about being a cashier than almost anyone. She has honed her craft over the last two years at various local businesses in Berkeley, CA.
She says there are a few reasons why being a cashier is awesome:
1. Gain confidence
“When I first moved here, I was really shy and awkward. Being forced to talk to people has helped me grow a lot as a person. Three years ago, I would not have been able to handle sitting here and doing this interview; the social interaction would have been too much. Now, I can give presentations comfortably — I have the confidence to see myself in a leadership position.”
2. Meet great people
Hannah admits she’s had previous cashier positions where the environment felt toxic or too monotonous. "It really depends on the people," she says. “The connections you make with the people you work with and the regular customers are very enjoyable. It makes me feel like I’m a part of the community...which I never felt back home.”
3. Not too stressful
"The job keeps you on your toes too," she says. “It’s different every single day which keeps things interesting. It’s less demanding and stressful than some other jobs and you get to do all sorts of tasks.” A cashier's amount of tasks depends on where you work, however. Some cashier positions can be more limiting than others. “I worked in a position where all I would do was bag things at the end of an aisle...That wasn’t fun.”
4. You get what you put in
Hannah found out about her current position through an online job posting. She says she was too shy to go in person and ask about businesses' help wanted signs. Once she started her job, her supervisors were impressed by her work. She began training to be a floor manager soon after.
“It’s cliche, but when you try hard at something, you usually get what you put in,” she says. The more effort you put into your position, the higher the payoff, even in entry-level positions.
5. Earn tips
How much a cashier makes fluctuates by industry. A grocery store cashier may not earn the same as a retail cashier, a hotel cashier, and so forth. An entry-level cashier position tends to earn the minimum wage, plus tips—but the tips vary. “Sometimes it adds a dollar per hour, sometimes less, sometimes more.” It depends on the generosity of your customers and the way your employer splits tips.
6. Learn humility
Hannah says the cashier job can often be the “lowest rung” in a workplace; you will have to do whatever is asked of you. If you don't have a lot of humility when you start, you'll have to learn it on the job.
7. Time to figure out your life
While some people choose cashier jobs as a career, for Hannah, it’s an intermediary step into the next phase of her life. “This is a good job for people who need some time to figure out their lives while making some money. That’s what I did, and I really found myself over the past two years.”
Hannah has now been promoted to floor manager and is studying Forestry and Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. “I want to do something related to the National Park Service. I could become a professional forester after I graduate. ”
Until then, Hannah plans to continue engaging her community and learning healthy team dynamics through her local job.