I just started my first retail job and I don't like it. Even before going to the orientation, I was very hesitant. I am studying to be in the fashion industry and although this job is in retail, it is not fashion related. I've been finding better opportunities that I would like to persue but I don't know if I should quit. I've been there for less than a week but I don't like it. I don't want to look like a job hopper and that's my main concern. Since it is my first job and I'm still a teenager, will this affect me in my career? Should I put it on my resume was applying for other jobs and internships?

The job does sell shirts but that's the only thing fashion related. Also, they do some sketchy business practices towards customers that I'm not a huge fan of. Also, I don't want to sound shallow but I hate the uniform. For example, you have to tie your hair up if it's long and can only wear blue boot cut jeans, which I absolutely hate. I want to be able to express my personal style and not feel stifled by the rules. I completely understand that companies do have dress codes but I don't want to deal with that in my teenage years. I only accepted the job because it was the first place to call me back and I got caught up in the excitement. I know I shouldn't have don't that but I have another interview lined up this week with a high street retailer that I'm going to attend. Also, as for resumes and job applications, do I just not share this information about working there for a week. Since I gave them my SSN and it can be found out about in a background check, is it illegal to withhold that information?

  • 8
    Welcome to the Workplace. We will not tell you whether you should quit or stay. That's something you'll have to decide for yourself. I will say, though, that leaving this job might have more of a short-term impact than a long-term career impact. You should know that most jobs for teenagers are not glamorous, and involve hours of monotony doing things others don't want to do. Also, is there anything at all you might be able to learn about the fashion industry at this job?
    – Kent A.
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 1:32
  • 2
    Many if not most places have a dress code, and a uniform is often a part of retail. It sounds like you are not really suited to retail if you can't stand some very common practices. Express your individuality after hours.
    – Jane S
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 5:52
  • Doesn't your contract have a probation period in which the contract can be terminated by either party immediately and without stating a reason?
    – Philipp
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 11:05
  • You're not meant to like jobs. That's why you get paid money for doing them. Commented May 24, 2016 at 14:20
  • @TheMathemagician : What a horrible outlook.
    – TOOGAM
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 5:32

5 Answers 5


You're a teenager. It's your first job. No one is going to care. This kind of thing happens all the time in retail. Just let your employer know the job isn't for you and leave it at that.


If you want to include this in your job history, don't quit. It's sometimes amazing what people can get used to. Job-hopping is one thing, but quitting after a week is hard to explain. If you do quit, it's best to leave it off of your resume.

The kind of jobs you are going to get as a teenager, to be honest, are unlikely to be very interesting. There's an element of paying your dues, working through the boring and tedious tasks to know what they are like. It gives you the kind of experience you can only get by actually doing work.

Plus it's much easier to get a job when you already have a job. If you quit, you have no leverage in looking for another opportunity. Keep at it, and keep looking for other opportunities -- you'll know when the right time is to move on.

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    quitting after a week is hard to explain. No it's not. You sometimes make a poor decision when accepting a job offer and a company sometimes makes a poor decision by giving you a job offer. Sometimes we're wrong. Which is why there's such a thing like a probationary period. However I agree that you should leave it off your resume, so +1 :) Commented May 31, 2015 at 7:09
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    Quitting one job after a week isn't hard to explain. If a pattern starts to appear, however...
    – Rob Moir
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 8:23
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    What I have seen: Shortest time from start to getting fired = 20 minutes. Shortest time from start to calling the previous company if they could have their job back = 10 minutes (and the company fixed things with HR as if he had never left). If you realise you made a mistake, quitting within a week is better than quitting within two weeks.
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 16:13
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    @gnasher729 But quitting only once you have a better job lined up is even better. Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 1:23
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    @RaduMurzea I guess I should have said hard to explain away -- a very short time at a job can leave a negative impression on someone, even if there's a good reason.
    – mcknz
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 16:34

You may find that working this first job will provide you with some great experience in business and sales. I imaging that at some point in your fashion training/studies you'll be presented with some direct focus on how fashion and retail are relative. Often a first job isn't going to be where you'll be working 1-3 years from now, especially being a teenager and not having as much financial responsibility for yourself and/or a family as you may in your future. As others have mentioned it is wise to look for a job while you still have one, unless you absolutely do not need the income. If that's the case then just continue to look until your dream job is found. During interviews, it's not always about you selling yourself to the employer, the employer often is selling their company to you. Do some research and visit the company a few times to see what the dress code is and decide if that is something you can live with. I think it's more disrespectful to continue to stay at this job you hate because your employer isn't getting the person they wanted. You'd do them a bigger favor by politely quitting soon and allowing them to recontact one of the other people they interviewed and decided against when they hired you. If it's not a good fit then I'm sure the employer will appreciate your honesty and they wouldn't have wasted the time to get you trained. It's very expensive to hire and train someone, so keep that in mind? Good luck!


Quitting a job after a week or two isn't that uncommon. That goes double for someone who is a teenager in their first job.

If you get the job you're interviewing for, and you feel you must explain why you're leaving to your existing employer, that can be your explanation. Otherwise, just say you don't like the job. No more detail should be needed.

Also, I don't think you should feel bad about this: People in jobs like you currently have leave all the time. I once worked retail as a second job; I was there for only about one year, but by the time I left I was the longest serving employee at that store, including the managers. Since you just started, your boss probably already has candidates who can fill your position. Furthermore, you said the place has some business practices you don't like - going to work in such a situation can tax your mental and emotional well being.

Between not knowing where you are and the fact that this site bends over backwards to avoid legal issues, we can't really say what is legal or not for you. That said, if you are in the U.S. I don't know of any jurisdiction which would find that you violated any laws by leaving a job off your resume; however, I am not a lawyer, so don't take this as legal advice.

Assuming it is legal to do so, I woould leave a one week job off my resume. If someone finds out about it and asks why it isn't there, you can mention that you didn't like their business practices, or just that you quickly realized the job wasn't right for you.


Usually if you were to quit a job, you would give at least a 2 weeks notice. It gives the employer the opportunity to advertise the position and interview someone else for the job, then train them before you leave. I'm not sure you could legitimately give 2-weeks notice having only worked a few days however.

Since you are young and this is your first job, it is probably in your best interest to talk to your employer about your true aspirations- and let them form a mutual exit plan with you. This will preferably be a meeting with your manager just before your shift starts. They may agree that you only have to work to the end of that very day, end of the week, etc. But don't expect to put that position as a reference on your resume either.

I have another interview lined up this week with a high street retailer that I'm going to attend.

"High street retail" is a very ambiguous descriptor. It actually means the opposite of fashion design. It can mean several different things. The Cambridge online dictionary defines "high street" as

  1. "clothing that can be bought in ordinary shops in ordinary cities and towns, rather than being specially made by fashion designers".

    and also as:

  2. " a street where the most important shops and businesses in a town are"

In either case you are still not in the universe of fashion design. Taking definition #1, ordinary clothing sold in ordinary stores could mean selling Levi jeans, or Hanes T-shirts (sold everywhere including WalMart). In definition #2 you are just a retail worker in a more high-scale retail environment than a family-owned store.

I think if you quit this retail job you essentially go to another retail job which may or may not be better in terms of duties or pay.

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