"Big Girl Job"

Updated on March 13, 2014
I.K. asks from Henderson, NV
22 answers

I never really got what people meant when they said "that's not a real job." For example, when I started working where I am now, I'd heard from people that my job isn't a "real" job. It paid my bills, put food on the table, clothed my child and I had plenty of room foe advancements. Of course, it's retail and it's at one of the biggest companies in the world. Even to this day as a salaried manager I still hear that becuase it's retail, yet it's a stable career with great benefits in a pretty rough economy. So I never understood how someone working at a store or as a waitress or any other "non-real" store isn't good enough? Starting at the store I work at I made more than any of my friends working in an office made and I was so much happier than any of them. But even when a person is working part-time or maybe even 2 or 3 part time jobs I still see them getting put down for not having a "big girl" job. There's few jobs anymore that have security or even just benefits.

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So What Happened?

I'm guessing some of you don't know what a debate is? And to the person who said its physically demanding, SO is a lineman. Constantly climbing and working on or around high voltage lines. It's a real career with a retirement plan and everything. A lot of people have physically laborious jobs.

And to the person asking if I'm just validating myself, no. It's actually becuase of another post I read today where they used the term "big girl job" yet the poster never reveled what her profession is.

To the person who posted about them saying it, what if she never gets a job in her field? I know many people who've graduated with a bachelors or even went on further and never had a career in their field. I've had friend who it took years to even get an interview even though they've had internships, graduated with top honors and had awesome recommendations. Sadly, it was the whole not being experienced enough even though its almost impossible to get experience. And even at these jobs you may think are just to get them by, they might be able to get the experience and training and use that degree plus the company experience for a job within the company that you might never even know was an option for here.

To the person who said I said everyone should have a degree, please show me where I said that. The one person responding said she wanted her daughter to get a job in her degree and that's what she considers a "big girl job."

More Answers


answers from Austin on

I do not have a degree, if that helps you feel any better.

Heck I was in retail for over 30 years. Everything from sales person to Bridal Consultant, a manager, a buyer then a Store manager. I worked per hour. Sometimes, with commission, sometimes without. I worked on Salary, with an expected 50 to 60 hours a week.. Or more based on being able to get the job done.

All of this work, lead to me being able purchase a home, being able to have a family, and all of the skills to own my own successful business,.
It is no longer directly in retail, but with all of the skills I learned and gained, I now own a niche business of my own.

I can do all sorts of things,m that other people cannot even imagine doing.. My saying is "Oh, I can do that!"

And through all of my contacts, if I cannot do it, I surely know the best person in town to call..

People think retail is so easy and glamorous, but I dare them to work a Holiday season with all of the overtime, many times, the entire season in high heels, all dressed up, and come in everyday enthusiastic and willing to help each and every person that walks through that door. All the while keep the departments organized, inventoried, and keep smiling, no matter what may come.

A real job is a job that they pay you for doing.

People have a lot preconceived ideas, but I know my own truth and that is all that matters.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

As long as it's working out for you, who cares what anyone else thinks?
There are career garbage collectors, career janitors, people who make careers out of pumping out septic tanks, etc.
These things need doing and these people get paid for doing it.
You eventually get to an age/stage/level of maturity where 'people say' just doesn't hold any sway over you anymore.
Learn to ignore the naysayers (and do it with a great big grin on your face)!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Is there a point to your post? Are you just seeking validation for the choice that you made to work in retail?

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answers from Los Angeles on

Jobs are jobs.
Best not to compare jobs, lives, incomes, 401Ks etc.
I know a very successful 50ish lady who works 3 PT jobs, owns her home, owns a rental property, volunteers, pays her own healthcare, saves for retirement and LOVES her life.
She doesn't work in retail, btw.
There are ALL kinds of jobs for ALL kinds of people.
If you like your job, consider yourself a winner, right?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think the perception comes from the fact that high school and college students can frequently get jobs in retail. When people hear retail, they think of the person working the floor or the one at the cash register. Most people don't look beyond that to all of the managerial aspects of the job or even those working in the corporate setting.

Bottom line - you're paying your bills, supporting yourself and are satisfied with your career. So don't worry about what others think. You know you're in a real job doing much more than the average perception of retail would entail. Keep up the hard work.

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answers from Houston on

WOW!! I'm the one who put that in my response earlier today about my daughter.

What I mean by "big girl job" is its the first job she got in her career after graduating from college. Her degree is in human resources.

Not to take anything from anybody its just that she is moving into the profession of her degree and she is growing up, thus big girl job.

ETA: I just read you SWH - Please re-read my post. I stated that my daughter DID get a job in her field. She worked hard, got good grades and was able to move into her field. Yay for her. I'm damn proud of my daughter. I don't know the circumstances of your friends who had degrees and couldn't get a job in that field. Perhaps it was the degree they received. Perhaps it was the field they chose. I don't know. However, I stand with the comments I wrote about big girl job.

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answers from Phoenix on

What's your question exactly?

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answers from Santa Fe on

Hm. I have never thought of some jobs not being real jobs and I have never heard anyone say that. I do think some jobs are more professional than others...some jobs take a lot more time with schooling and training (compare being an astronaut to being a waitress)...some jobs take a certain kind of mind...some jobs are mindless and some jobs take a LOT of brain power...some jobs make more money than others. But every job is a real job to me. And anyone can be professional in their job, no matter what the job is. What kind of people would even tell you to your face that your job is not a real job? That is odd...and judgmental. You can make a career in retail. Especially if you rise up to manager.

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answers from Portland on

Reading your post and the comment below, I am very confused.

When did you invite a debate? I see that most of the posters below are longtime Mamapedia members and have displayed their intelligence many, many times in the past. Your question did not suggest debate, it suggested that you wanted further explanation into a particular perspective.

As was stated earlier-- the most important opinion of one's self and one's work is simply one's own opinion.

ETA: I have never heard of anything other than little girls helping out around the house being referred to as a 'big girl' job. I see that Southern Yankee set things straight, and congrats to her daughter for getting a job in her chosen field!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Well, you've had your vent. Sounds as if you needed one.

It seems to me that when somebody says, "That's not a *real* job" - ever notice that they're hardly ever speaking of their own? - it's usually a value judgment - the job is not a type of work that person respects very highly.

That "non-real" job could be anything from being a full-time homemaker and mother to teaching (sometimes it's even a matter of at what kind of school the teaching is done!) to preaching to landscaping to office work to - yes, working in a store in some capacity.

If we listened to every critic, or tried to please all of them, we'd drive ourselves into our graves. It might be better to ignore the comments and go on being excellent at what we do. If you like to think of it this way, success is the best revenge.

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answers from Boston on

I think there's a lot of judgment about which jobs are hard & worthwhile, and which are not. There are people who think "anyone" can do certain jobs - retail is one of them, daycare is another, being a stay-at-home parent is another. There are people who don't understand things like direct sales and network marketing, and badmouth people who do them. Usually, people who look down on a specific job have either been burned by one person in that field, or they just don't have any experience and they aren't open to looking at their own prejudices. Some people think you have to be in a corporation wearing a suit and ripping off the little people before you have a "real" job. That's their problem. You have to find your own best profession based on your skills, wants, needs and schedule - and not associate with people who put you down. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

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answers from Tampa on

I waited tables to make it through college. This was not my career aspiration and I hated the job. It was never my intended career path so I never considered it a real job eventhough I worked my butt off... If you are happy with retail and it meets all of your needs, the who the hell cares what anyone else thinks about your job?

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answers from McAllen on

I think that any job that meets your needs is REAL, and it takes a grown-up to be responsible and committed to showing up when it's his/her time to be there.

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answers from Richland on

I am an IT accountant specializing in data mining and analysis. Any given week I am known to say one day I might get a real job. This is not a real job! It is fun, I love it, I get to use my mind in a way it totally enjoys. No one bugs me because they love my work product. As you can see I can play on the internet during breaks and make my own breaks...so long as work product doesn't suffer.

My kids need me, I can leave. Only once in the six years I have been here did I have to call my husband because it was an icky project, once.

Not a real job, nope, real jobs you hate. This is fun

Oh and yes, I have job security! and benefits...and did I mention I can walk out the door right now....maybe I will, beautiful day out there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

oh pffffttttt to people who are job snobs. a job that you do well and is covering your bills is a job for an adult.
i remember my first bartending job AFTER having a child. a bunch of us were sitting around the restaurant after work one night, talking about the 'real jobs' we were going to get 'one day.' since i had been in the food and beverage industry for over a decade at that point, who the hell was i fooling?
there was one girl, in her mid-20s (a little younger than i was at that point), who, like me, had just had her first child. she floored me by calmly stating that she WAS working on her career. that she planned to be professional fine dining server, and was working her way up to being able to apply at one of the exclusive DC clubs where one server basically caters to one table all evening long. the money you can make when you hit that level of fine dining is awesome. but she was the first (and to this day one of the few) person i had ever met who was smart enough to recognize an honorable, lucrative career, and go for it with focus. i'll bet she's a big earner now.
you've got the right attitude.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Back before the economy took a plunge, only high school or college students had certain jobs (I.e. grocery bagger, retail, cashier). The adults held management positions. So I think that even though job security has changed dramatically, society's expectations for this fields are the same. Of course no one wants to admit this because it's not politically correct. But it's the view all the same.

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answers from Williamsport on

Ignore the job snobs. To me any job where you get paid to sacrifice your time and do work for someone who is paying you is a job. Whoever thinks retail is not a job is high on crack! I've never even heard someone consider that "not a job". Working in shops is one of the world's oldest jobs. Retail jobs employ countless millions of people world-wide and that is how they make their living. What are those people thinking? Don't let this ridiculous line of thought affect you.

I've been a babysitter, dishwasher, grocery bagger, cleaning person, table busser, waitress, nanny, textile designer, clothing designer...they were all real jobs. Anyone I see out and about working in McDonald's, cleaning hotel rooms, parking cars, washing cars, doing construction, sitting in offices, whatever. Shitty jobs, high-paying jobs. All real jobs.

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answers from Amarillo on

Maybe I am confused here.

I read your post and you speak as if everyone needs or should have a college degree. Then you state that many who did get a college degree have had problems getting hired in their field of expertise and had to go elsewhere or different field to get a job. Next statement was about people who did not get a college degree or possibly got a certificate for a vocation were not up to standards but many were making more than the college degreed person. What gives?

Hard work is hard work whether it be with the brains or the back/feet. I know several people with vocations that have security and nice homes and take expensive vacations. Have you heard of the plumber, electrician, carpenter, or auto mechanic? They have skills and they are not retail.

Perhaps the title of your post is a bit off. Could you define "Big girl job" for us?

the other S.

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answers from Dallas on

Hi I., I don't really know what people mean when they talk about a real job or big girl job. It sounds like you are blessed to have a secure job that you like, so don't worry about what others have to say! "No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt.

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answers from New York on

I don't look down on retail workers. Like you said, it pays your bills, has room for advancement, provides benefits and makes you happy. Hold your head up high.

As for why part time work, or retail work might not be considered a big girl job- 1. these positions are sometimes filled by the young, or the old (people not making a livelihood, but supplementing an income. 2. retail and other service on your feet all day jobs can be physically demanding, many people just don't have the stamina/ wherewithal to do them as they grow older into middle age, so again, the arena of the young.

F. B.

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answers from Honolulu on

I don't know if anyone was particularly putting down retail but I think this term can mean a variety of things. Sometimes when people put another person's job down, its because they are insecure. I think other times, it might be because they are refering to a move in their own career where they started to use experience or education or get into a career track they were working towards.



answers from Atlanta on

Every job is a job, every work is work. I don't get this either. Of course your job is a actual job.

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