Photo: Flickr / xeeliz
Working in the serving industry is gritty work, yet a lot of people are in it. In fact, more than 13.5 million people had jobs in hospitality last year, according to the Bureau of labour Statistics. For years, I have detoured into the world of restaurants and hotels starting as a hostess to becoming a manager.
Since my serving days, I have come to realise that hospitality jobs are not just a great way to earn money, but also a great way to develop a work ethic and various other skills that come in handy in any line of work one might choose to pursue afterwards.
Here is what I’ve learned:
1. You ACTUALLY have to work for your money. I don’t think money grows on trees, but working in a restaurant is by no means an easy job. Servers spend the entirety of their shift on their feet often carrying heavy trays loaded with drinks. Since most of the income for those working in the hospitality industry comes from their tips, they really earn every dollar they make.
2. There is no “I” in restaurant. No one person in the restaurant can do anything on their own. Servers depend on hosts to seat their sections, cooks to prepare the food, bussers to help clean the tables, and runners to bring out the food. The entire experience is a team effort and I quickly learned that if I wanted to do a good job, I had to be a part of the team.
3. You have to learn to be fair. When working in a restaurant, I learned not only how to be a part of the team but also how to give everyone credit for the work they do. In this case, that meant giving everyone who helped me throughout my shift a fair share of my tips.
4. Ask the right questions. This leads to satisfying results. If I knew the customer wanted his steak rare, I could make sure his needs are met. Similarly, knowing exactly what my client or boss expect from me helps me perform my job better. I also quickly learned that communication is a two-way street.
5. Find a healthy balance between work and play. After hours is a lot of fun until it affects your work performance. This lifestyle is common in the hospitality industry. More than once I showed up for the morning shift only to find the closing staff still enjoying their last beer. There were also times that I have been the one to linger into the wee hours of the morning. And while that was completely acceptable, not being 100 per cent ready for my next shift because I partied too hard after work was not.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.