Beating the “Graduate Blues”: the benefits of working in hospitality

What I’ve learned from working in a pub (as a “grown up”!)

I’ve been in and out of hospitality and catering jobs since I was about 15 years old. However, returning to a pub after graduation has taught me so much that I didn’t pick up on when I was a teenager. As part of beating my graduate blues, I thought I’d look at some of the positives from my job. As always, I hope my thoughts help others in a similar situation!

Without further delay…

Learning to provide a service is an important life lesson

Think about it. No matter what job or career path any of us end up in, we’ll be providing a service of some kind. It took me quite a long time to figure that out, and it’s so obvious. Whether it is for a boss, a team, or customers, there will be an element of service in whatever we do. I may not be one to give career advice, but it makes sense to me that if a person can learn to provide a service, and provide it well, then that will translate into professional success. Here’s hoping!

I’m learning to control stress

I would love to see some people I know try to stay cool and classy whilst working in what can often be a fast paced and stressful service environment. There isn’t time to deliberate over many decisions I have to make during a shift. Hopefully these useful skills will mean I’ll be able to make quick decisions whilst aiming for the best outcome when I’m in a professional environment.

This leads nicely on to the next one…

Patience is a virtue

Working directly with customers is always going to throw up scenarios that test someone’s patience, regardless of the specific job. If you can learn to control your stress levels, becoming more patient seems to be the next logical step. It has been for me anyway! I’ve spent my whole life as a really impatient person, but I’ve noticed a difference in that since starting my pub job. Let’s not ask my friends and family if they agree with that!

Once again, this leads nicely onto…

Developing who I am as an empathic person

When I started as Vice-President of my Student Union, my team and I all had to answer a bunch of questions, the results of which were our top five “strengths” each. One of mine was such a surprise – apparently “empathy” is one of my strengths. We all spent the year developing our personal strengths and our skills we brought to the team. However, I don’t believe a year is very long to develop as a person. I’ve since worked events like a wake, and as a waitress, there’s a certain decorum that I need to adhere to at times like this. I think its these scenarios that are helping me to carry on developing my strengths.

Well, this has all been quite serious! A couple of fun things now!

You never know who you’re going to meet

I love talking to people and finding out about them and what brought them to my pub. My favourite customers are always the ones with amazing stories and interesting things to say. Those people include my local MP and his wife, or the lovely couple who are a university lecturer and a journalist, or the same group of friends who come in for coffee on a Thursday night. You never know who you will meet in a pub or in whilst working in hospitality. It’s my favourite part of the job.

And finally…

I have lost weight

Since starting my job in October, I’ve lost a little over a stone and a half. It’s not exact because I honestly don’t know how heavy I was at my biggest, but one number that I saw on the scales stuck in my mind and I’ve based it on that. At no point since October have I been actively trying and thinking to lose weight, it’s just the nature of my job! I’ve got a little progress picture which shows the difference, but I’ve changed since the after picture because I’ve lost about 9lbs since the end of November when the after picture was taken.  I feel so much happier with my appearance now – confidence that I didn’t think I was missing out on!

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Thanks for reading everyone!

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