8 reasons why you should hire a waitress at your law firm

Melissa Allen|

In this competitive job market, it can really tough for new graduates and those just starting out in the workforce to get their foot in the door of their desired profession. Between student loans and living expenses, many of these young workers opt to pick-up a “survival job” in order to cover living expenses until they land that lucrative first or second job.

Whatever your industry – be it accounting, marketing, or law, for example – if you come across a candidate with a survival-type job on their resume, don’t be quick to count them out. The skills they developed in those roles are absolutely transferable to other positions across a wide variety of fields.

Here are just some of those transferable skills:

    Determination: A candidate who has taken a service industry job, or any type of survival job is a candidate who is committed to taking care of themselves and doing whatever it takes to achieve their dreams…Even if it means temporarily taking that bartending job so they can stay in the city where most of the jobs in their desired field are found.

    Resiliency: Instead of giving up, or expecting opportunities to come to them, the candidate has shown that they can balance both the stress of a physically demanding job and not working in their desired profession with their continued job search.

    Teamwork: Working in a restaurant or café environment can be high-stress and fast-paced. The ability to work as a team, as well as working in their designated role is a necessary skill, and one that translates nicely in professional environments.

    Communication: Regular contact with new people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse ways of expressing their needs, wants, instructions and opinions means constantly adapting your communication style – a skill that will come in handy in and out of the workforce.

    Customer service: The customer is always right, and no one knows this better than the service industry. It takes a special kind of person to be able to maintain courtesy and professionalism when dealing with difficult people.

    Diplomacy: “The art of dealing with people in a sensitive way” is a prerequisite for working in the service industry. Not only do you have to interact effectively with customers, but you also have to manage relationships with your co-workers, all of whom are probably just as diverse as your clientele.

    Multitasking: From taking several orders at once, to checking in with the status of those orders, resolving complaints and more, all while staying on your toes, working in the service industry is not for the faint of heart, and neither is the boardroom.

    Patience : Customer service, diplomacy, multitasking…it all has to be done with a smile on your face and the patience of an angel. Those who’ve worked in the service industry know this first hand, and chances are, they’ll be able to apply this “virtue” to the position they’re applying for.

For some, barista, server, bartender, security staff, etc. are jobs that one takes not because they have a passion for the hospitality industry (although for others, these are great career paths), but because these jobs are plentiful, quick-to-hire and provide an excellent way to make ends meet before landing that dream job in the job seeker’s actual field of interest.

[Video: Watch Melissa Allen discussing transferable skills on the Workopolis 180]

Category: Job Search Strategies, Resumes,
  • http://about.me/davidalangay David Gay

    The article forgot to mention, in this jobless recovery, that some waitress/waiter positions require between six months and two years previous experience. Hiring restrictions for entry level jobs such as these should be loosened, with on-the-job training provided.

    • Lou

      Exactly David, the article missed this prerequisite entirely. I’ve tried to get a job waiting tables after taking the Ontario SmartServe course AND the Food Safety Course but was turned down everywhere. One place even told me that “it’s so busy in this restaurant that even experienced servers have a hard time keeping up”. I agree that these types of entry level jobs should have “train on the job” options.