This summer, I got the chance to work at a restaurant, and so far it hasn't been all that bad. Being my first job, there are certain things I took from it that will help in the long run.
1. Without communication, nothing works.
Nothing works well without good communication. I know that in my job, staff members need to constantly talk with each other to make sure everything goes smoothly and that everyone is on the same page. Any miscommunication can make a small incident more complicated.
2. Multitasking is necessary, if not helpful.
Although I have not mastered this skill, I now understand that working in a restaurant or any business may require you to multitask. I never liked the idea of doing several things at once, but because it is required in my job, I have to do it. After the first few times, things were confusing but it got better. As long as you have good organization skills, multitasking isn't so bad. After all, this can come to good use when you have several tasks to complete throughout the day.
3. You'll find difficult people everywhere you go.
Working at my job has taught me how to deal with people who might not be friendly. Sometimes people will be unreasonable or just plain rude. Instead of quickly fighting back, try understanding where the other person is coming from and find a solution. This does not mean they will always listen to you, but realize that sometimes difficult people only care about their needs. At that point, don't let it get to you because you will notice that people like that exist in many situations.
4. Mistakes are okay.
The first few times I went to work, I made a lot of mistakes, and even when I started getting used to it, mistakes still happened. It came to a point where I accepted that mistakes happen all the time. It's ultimately how you handle them that makes it all the difference. This doesn't only connect to work, but any life experience or situation. Sometimes mistakes happen and you just have to accept them and reflect on how you can do better. Ultimately, the more you learn how to accomplish certain tasks the better you will get at it.
5. Standing up for yourself is important.
Is someone taking advantage of you? Tell them. Does your boss or professor treat you differently than others? Talk to them about it. Being the reserved person I am, I try to stay away from confrontation as much as I can. This is something that I am still working on. However, standing up for yourself is an important characteristic to have in general. A lot of times, people will take advantage of your kindness, hard work and skills. It is then up to you to get the respect you want from those around you. There's nothing wrong with telling people how you feel in an honest and mature manner. Learn now and eventually it will become second nature to you.
6. Notice the needs of people and situations around you.
At the restaurant, there are a lot of times where waiters or cooks have so much to do at one time. They might seek help but if they don't, it's a given that you either ask or help anyway. This has taught me to be more aware of other people's needs. Offering help can ease someone else's stress or worry. If you see something doesn't look right, don't hesitate to step in and fix it. Plus, your kindness can go a long way.
These are some of the things that I learned from working at my first job. The restaurant business has definitely taught me how I need to act and speak to different people around me, changing my original attitudes and perspectives.
Lead Image Credit: Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash