As our economy is in the process of pulling through what has been called the Great Recession, there are still many people out there looking for work. Even though the job market is slowly but surely getting better, unemployment is still about 8-10% (depending on the region), and times are still tough.
Some have resorted to switching career paths to deal with the high unemployment rates. Perhaps they couldn’t find a job in their field so they decided to try their hand at something else. Experts might argue that taking a job that will not advance you in your career path may actually hurt you in the long run.
But not everyone can afford to be out of work until they find the perfect job. Some of us out here actually have bills to pay and no savings account or rich parents to cover them. For those of you in this same boat, you may want to think about taking a part-time or something else that you might be relatively qualified for.
One sector of the workforce that is almost always hiring is the service industry. Most restaurants have a big turnover rate for their waitstaff, so they are always looking for good, solid, dependable servers and bartenders.
These types of jobs may not appeal to everyone. The idea of clearing peoples’ plates and waiting on the public might seem repulsive to some. But a job is a job, and sometimes you just have to make some money.
Contrary to popular belief, there can be many advantages to working in the service industry. One big benefit is the hours. Working in the evening, as most waiters and bartenders do, can free up your day to look for other jobs within your field. Or you can just simply enjoy the day for once. Not being involved in the hustle and bustle of the rat race might actually seem nice for a change. You can go to the bank or grocery store without being a part of the 9-to-5 mob. And you actually get to enjoy the sunlight. Working the normal week usually leaves one’s weekend with a long list of errands they could not accomplish during the week. Now you will have your normal weekdays to make it all happen, leaving you to enjoy stepping out into the day.
Another big advantage is that you get paid in cash. Most of your pay comes from tips, and many restaurants will cash out your credit tips at the end of the night. Although you are technically supposed to claim all your earnings, it’s pretty easy to claim well below what you actually made. This way you end up paying fewer taxes and therefore save some money. Also, it’s nice to have a wad of cash in your pocket at the end of the day.
Unbeknownst to most, working in a restaurant can actually provide you with skills that look good on a resume. First of all, you are gaining customer service skills, useful in almost any field. Second of all, as a server you are multi-tasking. You constantly have to think about and manage about ten different tasks at once, timing when food should go out, when different tables should get their checks or drinks and such. Multi-tasking is a valuable skill that many people do not possess. You also work as a team member when you are part of a waitstaff. Before hiring, most employers want to know that you will function well as part of their team. If this something that you have not done already, working in a restaurant will help you gain this skill.
Of course there are disadvantages to working in the service industry. You can never really count on a steady income. Since you pretty much receive your pay directly from the general public that walks through the doors, you never know how much money you will make and every day is different.
Another disadvantage is the obvious fact that taking a service industry job is not a step in the right direction of your desired career path. But when it comes down to it, any income is better than none. Also, most businesses like to hire people that are already out in the workforce, not those that have been sitting at home twiddling their thumbs and waiting for a job to fall in their lap for the past eight months.
So before you dismiss taking a job out of your field and working in the restaurant industry altogether think about the benefits.
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