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Why Ex-Waiters Make the Best Employees

Why Ex-Waiters Make the Best Employees

Every company can use people who work well under pressure, have people skills, and are great at multi-tasking.  Who can do all this?  Ex-waiters.  Because of their skills in the workplace, ex-waiters can make some of the best employees.  I worked as a waiter during college, and I still use the skills I learned today.  Here are seven reasons ex-waiters make the best employees.

1. We can work under pressure.

Ever had five tables demanding different things at once?  Waiters have.  The ability to stay calm under pressure gives these employees the ability to stay calm in a crisis.

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2. We have people skills.

Learning how to interact with a wide range of people is crucial to a waiter; his or her tip depends on it.  If your business has lots of different personalities, finding an ex-waiter will help you make sure everyone has a positive experience when they walk through your doors.

3. We are great at multi-tasking.

One of the first pieces of advice someone gave me as a waiter was, “keep a running list of everything  you need to do in your mind.”  The list looked like this: Table 20 needs refills, Table 21 needs to order, Table 26 needs their check, and so on.  I still use a running list at work today.  The items on my list are different, but the list is the same.  My list helps me stay organized on what is coming up and when it is due.  I am able to stay on top of my projects because I’m always reminding myself of where I’m at and what I need to do next.

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4. We care about performance.

Because tips are based on your individual performance, ex-waiters make sure they are doing a good job.  Since doing a better job means getting more money, waiters are invested in their work and are constantly trying to improve on their skills.  Making small changes on how they take orders or how they respond to difficult situations can mean the difference between getting zilch or getting 20+%.  Getting paid for performance is so ingrained into an ex-waiter, that they will care about the work they are doing for you, too.

5. We are flexible.

Any waiter who has been through a lunch or dinner rush knows how to be flexible.  You start out going to get refills for one table, but suddenly you have to figure out how to take orders for three other tables who just sat down—at the same time.  The ability to be flexible and get work done in a timely manner makes ex-waiters some of the most productive employees.

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6. We know how to work as a team.

Sometimes even good waiters get “in the weeds.”  This means he or she has so much to do—and they keep getting so much more to do—that they fall behind.  Sometimes the waiter will feel like they are drowning in work.  When this happens a waiter has two choices: ask for help or make everyone they are serving mad.  A good waiter knows how to ask for help.  Also, that waiter knows how to step up and help one of his or her fellow members who is falling behind.  This team mentality is invaluable in any workplace.

7. We aren’t scared of hard work.

Ever met a lazy waiter?  They probably didn’t last very long.  Trying to make it through a shift can turn any slow paced person into a high performing machine.  Employers can use this amazing skill to their benefit because good waiters are really hardworking people, so hiring one will make a big difference in how much work gets done at your workplace.

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Featured photo credit: Tired of Waiting/Tom Wachtel via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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