There is far more to working behind a bar than learning how to pull a good pint and trying to translate slurred speech over a cacophony of music and cheer. Working behind a bar can actually afford you with some pretty valuable skills – many of which can prove useful in a future career.
When it comes to being a bartender, good communication is key. You interact with customers for the majority of your shift, hence, speaking loudly and clearly while maintaining a positive tone is a necessity.
However, being a good communicator also means being a good listener. For instance, it’s imperative that you listen to customers carefully to ensure you get their order right. And, if the bar is quiet, you’re likely to stand and chat with customers for a short while – this helps to create a friendly atmosphere. But be sure to listen to what each customer says as this separates a good bartender from a great bartender.
Being a bartender involves being able to work well with other people, as well as being adaptable in order to deal with the various demands placed on you and your team. It may be that a customer has ordered a cocktail that your colleague is unsure how to make; therefore it is your duty to teach them how to make it in a way they will remember for future reference. You may even be faced with a difficult customer; if so, you and your colleagues must work together to help resolve any issue.
If you’re working, or have worked behind a bar, it’s highly likely that you have learned how to numerate, by giving customers the correct change time and time again. The ability to understand and process information in numerical form is a skill sought by many recruiters, so be sure to clearly highlight it on your CV.
Working under pressure
Working in a busy bar means that you’ve almost certainly had to deal with drunken, rowdy, or difficult customers while making sure the event continues to run smoothly. It may be that the queue is out of control and people are pushing in and it is your job to maintain order and serve people as efficiently as possible. Employers need to know that you’re able to make fast and sensible decisions under pressure, a skill that is vital in many careers from working in the emergency services to a broadcast news analyst.
From pubs in Chester le Street to bars in Durham and clubs in Newcastle, as a bartender, you’re certain to be rushed off your feet every now and then, so being able to work under pressure is a must.
With rowdy and drunken customers will likely come a difficult, or at least, unpleasant situation. It’s possible that a bartender will encounter many such situations across their shift, thus it’s important to carry on without letting it affect you. If you’re able to withstand unpleasant customers without letting it scupper your work, you will show that you’ve learned a great deal of resilience. And being able to bounce back is a trait that will standout during future roles.