AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
June 23, 2022

CATEGORIES:
On the Job,
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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From a Polyester Polo to a Suit and Suede Shoes

AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
June 23, 2022

CATEGORIES:
On the Job,
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

Think back to your first job — the one you probably worked in high school or college to earn some pocket money or start paying for school. If you’re like me, you spent most of your time at that first job behind a front counter taking orders or serving table-to-table. And, sure, you made a little money and maybe a few friends, but that first job wasn’t a “real” job, was it? How could something so mundane have prepared you for your future career?

During my short time in an office, I’ve found that one of the biggest worries of young professionals entering corporate America is that their lack of experience sets them up to fail. However, I can promise that the skills you learned in that first job transfer to corporate life in ways you might not expect.

Whether you’re starting your first job as an anxious teenager or you’re a seasoned business professional, the skills you learn working closely with people are valuable in every environment. Establishing relationships with the people around you, whether they’re a customer or a coworker, means maintaining open communication and understanding how your knowledge and skills are mutually beneficial. Of course, what they need may just be a cheeseburger combo in the drive-thru, but the same concept applies when you’re trying to sell a suite of solutions to a dealership across the country.

In addition to sharpening those people skills while working in food service, I also learned how to balance multiple work-related tasks at once, like taking and relaying orders, cleaning and stocking, and making sure customers are happy. Similar to the tasks in food service, part of the corporate day-to-day includes staying on top of emails, participating in meetings, and — no surprise here — keeping customers happy. And whether or not you’re customer-facing, every professional role is created to help drive profits and increase business.

Task management is a critical skill within the walls of both a restaurant and a corporate office. Anticipating potential problems and forming a game plan for when those problems arise means less stress in the long run. When a customer shows frustration over an incorrectly prepared order, most servers follow a similar pattern: understand the problem, offer a solution, and if all else fails, involve management. In an office, though the problems might differ, you follow a similar chain. Regardless of your industry, it’s still up to you to gather all the information and offer a solution before the situation escalates.

The cliché phrase “there’s no ‘I’ in team” couldn’t ring more true in both the drive-thru and the team meeting. Each member of your team possesses certain valuable skills that contribute to the team’s overall success, so learning how to work courteously and efficiently alongside those people is an important asset. Whether you’re communicating with the kitchen about a missing dish or your supervisor about an incomplete project, you’re all on the same team with one common goal.

People skills, task management, and teamwork are just a few of the strengths that easily transfer over to corporate life. When you demonstrate those effective communication skills, you’re set up to learn and succeed in any new role. Taking those experiences in food service and an eagerness to learn into consideration, you’ll go from flipping burgers to flipping through the pages of your newest report in no time.


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Reynolds Careers

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