5 bar work skills

Bar work, to some people, is not considered to be a ‘stable career’, but what would you do if you could prove these naysayers wrong? The truth is, bar work teaches you more transferable career skills than any other profession. These skills also happen to be those that future employers love to see on your CV (not just in the hospitality industry!). So, what are they?

1. Confidence

When a person enters a bar, what is the first thing they do? Besides scoping out the local talent and looking for a free table, they head straight for the bar. As a bartender, you are the first point of contact. Bar work demands that you are always switched on, you have to be prepared to deal with anything that comes your way. You have to be assertive when dealing with difficult customers, if somebody has had one too many you have to have the confidence to ask them to leave and show them you mean it. On a daily basis, you’ll need to speak up in front of crowds of more than 50 (sometimes boisterous) individuals. All of this requires confidence in yourself and in your work, it is one of the most important career skills out there.

smiling bartender

2. Loyalty

You’re willing to work long hours at the drop of a hat, at the weekends, and deal with situations that are more at home in a comedy TV show, this all demonstrates your dedication. Despite the fact that drinks may spill, glasses may smash, and drunk people might hit on you, you push through it all because deep-down you can’t get enough of the industry and everything that comes with it.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility works both ways in the bartending industry. Some days you’ll start work at 3 p.m., this gives you time to have a well-deserved sleep in, hit the gym and go shopping all before you start work. Then again, there will be times when someone will call in sick at the last minute, and you’ve got to miss out on Big Dave’s birthday bash and head into the bar. Bar work gives a whole new meaning to the word flexibility. You must have good time management skills and the ability to serve multiple customers at the same time, just like an octopus with a Casio on.

4. Communication

There’s a reason why bartenders are often called the therapists of the hospitality world. It’s one of the most social professions in the world; therefore, communication is key. Talking to people from different backgrounds on a daily basis teaches you how to approach people. Bar work will make you 20 times more confident than you were before the job. You’ll learn how and when to talk, and most importantly when to take a step back and just listen. A great bartender has the ability to connect with their customers instantly.

chatting bartender

5. Working under pressure

“A round of shots, 3 Long Island Iced Teas, 4 Mojitos, surprise me, oh and I had this drink that had strawberries in it, it tasted like sweets, you know the one…!” As a bartender, you must be prepared for anything and everything. Bar work requires you to remember extensive recipes for a massive number of cocktails, sometimes over 100! And, it’s not unusual for you to serve over 20 customers in the space of five minutes.

You’ve got to be quick on your feet, have good memory recall, and hand-eye coordination. Working under pressure can be applied to many different roles outside of the hospitality industry. Being able to work to deadlines under difficult conditions is something every employer looks for in a candidate.

So there you have it, the five essential career skills bar work teaches you. Forget about taking that boring desk job; you can add these essential career skills to your CV simply by becoming a bartender. Who knew it could be so easy?!