Often times I’ll browse job listings for my upcoming industry, design. I want to be prepared for what I’ll need to bring to the table, and inevitably they want years of experience. Something I just didn’t feel like I had. I’ve worked in restaurants, and have years of volunteer jobs, but nothing in design. This felt like a huge roadblock. I began to unpack what design is really about, and realized, design is just about people. I have experience with people, hell a lifetime of being a person. That’s 25 years of this stuff. Most importantly, I’ve worked as a team member, more often than not.
Anyone that’s set foot in a restaurant, knows that whatever is going on behind the scenes, looks to the naked eye, well, chaotic. Servers rushing past each other to confusing sections, the host moving between them, and bartenders making 1000 different things, somehow remembering it all. But anyone thats every worked in a restaurant knows that that chaos is carefully organized, with everyone working together for one common goal, to survive that shift without crying in the walk in. Every job in a restaurant relys on the otehrs to get their job done. I worked as a host, my job by definition was to seat people in servers sections in a fair way, to be the opening face of the business, and to keep track of reservations. Not too hard, seems like a pretty solitary job. In reality I wore many hats. I kept the servers happy, making sure they were not only sat fairly, but to make sure they didn’t get overwhelmed by too many seats. I ran drinks when the bar would get backed up, making sure the servers, bartenders and customers remained happy. I ran food from the kitchen when someone called out sick, and we needed extra hands. I flowed through the team helping where I could. Sure none of this was listed in my role requirements upon hiring, but when you become a team, you do what you need to do, to make sure the business is successful. It’s a balancing act, as is most things in life, making sure to help when needed, but not overstep and possibly annoy your coworkers, with your eager to please “helping.”
So now when I look at job listings, rather than see where I’m lacking, I see where I’m ahead. I’ve survived a Sunday football brunch rush with a hungover, underpaid, and overworked team. I can do anything now.