IS A BARTENDING CAREER RIGHT FOR YOU?
Many times, we have seen people who took up a bartending job merely because they needed an extra source of income. The story usually goes in one of two ways; either they end up pursuing a real career in bartending and becoming successful at it, or they pursue a different career entirely, but they never seem to be able to stop talking about their “glory” days as a bartender.
Only a few people get to say things like, “Along the line, I realized that I could take up Bartending as a real career, and that moment defined everything for me.” Well, not many people realize their career paths even if it is staring at them in the face and this is why a lot of people end up doing the wrong jobs. Again, bartending is definitely not the first choice of career for many people too, and this is why not many people focus on taking it up as a career.
Whichever way it is, working as a bartender can be incredibly fulfilling and in some locations, very lucrative and rewarding. It could be the perfect career if the right person takes it up. But if you have only worked the bar for some weeks or you are just planning to take up a bartending job next summer, how do you figure out that you are the right person to be a bartender?
You have a fit physique
Bartending is one part physical and the other part knowing how to serve drinks, relate with customers and create the right mixes. As a bartender, you may have to stand, bend, walk and lift for long hours depending on how long your shift lasts. Sometimes, you may even have to work double shifts, and that means doing all those physical movements for double the time that you are used to. Thus, if you have a bad back or knees, working as a bartender may not be the best career choice for you. Imagine standing every day for years on end. This is not even about carrying out your tasks safely; if you cannot withstand the physical aspects of the job, it will be difficult for you to succeed at the job. Therefore, once you decide to work as a bartender, check yourself if you are physically fit.
You know your way around numbers.
A good bartender should be good at math, and if you are ever going to advance in this career path, your math skills have to be excellent. Whether you need to work out how many fractions of ounces you need to create a cocktail recipe or doing your accounting reports from your point-of-sale terminal, math is an important part of the job.
If you know you are good at math and you are genuinely interested in this career path, then, by all means, a bartending career may be right for you. If you, however, do not have the required math skills, it would help to brush up on your fractions, getting acquainted with spreadsheets and balances. These components can make or mar your bar.
You Have Thick Skin
As a bartender, you must have people skills as you will have to deal with different types of people every day. Imagine a drunk guy screaming at you because you did not serve him his drink as quickly as he wanted? Or a young girl shouting at you because you are just a bartender or a coworker who does not respect you. The industry just does not give bartenders the respect they deserve just yet, and you have to be prepared for that by having a thick skin capable of ignoring all that. Bartenders have to deal with the worst behaviors from people, and you have to do that with a smile.
The customer does not have to treat you with respect, but you have to treat them as a guest. Bartending can be a thankless job; therefore, before you take on the job, make sure you feel that it is worth it for you and that you can keep up with garnering enough strength to show up the next day.
You Love the Hospitality and Service Industry
As a bartender, you will always be in service to others, and you have to make friends with everyone even if you do not want to. For you to be a successful bartender, you have to naturally derive pleasure from socializing, making friends, caring about people (even if they do not care about you) and generally making people happy. If you do not feel like being hospitable is a chore, then a bartending job is probably the right career option for you.
You Love the Craft and Creativity of Cocktails.
This one is not necessarily peculiar to bartenders; it is more specific to cocktail bars and mixologists. But if you are the type who is interested in this craft, you are the type of guy who double-strains his cocktail, or you somehow have 20 bar-spoons, or you love to spritz lemon oil over your glass of water, a bartending career may be beckoning to you. If you think of making a cocktail with virtually anything you see, you just may be mentally ready to enroll in a bartending school.
If you secure employment as a bartender and you work hard to become the head bartender or bar manager, you may get the chance to be in control of unique mixes for your cocktail menu. By this time, you will be able to get creative with ingredients and even create your own unique recipes to make your own trademark original drinks. If you enjoy creating drinks, a bar may just be the place for you to work.
SUMMING IT UP
It is okay not to know whether you want to work behind a bar. Feel free to take your time to get ready. The great thing about working as a bartender is that you can get engaged in other things too, but if bartending becomes your only job, it is not entirely a bad thing either.