Short Answer: (Almost) Everything
I have long held the belief that one can’t simply appreciate a hard day’s work unless he or she has worked in the service industry.
Whether you’re a waiter/waitress, bartender, or bus person, being on the front lines of a service job
can make you appreciate the many nuances of a business and teach you how to handle any situation.
Since the tender young age of 14 (I’m 27 now and yes, I still work in the industry part-time), I’ve worked in a bar/restaurant and held literally every position under the roof at some point or another. Starting at such a young age helped me appreciate what it is to work hard and learn new things; often times learning out of necessity.
There’s nothing like being thrown into an unfamiliar situation and having to “learn your way out” of it. In the marketing world, the future is now, and learning is mandatory.
5 Tips For a Marketing Agency From the Service Industry
1. Think on your feet
Sometimes the most effective way to learn something new is by being thrust into a situation where your survival is dependent on your new skill set. In the restaurant business, you may be called upon to do a job you’ve never done before – all during the dinner rush. At a marketing agency, you are often cross-trained on the responsibilities of other teams so that everyone can pitch in when needed.
2. Be as straightforward as possible
Get to the point. Food services and marketing services are both fast-paced so dilly-dallying will cost you. Essentially, time is money. Get to the point and make your messaging as clear as possible to avoid confusion and snags along the way.
3. Multi-tasking, Multi-tasking, Multi-tasking
Did I mention multi-tasking? If you can’t do more than one thing at a time, you may need to take up a new career. Multi-tasking is an essential skill that is absolutely necessary for success in both industries.
4. Customer Service
In the service industry, you’ll deal with customers of all types, from happy to “raging mad.” If you’re lucky enough, you’ll even deal with all of them in one day. Dealing with angry customers on social media is no different than dealing with them in person; people want to be heard, not handled.
In the fast-paced world of a marketing firm, you learn how to prioritize tasks and get things done as quickly, and accurately, as possible. This can be attributed to working in a restaurant, where time quite literally is money. Moving at the speed of light is an essential skill that is learned out of necessity.
In many ways, working in the service industry can help you out in a few different ways, but it gave me a solid foundation and work ethic that I am proud to say is translating well into my marketing career. Being able to juggle many things at once and deal with adversity is something we all deal with every day.
Have you transitioned from the service industry to something totally different? How has it helped you? Share your experience in the comments below, or catch up with us on Facebook or Twitter.