Despite working remotely, our team tries to stay connected. Every now and then we get together for casual online catch-ups, where we discuss cooking recipes, pop culture and daily quarantine struggles. BICA consists of vividly colorful personalities with quite different backgrounds. Some of us have worked in the NGO sector, others come from a strictly corporate environment and of course there are the hospitality and customer service survivors. Everyone has started somewhere and it’s no secret that we’ve all had jobs that were never our intention to turn into a career. Еach of us have amassed some of the skills that we use on a day-to-day basis in the most unconventional places. Sad but true. Actually, it’s not sad - it is admirable. Having developed soft skills at an early age could be nothing but a plus on a both professional and personal level.
Here are 5 useful skills that my fellow coworkers and I identified as ‘transferrable’ with some relevant examples.
Sales and negotiation skills are far from ‘strictly office’ terms. Whether you’re pitching your recruitment strategy to attract foreign investors or trying to sell a drink at the bar, the same conditions apply. Identifying a problem that a customer has and your way to solve it. This usually happens by presenting selling points that will clearly improve his or her lives. Sounds simple but that’s how it is in reality.
Whoever’s worked or volunteered in an NGO, knows that it’s like working for a startup except there are less people, more work and almost no resources. This, on one hand is forcing you to come up with creative solutions and on the other, builds time-management habits that your future employer will be thankful for.
As they say “teamwork is the dreamwork.” Working in restaurants and cafes can be a highly stressful environment where you can easily lose your temper, focus and well, job. However, managing to successfully stay part of a team, while working on your designated role is an essential skill for any future career path.
Let’s be honest. Working in customer service or hospitality is not easy. One third of customers say they’d rather clean a toilet than contact customer service to resolve their complaints. Verbal harassment is no joke and that’s the reality that many people encounter every day. Facing attitude, anger and insults, however, builds thick skin. People that are committed to keep such ungrateful jobs and take care of themselves by doing whatever it takes to reach their goals are the real hustlers.
There is a reason why bartenders are often called ‘therapists.’ It is one of the most social professions in the world. Regular contact with people from different backgrounds on a daily basis teaches you how to attend to their needs, wants and opinions. This way you learn to adapt your communication style - how to approach people, when to step in, when to listen. The ability to connect with people is a key skill that will always come in handy.
Of course, there are additional skills that this list is missing but we tried to summarize the top 5. Key take-out is this: each experience is unique and important, despite it being selling drinks or volunteering in a local NGO. Each one of them has made the person you are today. What matters is to reflect on them and not forget the mistakes, the lessons and successes. That’s the only way we grow.
We have some sweet offerings for you, where you get to show us all of the above-mentioned soft skills. Check them out HERE.