Waitressing helped me build confidence for my future career
By: Lorraine Debbas
So here’s the tea...I’ve had a million restaurant jobs. To some, this doesn’t seem like valuable experience. However, I would argue that the skills I’ve learned from customer service jobs are valuable and will set me apart in my future career in public relations.
Working customer service jobs are NOT easy--it’s easy to be taken advantage of. This sounds a lot like a post grad in their entry level job. They’re new, scared and feel like they don’t have much to offer.
I want to give you three tips I’ve learned from my restaurant jobs to help you be your own advocate in the workplace, without getting fired.
1. Show that you are irreplaceable.
When I waitressed at a restaurant, thou shall not be named, they were always firing people. When working there, it was like walking on eggshells. Managers saw their employees as replaceable. It’s easy to find people to work the job; however, I made sure that I built relationships with customers. After a few months in, I had a handful of regulars that came in just to see me. If my managers lose me, they lose business. You have to show your worth and show your employer why you’re special to the company.
2. Don't expect a promotion, earn it.
We’ve all been there. You’ve been working at your job for some time and you’ve outgrown your position. You DESERVE that promotion. When I was hosting at a restaurant, they were stubborn about moving hosts up to food runners. I wanted to run because they made more money but I knew if I waited for someone to hand me a promotion, I wasn’t going to get one. Instead of asking for a promotion, I phrased it differently: “I’m interested in food running, what can I do to get there?” I didn’t wait for them to schedule me training shifts, I came in early or stayed late to help in the kitchen and learned how to run food. After a few weeks, my manager was impressed and promoted me! You have to show that you’re willing to learn and sometimes that means thinking outside the box.
3. Don’t be afraid to pitch ideas
Employers appreciate feedback. We have a fresh perspective on the company and our little college brains are up to date on the industry. Obviously, it’s all on how you word the critique. Never use an arrogant tone. I once told a manager that we should implement a beer social, targeted toward college students. Our social media had a low following and I said it was because our primary customers don’t have social media. If we reach out to college students for an event, they would naturally post about it on Instagram and it would be free advertising for us and he ended up loving the idea!
Working in restaurants made me a more confident person. I will carry the experience with me for the rest of my life. So for all those full-time students/part-time workers, this one's for you, you’re doing great sweetie. For those of you that have never worked in a customer service job, I hope these tips help you thrive in your career.
By: Steve Munoz
Another day another dollar or is it another Tuesday another guest speaker? Of course, it’s time for another guest speaker!
Matt Prince took the main stage this past Tuesday and introduced himself to the members of PRSSA Long Beach, He talked to us about his experience and gave us some advice on what to do before we graduate.
Matt Prince graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. However, the path of public relations was not something that he initially planned for. When he was accepted to CSUF, he wanted to be an English major. Later on, Prince realized that English was not for him and decided to go for public relations, not knowing what he was getting himself into. Prince is now the senior manager of public relations and brand experience at Taco Bell.
Prince discussed how fun his job can be and shared with students that since starting at Taco Bell, most of the things he’s done there are fun. He was able to work on projects like the Taco Bell hotel, the creation of the taco emoji and even Taco Bell weddings!
However, it has taken Prince some time to get where he is right now. “Everything starts with an internship,” Prince said.
Prince shared with students that internships are a great way to start a career. Internships can help students figure out what they want to do and can help them set a pathway if they’re lost.
“Public relations people love to talk and they love to talk about themselves,'' Prince said.
Prince talked about how the more experience a person has, the better it is for them to get a job. It doesn’t matter if you think that your current job position is not related to your dream job because every experience matters.
“Fake it until you make it,” he said.
To close up the night, Prince shared that education and networking are also important. Prince encouraged students to study, read and understand how the public relations-field work. He believes that as long as students educate themselves and learn how to network, they will succeed in this field.
Undoubtedly, Prince knows how to taco ‘bout public relations.
On October 1, PRSSA-LB hosted Urban Decay PR Professional Janice Nickloff as she shared valuable advice with our members! She talked about key points such as the importance of a strong resume, interviewing, and keeping your social media channels clean. If you couldn't make it to our meeting last week check out the video done by our Membership Ambassador, Emmanuel Tanap.
By: Melanie Morales
PRSSA-LB members had the opportunity to tour Golin, a progressive public relations agency with an office located in downtown Los Angeles, on Friday, September 20.
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