How My Inexperience Gained Me My Confidence
No Experience? No Problem.
In my 22 years of life, I have had many memorable work experiences. There are more than a few aspects to any job that can make it memorable; the job could be terrible or one of the best.
Either way, knowledge is gained that helps you on your way to finding your professional path in this world.
The experience that I focus on in this post began with me securing a job for a trendy, up and coming restaurant. I had zero restaurant experience (besides eating in too many of them to count) and was left no choice but to convince the general manager that I was the perfect hire for her new business.
After we met for 30 minutes or so, she shook my hand and said “Yeah, I like you. You start tomorrow.” I couldn’t believe it! She didn’t want to see my resume or hear about all of the volunteer work I had done over the years. She simply wanted to evaluate my character, see if I was a people person, and discover if I was not only willing to take on a job of waiting tables, but to also help build a restaurant from the ground up. This proved to be a daunting task.
I showed up to the future restaurant location the next day and was surprised at how much work was yet to be done. A cook in the back tossed me a cleaning rag and hollered, “Hope you’re prepared to get dirty… We’re gonna be here for a while.”
I stayed for hours… not just that day, but for weeks after that. The grimy place that used to be a car garage was starting to look like a hip new restaurant and we were all very proud of the long hours put in to make this place a working business.
Once the restaurant officially opened, we were slammed from open to close. I was finally starting to get the hang of my new job until the evening I had to handle a situation with an upset customer.
“How’s everything tasting over here?” I asked.
“Actually, I am not happy with this food at all. It was not what I was expecting when I ordered it,” he said.
“Well sir, I am so sorry to hear about this. Was there anything wrong with your meal specifically so I can make sure it doesn’t happen again?” I replied.
After a few more minutes of conversation, I went to go get him a free appetizer as an apology. He gladly accepted, but then asked to speak to my manager. Though I worried he intended to tell her how awful of a job I had done, instead, he told her how well I handled the situation.
Although he wasn’t pleased, his wife was extremely happy with her meal and the two of them told my manager that they would come back again for another try, but only if I was their server.
From that day on, damage control was my specialty. I took over the duties of checking on tables, making sure everything was running smoothly in the back, taking phone calls from customers, and answering any questions patrons might have. My love of helping people while working with a team made me grow fond of my new position. I was willing and able to handle any situation that came my way and people seemed to be drawn to my enthusiastic personality. Although this job was stressful, I was excited to get to work every day and see what “mess” awaited me.
This job proved to me that inexperience does not mean one is incapable. I was able to quickly pick up and implement the skills needed to be a professional in an industry in which I had no background. In doing this, I gave myself the confidence to continue to prove my skills not only to others but also to myself.
Determination to learn and willingness to work hard will take you a long way in life.
Yes, screw-ups happen, but most things can be easily fixed if you handle the situation in a mature, professional manner. (A free appetizer never hurts either!)