Welcome to the first of hopefully many editions of a new series i’m calling, Traveller Tips. I know, groundbreaking right? But I thought as I’m a first time, solo traveller, it would be helpful for me to pass on the knowledge I’ve gathered, to you guys. What I’ve learnt, the mistakes I’ve made and a few traveller tips to make your experience a little easier. These aren’t going to be in any kind of order, hence today we’re kicking things off with getting a job… more specifically, in hospitality. Hospo jobs (as they call it in the trade) seem to be some of the most popular amongst travellers and in a highly saturated industry, you’re going to need all the tips you can get to bag yourself that perfect hospo job.
I walked into my job at a shoe shop, with no retail experience and got the job straight away. I walked into my job at a bank, having failed my Maths GCSE and not only got the job straight away, but got promoted within 5 months. Going travelling I thought it would be kinda fun to get a job at a cafe or restaurant. Well, no. Turns out you have to jump through a million fiery hoops, have 86 years experience and be Oprah Winfrey to get a job in a restaurant. So for all those thinking of working in hospitality during your travels, this ones for you.
// Traveller Tips – Getting The Job \\
It all depends on where you are in the world. Some places are going to be crying out for hospitality staff, some aren’t. So it’s all variant on where you are. But firstly it’s all about perfecting that CV. Gone are the days of walking up and down the streets, dropping in CV’s to places. Nowadays it’s all done online, so your CV is going to be the only thing these companies have to go by. So you’ve got to get smart with it.
Whatever experience, no matter how big or little you think it is, shove it on there. Getting a job within the hospitality sector, is all about experience. If you don’t have experience, they don’t want to know. Whether you’ve done a mate a favour and covered one shift, whether you had a trial shift at a cafe, whatever it might be, fluff it up and make it sound bigger than it is. Even if that means lying a little. As long as you can cover up the lie and stick to it, if it gets you in the door, then you’ve succeeded. And 9 times out of 10, they won’t even question you on your CV.
Also, flexibility. For travellers, you have that luxury of flexibility. It’s more than likely that you don’t already have a job, so that means you can start straight away. If like me, you’re setting up based in one location, then no commitments is also something these companies will really like. Even making yourself available over the weekends. Since I’ve come to New Zealand, I’ve found that I don’t actually like the weekends. Nobody responds to emails, things close early and everywhere is much busier. When you travel, everyday feels like a weekend. So don’t be picky about the days you work. Be flexible.
// Traveller Tips – Once You’re In \\
Hospo work is like no other work I’ve ever done. If you’re a long-time reader, then you’ll probably know I’m not one for much movement. I like to spend most of my time sat down, chilling out. So working in hospitality has been the eye-opener I never knew I needed. I never quite appreciated just how hard these people work, to ensure a restaurant get’s their food out on time, along with sides, drinks and all the other fluffy bits that go alongside dining out. It really does take an entire team.
So don’t be fooled (by the rocks that I got… sorry, couldn’t help myself) hospo work is hard. You work long shifts, you’re on your feet the entire time, you never stop and you have to do it all with a big ol’ smile. So my number one tip is WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES! Don’t wear some because you think they look nice. You’re going to be doing a lot of running around, you have to be comfortable.
Since being in NZ, I’ve worked in two hospitality places and I feel this next one on the traveller tips, is going to be useful across all areas. Don’t get offended. They’re very high intensity jobs, a lot is going on, the chef is under a lot of pressure, you’re under a lot of pressure, things get said, things get dropped, mistakes happen. The biggest thing you must remember is do.not. get.offended. Take nothing personally and just move on. If someone says something to you in a poor manner, just move on from it. They’re probably just under a lot of pressure, feeling the stress and you just happened to be around. Needless to say, if they constantly talk to you like shit, stand up for yourself and snap back. But more often than not, it’s just the environment that’s stressing people out.
// Traveller Tips – Adapting To Your New Life \\
For me, I could never see how someone works in hospitality for more than a few years. It’s great if you’re a traveller, if you’re single, if you’re young and just wanting a bit of extra money. But if you’re wanting to settle down, get a bit of a routine or even just a normal life, then hospo work isn’t for you. You work funny hours, you rarely get to see friends and family because as they’re off work, you’re just starting, you work late meaning you sleep less. Your lifestyle becomes opposite to that of everyone else.
At the start, the change is big. It’s a shock to the system and if you’re like me, you’ll doubt your entire life decisions. However, stick to it, adapt and you’ll soon get there. I don’t want to waste my days, so I refuse to lay in bed until god knows what time and just plod around. It’s so important that you continue to wake up at a normal time and make the most of the day. If you let the hospo life take over, then you’ll soon become a night owl and your entire body clock will be screwed. It’ll take some getting used to, but once you’re there, you’ll love it.
When you finish work, go home and go straight to bed. Wake up in the morning, do what you need to do, get out of bed early, make the most of the day and then a few hours before it’s time to work, I suggest you chill for a bit before mayhem continues. Also, eat lunch as late as possible. With most hospo jobs, you’ll get food at the restaurant, but if not then eat lunch as late as you can, so it’ll see you through the rest of the day.
Nobody ever said hospo work was easy, but my god is it fun. If you’ve got a good team around you, if the customers are nice and the atmosphere is good, then hospo work really is a great laugh. Like I said, it’s not for everyone and it’s definitely not a long term career, however for travellers, it’s the perfect job.
If I’ve missed anything out or there’s still things you want to know, then leave a comment below & I’ll be sure to answer any questions. But for now, I have to get my Hawaiian work shirt on, yes I get to wear a Hawaiian shirt to work, get ready and head in for another shift.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, the first of many Traveller Tips blog posts. Also, if there is anything else about travel that you’d like me to write a post about, then let me know.
| By Harrison |