We all had those jobs in high school that funded our impromptu frozen yogurt runs with friends or paid for our car inspections and insurance.
However, along with helping us develop important soft skills that we will be using in the professional world for the rest of our lives, these jobs can often teach you things about the career field you hope to pursue.
This was the case for me.
In high school, I waited on tables at a local pizzeria, and from that experience, I was able to learn a lot of things about public relations and marketing before I even stepped foot onto a college campus or took my first public relations class.
One of the key things that I learned about PR from my experience at the restaurant was the importance of branding. Being that there were many pizza places offering the same type of products in our area, our little food joint had to stand out from the rest.
With our homemade dough and family-friendly atmosphere, we were able to market our business towards a family-oriented community, which only led to more business and recognition.
The restaurant business also gave me an important introduction to PR campaigns and methods for enticing new customers to try a product.
From coupons on football weekends to strategically sending out menus once every three months to sub-areas of our town, we were able to pull in new business and reach areas of the community that we had not been able reach previously.
Also, working at a restaurant and taking care of customers gave me a crash course in professionalism and customer service.
It was important to keep a friendly, polite demeanor while working the counter and the dining room, and it was also important to know how to diffuse a red-hot situation when there was a mistake in an order.
The service industry taught me valuable lessons about PR, and I didn’t know it until I learned about these practices in our student-run firm and my classes!
Did you have a job in the service industry that taught you valuable lessons about your career field? If so, please tell us about it in the comments below!