Whether you’re still in high school, college, or are a young person looking to break into a new career, working as a barista can be a very rewarding experience. If you love coffee, want to learn as much as you can about the different methods to make coffee, and like the idea of working in a job where you can do different things and meet new people every day, then a career as a barista might be ideal for you. Working as a barista is no longer simply a part-time job to do while you’re on your way to bigger and better things, or the type of job that people take up when they are in between careers and need a means of making money. As a young person today, becoming a professional barista can be a very viable and even lucrative career idea with many options for success whether you end up opening your own coffee shop or competing in barista world championship competitions. If this career idea is something that you are considering, here are some of the main things to know before you decide to begin training to be a barista.
It’s a Social Job
Working as a barista is definitely a great job for extroverts, as one of the main things that make this job so amazing for many of the people who do it is the possibility of communicating with a wide range of different people every day. Along with being able to connect and build relationships with the co-workers that you will be working with on a daily basis, you will also get the chance to talk to lots of different customers from all walks of life. As a barista, there is also a lot that you can learn from others and every day will be a learning process for you. Along with barista work experience and your barista training, you will always be learning things on this job with lots of new things to discover from other baristas, coffee professionals, and even your customers.
There’s Some Heavy Lifting Involved
As a barista, it’s not always all about being in front of the coffee machine making coffee. You may sometimes be expected to lift and carry heavy things like coffee bags or other delivered goods like milk, syrups, and even the snacks that are sold alongside the coffee. Before you decide whether or not you want to be a barista, be prepared to do some heavy lifting occasionally as part of this job, which could include lifting, bending, and other physical movements – but the good news is that it might replace working out at a gym. If you feel that you might have some challenges with this, for example, due to an illness or disability, ask your employer about the accommodations that they can put in place for you.
You’ll Probably Need to Get Up Early
Like any other job you might do, there are always going to be some ups and downs of working as a barista. While there are lots of advantages to this type of work, for many, the biggest downside is the early starts. People tend to order coffee first thing in the morning on their way to work, and as a barista, your shift might be starting long before the first customers arrive, sometimes as early as 4 AM or even before this, depending on where you work. If you are working as a barista in an airport, for example, expect to get there to open up before the first passengers come through security, which could mean starting work at 3 AM. This might be ideal for you if you are a morning person and like starting your day as early as possible, but if you’re not, it can get tiresome. The good news is that coffee shops are open throughout the day so there’s always going to be later shifts for baristas, but mornings are considered to be the busiest time, so the demand is higher.
Customer Service Isn’t Always Easy
As a barista, it’s not just about your coffee-making skills but also your customer service skills. And in this job, you will need to become thick-skinned and learn to let rude customers not get to you since people can certainly be cranky before they get their first coffee of the day. Sometimes it can be funny to see a customer who is irritable and even rude suddenly become a lot nicer when they first take a sip of their coffee. Remember that it’s not personal; they’re just tired and need a caffeine hit. But it’s important to be prepared for the fact that some customers are not going to be nice to you, and while you’re always going to meet some amazing people throughout the day, other customers are more difficult to deal with.
You’ll Have the Opportunity to Learn Other Things
Along with the basic barista duties, in this line of work, you might have the opportunity to learn even more new things, such as going through extra barista training and doing coffee cuppings. These are some of the great things about working as a barista. However, there will also be a need to do other things as well as serving coffee, which are not so appealing, like cleaning and servicing the coffee machines, or cleaning the entire coffee shop. Along with this, as you become more experienced as a barista and develop your training, you might be asked to help train the less experienced baristas when they first start on the job.
You Can Develop Transferable Skills
One of the best things about working as a barista is that even if you get to a point where you decide that this isn’t the right career for the rest of your life, all of that experience will not go to waste. Once you have worked as a barista, you will have developed skills that will help you in pretty much any line of work. Working as a barista is a very people-centered job and this will certainly stand you in good stead in almost any job that you might do in the future, as most jobs will require some interaction with people. Any customer service role will also be lucky to have somebody who has previously fine-tuned their customer service skills through working as a barista.
You’ll Learn Lots About Coffee
When you are working as a barista, you are never going to drink sub-standard coffee at home again. In this line of work, coffee is your expertise, and once you have a good grasp of the coffee basics, you can apply them almost everywhere. You will learn more about the long chain of production involved with coffee and how every step of the production process impacts the final taste in your cup, and as a result, will find it easier to choose the right coffee for you to make at home or for others in a non-work setting. You’ll also know more about coffee machines, extraction techniques, and what to add to coffee to make it taste even better, which in turn, means that when it comes to making coffee shop standard coffee for yourself every morning, you will find it easy.
It Can Boost Your Confidence
As a barista you will assume a lot of responsibility in your line of work, which can provide you with more confidence in yourself, positively impacting other areas of your life. When you are in control of the flow of a coffee shop and making perfect drinks even during busy periods, it takes more than the morning rush, impolite customers, or minor accidents to knock you off balance. Along with this, working as a barista gives you the chance to practice and develop your social skills and charisma, with plenty of chances to improve your conversation skills and ability to persuade others.
You Will Enjoy Lots of Job Prospects
If you have ever traveled, then you will probably be aware that coffee is a universal beverage. No matter where you go, people drink coffee; it is one of the most consumed beverages around the world alongside tea and water. Because of this, there are lots of job prospects available for somebody who is trained as a barista. Once you have finished your training and gained some experience, there are plenty of opportunities for working in coffee in many areas around the world. As a trained barista, you will not only be able to find more opportunities for this job but also opportunities in other coffee paths such as working as a coffee roaster, coffee buyer, coffee cupper, quality specialist, barista trainer, and more. Along with this, once you have trained and gained experience as a barista and understand how coffee shops work, you’ve laid a great foundation for starting your own coffee shop business.
If you are young and wondering where to take your future career, training to become a barista is an ideal choice for anybody who loves coffee. Along with being a fast-paced, social job, it can lead to even further career opportunities.