Going from “diner girl” to professional

Posted on Posted in Tips & Tricks

Growing up in a family restaurant business and being taught how to handle customers at age 15 may feel like “you know everything since you grew up in it”, but you don’t. Being taught at a young age makes you more experienced then a newer employee, sure; managing improves leadership skills, sure; feeling relaxed/comfortable because you’ve been in this business technically since you could walk and that’s the only thing you know, sure. Preparing you for the big bad corporate world…not so much. Here are 3 tips to handling the transition from casual to proper.


Tip 1: Don’t act like you know everything


Being around and growing up in the food business your whole life may make you feel like you’ve had the most experience then anyone your age. This may be true in the restaurant industry but as for corporations it’s a whole other kettle of fish. Learning is a part of every new job or career and being open to changes and new ideas is simply up to you. Listening to your new boss and taking advice from fellow co-workers will only benefit you in your learning experience. You may have been the boss’s son/daughter and this allowed you to pretty much do anything without getting fired but in the corporate world you start from the bottom and you need to work your way up and earn it. Every action you make will result in some sort of consequence. Hard work and dedication will pay off.


Tip 2: Time crunch


I’m sure you wake up 30 minutes before you have to go to your waitressing job and throw on your leggings and sneakers and apron that lie on your floor. Your hair goes in a messy ponytail and you casually walk in 5 minutes late. I mean who’s going to fire you, right? Try doing that in any firm in the US and see if you don’t get terminated on the spot. To be on time means to always be early. Deadlines need to be met and the world does not stop for you. Being consistent and handing in work on time or early is key. Doing so proves you actually want to be there and your employer didn’t make a mistake hiring you.


Tip 3: Appearance


Sure appearance isn’t everything and what’s on the inside means something too BUT showing professionalism comes from both sides. I’m sure you’re used to wearing whatever you wanted to work or that old “We Deliver” t-shirt everyday but it is now time to move on. Showing up to your corporate job wearing dress pants and a button-down are probably your best bet. Doesn’t need to be fancy, just needs to look put together and appropriate. Obviously crop tops and mini skirts would not work in an office setting so showing minimum skin is a huge thing to keep in mind. Looking great on the outside will make you feel great on the inside.


Everyday you learn something new. Making mistakes is part of life and you can only grow and learn from them. Experiencing a new path may be scary at first but it’s totally worth it in the end. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to try new things!



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