Bartender -- Is It A Real Job?

bartenderI'm looking for a bartender job. I know some people don't think that it's a real job but it's all I want to do right now and the competition is fierce in this economy." Karla. LA

There is honor in all work so don't let the ill-informed judgments of others diminish your self-respect Paula. By far the toughest job I ever had was tending bar, and everything I learned as a bartender has paid off in every job I've held since:

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

You gain exposure to a wide range of professional jobs

You are in Sales and constantly fielding an enormous range of product requests that you then have to manufacture and deliver to your customers, so you also work in Quality Control as well as Production.

The Public Relations aspect of the job means you are a consistent ambassador of goodwill, to an ever-changing landscape of personalities and attitudes, some of them mindlessly belligerent.

You work in Customer Service, solving problems and misconceptions and with responsibility for up-selling your customer base; while simultaneously you are also in Plant and Equipment Maintenance as you maintain a clean workplace and happy social environment for everyone of your guests.

Accounts Receivable and reconciliation are daily responsibilities that sometimes have to be executed in scenes that can only be described as Armageddon, and even then the day isn't done until you put on your Supply Chain hat and order stock for the next shift.

You become a more knowledgeable team player

This wide variety of work you do as a bartender gives you a working frame of reference for working in any of these departments in a subsequent career; this can help you in career choice and during interviews. The respect for other people's work that you develop as a bartender, will also help you make the jobs you land in subsequent professions more secure because you will be a more knowledgeable, respectful and supportive of the work of others. This makes you a better team player and wins you allies in many other departments.

You develop invaluable transferable skills.

As a bartender you develop the transferable skills that are common to successful people in all professions; and these are skills you can take with you from one job to another and from one profession to the next.

There are seven commonly acknowledged transferable skills and a bartender develops all of them: the work demands excellent listening and verbal skills, good social graces and professional presence. Problem solving and conflict resolution skills are a given with a job that also demands superior time management, creativity, teamwork and leadership skills.

Bartender – Is It A Real Job?

Anyone who says tending bar isn't much of a job should try to survive a week in the profession. Use the experience well and looking back in will have been the boot-camp for subsequent professional success.

You also asked if the Knock em Dead books would be of value to someone like you? Yours is a professional job like a thousand others that all look unique on the outside, but which are all remarkably similar on the inside. Knock em Dead Secrets & Strategies For Success will not only help you get a bartending job in this fiercely competitive market, it will help you understand and make a success of that job, then help you translate your skills when the time comes for career change.

Watch: 15 Bartender Secrets

Bartending Basics - 15 Must Knows

Next: The Jobs That Make The Most In Tips

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Filed under: Career Paths

Martin Yate


Martin Yate, CPC, author of Knock 'em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, is a New York Times and international bestseller of job search and career management books. He is the author of 11 job search and career management books published throughout the English speaking world and in over 50 foreign language editions. Over thirty years in career management, including stints as an international technology headhunter, head of HR for a publicly traded company and Director of Training and Development for an international employment services organization.

Within the profession he has a global reputation as the thought leader on job search and career management issues. He has lectured on four continents and has maintained a coaching practice since 1991.

The current recession is the 5th he has helped people navigate over the last 30 years.

For more information please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Search Jobs

In Partnership With

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 20 - July 27

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.


Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.