Are you a Waiter and want the change to Tech Job? It’s simple. (Crash Daily)

Isaac Morehouse
January 2021

We’ve had a bit of a theme on the Career Crashers podcast this month, talking to people who moved from food service and made the change to a tech job.

It’s fun to hear these stories because many people assume the gap between brick and mortar restaurant work and digital work at a tech company is too big. But it’s not! People with and without college degrees, with and without any previous tech experience, have made the jump and made the change to a tech job.

The only two things you need to succeed in your career are:
1. The ability to create value (aka skills)
2. The ability to prove it (aka a signal)

You wouldn’t have a restaurant job if you weren’t creating value for the company and customers. Those are skills. The part where most people struggle is how to prove it and find some way to signal those skills to other companies.

Say you worked at Applebee’s as a waiter and were good at it. How can you translate that into something that might get you a customer success job at Spotify? Boil down what made you a good waiter and some proof of your skills into something you can email to a hiring manager. No, not a bullet point list. Something tangible.

At Crash, we’ve found a short video pitch, coupled with a project or two, and maybe an endorsement is a consistently successful formula to win interviews. I’ve seen people use restaurant experience to create a signal of skill in interesting ways, including:

  • A blog post about what they learned as a waiter
  • A list of the sales or tips on their watch vs the average waiter
  • A story about how they dealt with a tough customer – written or video
  • An endorsement from a customer or coworker

There are as many ideas as there are experiences. Just ask yourself what makes you good at your food-service job that could be useful to other jobs, and find a way to prove it.

Oh, then don’t be afraid to send it to the company you want to work for. Not just through their formal job application process – everyone does that – but directly in an email or message.

(If you need help, Crash can walk you through the whole process to change to a tech job! Check out our Job Hunt Crash Course).