4 simple tips to land your first barista job

Looking for a barista job?

Here are 4 simple tips to help you find a job as a barista.

Attitude!

Cafes are not necessarily looking for experience! They’re looking for the right attitude. What is the right attitude you may ask? Start with a strong customer service background, maybe some food service experience, an outgoing personality and most of all, someone who loves coffee!

A TAFE certificate or similar qualification will only get your foot in the door – a certificate will not guarantee you a job – anyone who tells you otherwise (I’m calling out right now) is a liar! It’s the same with any industry – I come from an engineering background where employers must spend anywhere between 12 and 24 months training new university graduates who study 4 or more years to attain their degrees!

If you have an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) or some food handling experience, that’s a bonus.

Look in the right places

Find the right cafe – look for a cafe or coffee business you want to work for and that is willing to teach you and invest time in you. Remember a barista certificate may get your foot in the door, but won’t secure you a job – the right attitude will. Coffee Jobs is a new website dedicated to the coffee industry. Use it and bookmark it.

McCafe isn’t so bad

You may not necessarily find work in an independent specialty coffee shop straight away. Perhaps consider working for a coffee chain/franchise like Gloria Jeans and McCafe to build up your technical skills base first. That’s what I did back in 2004/05 – I worked for The Coffee Club, built up my experience and skills and left 3 months later.

Keep educating yourself

Keep learning – when you think you know it all you’re going to be left for dead. The coffee industry is evolving faster than ever. As new technologies and scientific approaches to analysing coffee become available, our techniques to brew coffee also evolve. Take more barista courses. Coffee training is not a once off thing, it’s the continual pursuit of excellence; a never ending path

And when you finally do land your job as a barista:

Customer service

Respect your customers. Again this has got to do with the right attitude (I think we’re going somewhere here)! It doesn’t matter if the order is for a skinny weak soy decaf mocha. Customers pay your wages and keep the cafe business alive. If there is a mistake or misunderstanding with an order, simply make it again and apologise. It takes only a little bit of extra time and helps build rapport with your customers, it’s what keeps them coming back, along with your totally bad ass caffe lattes and flat whites.

Think pro. Be pro.

Become a professional – not just in coffee making but in all aspects of your career. Do everything with pride and passion.

Remember – having no experience is not the end of the world – having the wrong attitude is.

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