Opinion: Finding a career that you enjoy

Jack Halley
Jack Halley

At this is the time of year there are many students having to make decisions about their future.

I have been in that position and this is how I found a job that I enjoy I am.

I am now 18 years old, I went to Fyling Hall in Robin Hood’s Bay where our motto was “The days that make us happy make us wise”.

I then went to Prior Purslove College in Guisborough, then on to Caedmon College Whitby.

I am much more practical than academic so always wanted to find a job that would use my practical skills as the I knew I would enjoy it.

One piece of advice I would share with anyone trying to find a job, is to start looking before you finish studying.

I started when I was at school working in a café in Whitby serving ice creams and making milkshakes, then I managed to get my waiter job through my sister.

She had been working at a waitress before she went off travelling. When she came back, she followed our father, who works in Whitby as an auctioneer, into auctioneering so when she was asked to go back to her old waitressing job she recommended me instead ,which is how I started working at Dunsley Hall.

I was working at weekends and during the week after studies, finished which allowed me to break myself in gently to the world of work.

Being a waiter is good if like me you are a ‘people person’, enjoy food and drink and want to work in a busy environment. I had to prepare tables, greet customers, take orders, advise on menu choices, serve meals and deal with payments.

I also had to be on hand to answer any questions and make sure that customers enjoyed their experience.

I got lots of on the job training and learnt how to be clear in communicating both to customers, other staff and the chefs in the kitchen.

Being a waiter can be a tiring job as you spend most of your time on your feet, and often have to respond quickly in noisy and demanding dining room. It can be a bit stressful on a busy Sunday lunch service but I love the buzz and feedback from the guests.

I really get on well with all the team at the hotel and felt I fitted in which is really important as you spend so much time with your work colleagues.

I was always in the kitchen and saw what the chefs were doing and I became more interested in the food we were serving so when a trainee chef role was being advertised I jumped at the chance to work in the kitchen.

I needed to push myself forward and was persistent in persuading the chef to take me on as I had no experience in cooking and had to wait until there were enough waiters to cover my shifts before I could change my job.

No doubt about it cooking is hard work but working as a waiter front of house gave me a good idea of what it was like to be on my feet all day. I’m always asking questions, learning loads and now as I am responsible for starters and desserts and support the kitchen at breakfast.

Our kitchen is very busy so I have to be ready to do anything the other chefs need me to.

I still need a lot of practice but I really enjoy it and think I may have found a job that could be my career.