Being a working parent always comes with its challenges, no matter what industry you choose to work in, but being in the hospitality industry brings its own unique hurdles. Don’t get me wrong, being a bartender is great preparation for parenthood, between the spilt drinks, sleepless nights and having patience with every request no matter how ridiculous you will have successfully completed parenthood 101. But what happens when the parental leave ends and it’s time to go back to work?
The first thing to consider is what path you want your career to take. Absolutely love slinging cocktails? Passionate about customer service? Love learning about the business side of the industry? Well, then there are options open to you beyond the bar. Hotel Management, Ambassador work and Freelance bartending all have qualities that make juggling work and parenthood easier, that’s not to say if being behind the bar is your passion that you should give it up!
The industry is slowly adapting to being more understanding of parental needs and with venues being open during the days it is possible to request flexible shifts, in fact, it is your legal right to ask your employer for what you need during this time and they can only deny this request if they can prove it goes against business needs. In my experience I have been able to request day shifts during the week and night shifts every other weekend, I have been allowed to start my shift 15 minutes later due to school opening hours and I have even bought my children to the odd management meeting.
Sure I missed some big events over the years but this is true of any job, however, I have managed to do the school run and put my children to bed most nights. I have been able to show them that you can make a career out of the job that you love and some of my passion for the industry has even rubbed off on them and they hope to one day own their own bar! Don’t be afraid to let others know what you need and ask for help and you too could be enjoying the best of both worlds.