Hacking your workplace to fast-track your skill growth

Workplaces can be dynamic spaces full of people from all walks of life - they are places where people of all ages, from cultures and countries with different skill-sets mixed together, creating a dynamic team and a real hotpot of experience. The U.K. health sector is a great example of this, it is one of the most diverse industries in the U.K. where workers of both high and low skilled professions come together to run our hospitals and healthcare centres. (And despite Brexit, the NHS is more diverse now than it has ever been.)

Hospitality is no different - chefs are one of the most diverse jobs in the U.K. whilst working in bars, restaurants and hotels attracts people from all sorts of backgrounds at different points in their lives. There is always something new to learn in our professions, a new skill to refine, and we’re surrounded by people with different talents to our own - even world-class chefs look to other cuisines to learn something new. The hospitality industry’s diversity has created a melting pot of talent which has made the sector a great environment to both learn and teach - clever workers will use this to their advantage and fast-track their growth to become highly-skilled professionals.    

The importance of learning new skills

In any career, you’re bound to learn more on the job than in training. Hospitality workers will know this more than most - it’s only by being thrown into the deep end that we really learn how to do our jobs. We might end up running off of our feet after a big Christmas event, but it is that unique work environment where we really learn how the industry works - and we’re sure to come out with a new skill at the end of it!

Workers will fare best when they go in open-minded and learn as many new things in a shift as they possibly can. This thirst for knowledge is a common trait among the most successful in the industry - the real entrepreneurs are always looking to pick up new skills because it’s key in predicting ‘the next big thing.’ Leaders in the booming Vegan market are undoubtedly those who were quick to take up the challenge and create plant-based products. People who keep sharp and learn new skills become innovators.  

Remember, the phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ isn’t true! There’s always more to learn, and it is only through learning new skills that new opportunities open up to us - how many times have you watched the Great British Bake Off and seen someone become a successful baker on the off-chance of trying out a recipe? The point is, taking the opportunity to learn new skills could spark a passion that can send your career in all sorts of places, often places you’d never dreamed of pursuing. Doors open to people who are up for trying new things, to people who want to challenge themselves and grow their skill sets.

Using the Brigad model to your advantage

Brigaders are freelance workers, and this gives them a unique advantage when it comes to fast-tracking their skill growth. Never before has it been so easy for workers to take advantage of the great mix of skills in the hospitality and healthcare industries. Seasoned hospitality workers will know that every restaurant, bar, hotel or pub is unique - a unique set of people going about their business in a unique way. The most obvious example is within the food industry - a day in the life at a fine-dining Italian restaurant is going to be a world away from the experience of a day spent at a sushi restaurant! Brigaders should take advantage of their freedom to make the most of experiences and learning opportunities that are on offer to them.

The freelance lifestyle means that workers have more freedom than ever before - why work in one restaurant when you could work in three? Think of all the skills you could pick up from working in one cuisine one night, then switching to another the next. You could fast-track your growth in no time, and these experiences will allow you to become a multi-skilled professional in your field. Now that looks awfully good on a C.V., doesn’t it? Being skilled in many areas could make picking up more work much easier than someone who specialises in one thing. Clever Brigaders will use Brigad to pick up as many skills as they possibly can, and become as multi-skilled as a swiss army knife!

Skilled people are in demand

Ok, ok, perhaps working in three different workplaces isn’t for everyone - it might be an additional stress having to work with new team members. Teams who have worked together for a long time become well-oiled machines, after all. But this doesn’t mean workers shouldn’t consider picking up hours every now and again in other workplaces to pick up skills, and working in areas new to you is a great chance to get out of old routines and discover our passion for the industry again. As we’ve already said, it is only by trying new things that new doors and new opportunities open up to us.

There are many more skills to learn that you might first think of - examples of these are: communication, conflict resolution, work ethic, stress management, problem solving, adaptability, leadership and organisation. These skills might not be as immediately obvious as learning a new recipe or making a new cocktail, but they are skills that are needed for us to become well-rounded professionals, and skills that any leader in the industry would say are fundamental. These can be learnt from our peers in the workplace, and it is only through working with many different people, different teams and different managers in different workplaces that we have the opportunity to learn. Wise workers will take advantage of this.  

Take advantage of the diverse workplace

We are often described as ‘creatures of habit’, meaning we get used to one way of living and working and never want to change. This is where that phrase, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ comes from! But getting stuck in our routines is a quick way to get a little fed up with the job and then we find ourselves in a rut. At the end of the day, the best way to avoid this and to keep our passions alive is to get out and learn some new skills - something that might be easier for workers in the hospitality industry than any other. Our workplaces are full of diversity - diverse in people and diverse in talent and skill. Brigaders have a great opportunity to take advantage of this and learn from their peers, learning new skills and fast-tracking their way to becoming a highly-skilled professional. Keep your passion for your job alive by continuing on your learning journey.

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