Now That I Am Here
The story of how I entered the restaurant industry is unconventional. If you have not already read my post How Uber Got Me Here, you might need to go back and read it. I knew I would have to face and overcome numerous obstacles. This is true for anyone entering a new industry. Nevertheless, I was still not sure what to expect. Here I was, a blank slate with no restaurant experience. What was I going to do? How was I going to set myself up for success? I am sure some of you have had the same questions.
Unlike some of you, I had a month to decide if the restaurant industry was the right fit for me. Regardless of whether your time is shorter or longer, following these steps might help you. So I laid out the things I already knew about myself. I wanted to see how my strengths would help me succeed and to what extent would my weaknesses hinder me. If you want to be fancy, this is what the experts call a Personal SWOT Analysis. Exactly, I was not trying to sound like a know-it-all, but this is a crucial step for anyone seeking to determine how they can improve in whatever they are doing.
To get the ball rolling, I started out with identifying some of my self-limiting beliefs. In case you are wondering what these are, the website Changing Mind has a simple but adequate definition of self-limiting beliefs. Okay, now that we are on the same page, let us continue. At this point, it is critical that you are honest with yourself. Keep in mind that some of your self-limiting beliefs might not make sense to others, and that is just fine. You do not have to share this list with anyone but you can if you want to.
I guess being honest with yourself should be the underlying guideline for this entire process. When it came to identifying my strengths, I wanted to focus on the ones that separate me from other potential candidates. Again, the fancy experts would refer to this as your competitive advantage. You will need to identify the things that you do better than anyone else or at least anyone that might be your competition for your new position. The challenge I faced was the fact that I had no idea what the expectation was for a restaurant manager. So I focused on the expectations for managers within the industries have worked before. I have always believed that people will be people regardless of the industry. With that in mind, it's safe to assume that great managers should be able to employ their leadership skills regardless of the industry.
After I completed my list, I was one step closer to my goal; setting myself up for success. The next thing I jumped on was researching the industry more in-depth. Sure I had done some research before the offer was made but now was time for me to dig in and find out the hardcore stuff only people in the industry know. How did I accomplish this, simple, I reached out to my LinkedIn connections, friends who work in the industry, and spent hours going through reviews of restaurants by employees online. Don't forget; I only had a month to do this, which I believe is long enough for one to find out useful information.
So what is the take-home from this article?
Identify your Strengths
Identify your Weaknesses
Identify your Opportunities for growth
Identify the Threats
In case you were wondering, that's how the experts came up with the word SWOT. They are not completely lame. Some are cool.
Finally, learn as much as you can about your new industry, company, or position. The more you know, the better (that's what she said...fine I'll stop).