Australia’s coffee culture is massive, there are specialty cafés literally everywhere and many places are looking to hire baristas. However there are also many people looking to start working in the coffee industry which makes the job market very competitive for beginners.
1- You are lacking experience: somehow every coffee shop requires their barista to have 1 or 2 years of experience in specialty coffee to work which is a paradoxical because you need to start working somewhere one day. What this means is that from an employer’s point of view, an experienced barista will likely not require to be trained and he/she will be more productive, will produce higher quality coffee and thus drive more business to the shop.
2- Your English isn’t great: if you look closely at the staff in cafés, a lot of them are not Australian native and for someone who just landed in the country, it might be difficult to adapt and language can definitely be a barrier. This is mostly as issue because you will need to interact with customers, be able to chat and understand what they want but also you’ll need to make yourself understood by your co-workers. Working as a barista is a team effort and great communication is paramount.
3- You might come across as shy or nervous: if you’re going for a trial and you’re jumping on the machine to pull shots, you may not know the equipment or the workflow in that café, therefore you focus on getting comfortable into that set up but you fail to look up and smile to customers or to the rest of the team. For any smaller café that isn’t too busy, customer service is extremely important and cannot be neglected.
If you found you struggled in other areas to get a job when you first started, please let us know in the comments below. We’ll release another post shortly to help you tackle each of these issues.
P/s: Here are the tips that you can use to tackle the first challenge.