Barista Blues: Why Are You Sick of Your Job & What Can You Do?
Has being a barista started to feel like a drag? Do you have to force yourself to smile at customers? Does work leave you tired rather than energized?
Nearly every barista experiences this at one point or another. The fact that we used to love our job only makes it worse. But as a barista trainer, I’ve had plenty of experience with coaching people through the barista blues. Let’s take a look at the most common issues I encounter – and how to beat them.
Spanish Version: Barista: ¿Por Qué estás Cansado de tu Trabajo & Qué Puedes Hacer?
Stay motivated at work. Credit: Communal Coffee
Let’s be honest, we all get bored occasionally. Washing floors, stocking cupboards – your work can’t always be fun. However, you need to enjoy your job as a whole. If you come home thinking that it was boring, it’s time to make some changes.
Make your work more interesting by constantly challenging yourself. Try to master new brew methods, coffees, or latte art pours. Seek out constructive criticism and set out to improve. Instead of being complacent, strive towards making the perfect cup.
I also like to surround myself with great coffee friends – the kind of people that are completely honest with me and will push me to be a better barista. But also the kind of people that will have a little fun with me along the way!
Great coffee friends can keep boredom away. Credit: Methodical Coffee
Career fatigue can be similar to boredom, but it’s also linked to exhaustion. You’re tired by the monotony of your work. Serving customers has become drudgery. You’ve grown to dread your daily routine, waking up every morning to go to work to do the exact same stuff.
You need to get out of this slump.
Yes, you have a job to do and duties to fulfill. However, you can also give yourself a new perspective. Research on the different elements of the coffee chain: growing, harvesting, processing, roasting, blending, brewing… Find out the perspectives of other coffee professionals around the world. Join forums and groups so you can take part in the conversation. Read about the latest coffee trends.
You need to feel like your work is progressing towards something – not stagnating. But remember, fellow coffee friends, that you are part of something huge. Coffee has the power to make a real difference to people, whether consumers or producers. And you are part of this movement.
Focus on what you’re achieving to avoid the barista blues. Credit: Regroup Coffee + Bicycles, Haymaker Media
Whether you’re a new barista or a seasoned veteran, you’ll experience self-doubt from time to time. And unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for this. All the same, it’s important that you don’t allow your lack of confidence to stunt your growth and stop you from progressing as a barista.
Things are not always going to go your way. Sometimes, that latte art will lack symmetry. Or your brew might finish a little later than you intended. There are many many different reasons why the coffee or the milk could be giving you problems Coffee-making is a complex act of chemistry and physics, and the ingredients and tools we use can be hard to control.
But we need to see this as a good thing. It provides us with a challenge. It gives us room to experiment and improve.
If there’s something you’re struggling with, tackle it head-on. Practice, practice, and practice some more. Discuss it with your coffee friends and get their advice. Watch YouTube videos so you can learn from others. And remember, perfecting something always takes time.
Have confidence in your barismo. Credit: Methodical Coffee
SEE ALSO: Coffee Skills: The Daily Routines of a Specialty Barista
Where are you going? What is your goal in this industry? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s easy to slip into the barista blues. You need to find the motivation behind your journey.
Sit down and work out what moments bring you the most joy, what impact you want to have, and where you want to be in the future. Then start planning how to maximize this.
For example, as a barista trainer, I love what I do. I love sharing my thoughts and ideas with others and hearing their perspective as well. But most of all, I love empowering others! That gives me drive to keep going.
My favorite moments are when I go into a store where I have trained the staff, and the owner gives me a smug look before saying, “My barista makes a better cup of coffee than you.” I love it! It really revs my coffee engine. And so I continue to work as a trainer, I mentor unemployed youth in a Barista Academy, and I write for Perfect Daily Grind.
So go on, find your drive – an adventure awaits you!
Stay focused on your coffee goals. Credit: Coffee Snob Collective
Every job gets hard sometimes – even those that are your passion. So when you start to feel the barista blues seeping it, stay focused on your purpose. Search out ways to keep coffee interesting and fun. Remember the impact you have. And keep chasing new challenges.
Remember: “If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.”
Perfect Daily Grind
Want to read more articles like this? Sign up to our newsletter!