Monday, 9 December 2013

Job Profile: Cafe Manager and Freelance Photographer

The next in our series of Job Profile posts! E shows us the ropes of being a cafe manager and reveals that every job, is just what you make of it. 

Cafe Manager

So my day job is being a Cafe Manager to a rather charming independent 
coffee shop in Bristol. It's based in the heart of an old Victorian Cemetery, and before you say that sounds weird, It's one of the most beautiful places in the city. Surrounded by 45 acres of land my coffee shop is a lovely place to work with the most amazing view from a glass structure. My coffee shop loves to be as environmental friendly as possible - all its food is home made and the coffee fairly made. The ethical approach of where I work is realy important to me and finding a job that aligns with your ethical values isn't always easy! 

Now when I finished my degree in Photography I didn't exactly picture myself managing a coffee shop. But as we all know, our plans don't always work out as we expect! I didn't exactly pick a degree I was guaranteed a job in afterwards and this isn't a bad stepping stone. 

Through my job I'm getting the experience I need to help me in the future - contacting clients, managing staff and marketing. What I'm trying to show you is that you can make any job work for you. Create the creative opportunities you long for by thinking outside the box. For example: I've done various photo-shoots for the catering company that my coffee shop is run by, I've been able to take on the social media side of things and I've met some pretty great people in the process both through relationships with my regulars or my staff. For me this has been a great first job out of Uni. Sure the weekend working and constant on-your-feet shifts it involves can be physically exhausting but I make the most of it, and that makes it worthwhile. If you're in a similar position, or looking to be then I would reccoment using your day off in the week to pursue the other things you want to do. For me that was making a website and building my portfolio. Also make sure you map out time to relax and put your feet up (you're going to need it!). 

At the beginning I referred to this as my 'day job', mainly because I don't particularly consider it to be my dream job. So alongside doing this day to day I spend my spare time pursuing photogrpahy jobs. Whether that's photo-shoots for people in the evening after work or contacting and meeting clients on my days off during the week. I try and do it as often as I can, sure there can be weeks without anything, but that's exactly why right now I can't just solely be a photographer. In an ideal world I'd be photographing beautifully designed interiors all day long but I know - for now at least - I need to put the ground work in and make the most of the opportunities I have. Hopefully one day in the future I'll be snapping away without a care in the world!

So I guess my advice to all you creative's out there is don't stop pursuing your dream, but do other things too - you may meet people and get opportunities you didn't expect. Secondly, make the most of what you have. Try and be as creative as you can in all jobs and even ask to do things - no matter how unrelated they may seem! Use this time to gain experience in all areas - it'll all be useful one day. Most of all though, don't get disheartened, enjoy it, work hard and we'll get there. 

E x

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