Since working as a barista in some of the best specialty coffee establishments in Melbourne I have taken a side-step into Account Management which affords me the opportunity to train others, use my business and human resource training and my passion in a neatly packed career that pays more than $20 an hour and gives me the flexibility of weekends off – a luxury not many are able to enjoy in the hospitality industry.
This has led me to want to write about some other side stepping careers a barista may want to take to stay in coffee and yet bring more personal development than simply pushing the button with the two cups on it.
Roaster – The obvious next step for many baristas who want to learn more about coffee and stay in the industry. However unless you are prepared to work very hard in a factory and be intently focused for up to 12 hours per day this may not be for you.
Procurement – Buying green is a serious business. This will probably involve travelling to countries of origin, learning Spanish and cupping and roasting your own. If you have connections and money this would be a great way to travel and learn about coffee.
Sales – Retailing and wholesale is very competitive. If you have good people skills, are a self starter and believe in your product I would try this for a year or two.
Service – Cleaning and repairing.
Owner – This will give you the greatest flexibility. It will also allow you to move from the first to the third quadrant in the cash flow foursquare. However it will require total dedication and startup funds. Here are some ownership options: cafe owner, coffee cart, partner in a coffee business, website or service business.
Trainer – If you really know your stuff. Other specialist careers may be professional coffee taster, judge or media publicist, event manager, accountant or lawyer.
Id love to hear your comments. What side steps have you taken?