What Kirsty Did Next

Posted on July 10, 2012


Were I an actor my current employment status would be described as “resting”. After 10 years of working like a bitch and increasingly difficult health problems I decided the time had come to listen to my body and take some time off. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas and as the rains came and the daughter and I face the prospect of six weeks in each others company the time seems right to start looking for work.

As well as a couple of exciting irons bubbling in the fire I have introduced myself to a breed of people called “Recruitment Consultants”. Recruitment Consultants seem to come in two groups. The first, infinitely professional and committed to both client and candidate and finding the perfect match for both. The second, and one I met most recently, neatly segued from a career selling double glazing over the telephone and treat the job seeker with the same contempt they showed Edna while fleecing her of her life savings to buy UPVC facias she didn’t know she needed.

If you’re a potential employer my CV is a thing of wonderfully crafted, beauty. For everyone else cut through the rhetoric and hyperbole ( I am in communications after all) and it broadly reads “ran some pubs, worked at Molson Coors”, both things I’m incredibly proud of.

Which is why I was a little surprised when the aforementioned Recruitment Consultant said that my years running pubs wouldn’t be relevant to prospective employers. At first I nodded in agreement, it was over ten years ago. But no, that’s not why she wanted to exclude it. She wanted to exclude it because in her narrow-minded view running a pub is not “a proper job”. Luckily I was too busy trying not to spit my mouthful of coffee into her over made up face to let rip with the stream of expletives that immediately hit my tongue and had time to compose a more balanced response.

Running a pub is tough and rewarding in equal measures. Amongst the long days, long nights, absent staff, blistered feet, burnt forearms, failed deliveries, blocked toilets and occasional vomit you can see the very worst of people when they’re mixed with too much alcohol. But you also see the very best of people when you share the birthdays, engagements, promotions, weddings, Christmases, work parties and all the carefree pub moments when people have nothing to worry about but relaxing and enjoying themselves.

In my seven years running pubs I learned how to keep a decent pint, how to cook and which spirits create the best flaming shots when mixed together. Maybe not skills for life but I also learned how to recruit, develop and manage staff, negotiate contracts, VAT returns, marketing, customer service, legislation, managing a P&L and more things than I can remember.

One of the reasons people don’t take pub workers seriously is perhaps because it’s made up of a lot of part-time workers doing it on the side. That shouldn’t stop you seeing it though as an invaluable learning ground for a whole heap of transferable skills that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your working life, as Target Jobs rightly point out, or as a very hard working but enjoyable career choice.

According to the excellent BBPA local jobs and economy report

  • The sector supports close to 1 million jobs in the UK
  • Over 650,000 are directly employed by pubs or breweries
  • Beer and pubs add nearly £20 billion to the UK economy
  • Over £11 billion is paid in taxes by brewers and pubs

That kind of economical contribution certainly sounds like an industry doing a “proper job” to me.

The search continues……..

Posted in: BBPA, Pubs