Barista | Youth Central

Cate, 22

What's your job? Where do you work?

I work as a barista at Deep Dish Cafe at Melbourne University, as well as being a full-time student.

Is it part-time or casual? How many hours a week do you work?

I work 20 hours a week in the cafe.

What does the job involve?

The job involves serving customers and making coffee, mostly. It’s a very fast-paced cafe (uni students drink a lot of coffee!) so I have to be very quick with my coffee-making.

When you started looking for work, was this the sort of work you wanted?

I started looking for casual work at the start of this year that would fit in with my studies and earn a bit of extra cash. This job is in a great location for me, close to my home and right in my uni, and the regular hours are helpful too.

What did you have to do to apply for the job?

I submitted a resume to the cafe manager, and then did a short trial shift to demonstrate my skills.

Did anyone help you with either looking for or applying for this job?

No, I found the job myself.

Was it hard to find this kind of job?

Hospitality is a competitive field, especially with so many students looking for casual work. It was difficult to find a job in such a good location, and one that actually paid proper wages.

What are you hoping to get out of this job?

It has provided me with a consistent income this year, and given me a necessary distraction from the pressure of my studies.

Does this kind of job have any relevance to your desired career path?

It is not directly related to my desired career path, but it has improved my communication and interpersonal skills, and given me a stronger work ethic.

Do you find it difficult to balance this job with the rest of your week?

It is quite a heavy commitment, but finding the right balance has just given me even stronger time-management skills.

What advice do you have for people looking for part-time or casual work?

Don’t let anyone pay you below the award wage. Ten dollars an hour cash-in-hand is not acceptable, and it's illegal. Keep looking until you find an honest employer. It can also be tough balancing work and study, so make sure you’re not working so much that your university or high school work is suffering – your education should be your priority!

Find out more about this career path at (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).