Why You Should Ignore Warren Buffett

This post brought to you by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Evil HR Lady.

Warren Buffett just said that you shouldn’t take resume building jobs, but instead should jump into things you love. His exact quote is “I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume.” This is excellent advice if your daddy can get you a job you love at his business, or front you several million dollars so you can start up your own business. The rest of us? We need experience. We need to learn things through hard work so that we are prepared to jump into a job we love.

Take for instance, the piano. I love to sit down and play. You know what I didn’t like? All that practicing my mother made me do. Now I can do something I love but only because I did the hard work.

And, so let’s talk about hard work. Restaurants are where most of us get our start. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) thinks that’s a great place to start, and so do I. Do jobs such as working as a waitress actually teach you anything, or is it just a way to earn some money until you can do, as Buffet suggests, and jump into your favorite thing ever? They absolutely teach you transferable skills and it looks great on your resume—especially when you’re trying to get your first job out of college. What does a job in a restaurant teach you?

How to work.

I didn’t realize this was a difficult concept until I had actual children myself. (My mother I laughing at this). Turns out, they don’t come out of the womb knowing that cleaning the kitchen includes scrubbing the pans, wiping off the table, and sweeping the floor, not just shoving the half scraped dishes into the dishwasher. Work in a restaurant? It’s hard and can be uncomfortable, but it teaches you to clean up messes as you go. It teaches you to keep a smile on your face when your feet hurt. It teaches you to put a fresh pot of coffee on before the current one is empty.

These things all transfer. Hard work? Life is hard. You want to be successful? You want to climb the corporate ladder? Learn how to work your buns off.

Working when your feet hurt? You can’t give up on a project or a job when it gets hard. You can’t give into a bully coworker because she makes you feel uncomfortable. You learn how to keep going when it gets tough.

Keeping a smile on your face? All jobs are customer service jobs. Who the customer is varies from job to job, but there’s always a customer. Your customers like you better when you’re kind. Most jobs don’t result in tips, but treating the customer right can result in profits.

Starting a new pot of coffee before the old one is finished? If you wait until there is an actual problem to start on the solution, you’ll always be catching up. If you can anticipate needs, you’re a lot better off . Turns out that the Food and Beverage Service Competency Model actually does work.

How to behave at a job.

Turns out all those television shows where the characters make huge mistakes and then because they are funny the day is saved not apply in real life. Likewise, you get fired for sexual harassment, rather than getting to date the hot guy in the office. You don’t get to come in whenever you feel like it and you need to respect your boss, even if your boss isn’t so bright.

Learning these things early in life will be a boon to your career. It’s just that type of resume building that actually helps you get to your dream job. And, it turns out, that even if your dad does hire you, he’d be smart to send you to work in a restaurant first.

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7 thoughts on “Why You Should Ignore Warren Buffett

  1. Some good points. But I think you are being a little unfair to Mr. Buffet. He didn’t come from wealth, himself. And he didn’t hand his kids a big stack of money to start their own businesses etc.

    1. I think he’s like the old lady you run into in the grocery store when your toddler is having a melt down. You know, the one who snaps, “My children always behaved in public!”

      It’s not that she’s lying–it’s just that she’s so far removed from the time when she had small children that she’s forgotten.

      Some people do have great luck and can found their own business without any experience whatsoever. Most of us, however, need to cut our teeth first.

      1. I think that’s a lot closer to what’s happening than the idea that he didn’t have to cut his teeth. As it happens, he mostly did cut his teeth on investing – and also drove his family nuts.

  2. Haven’t read up on the Buffet quote, but thank you for sticking up for the work experience of the restaurant world. I worked in, then managed, a coffee house right out of college. I remember being frustrated, depressed, and po’d at the number of people who didn’t get or downplayed what I’d learned there when I was ready to move on to a job outside of food service.

  3. Warren Buffet? Is that some all-you-can-eat buffet place I haven’t heard about? Given the sponsorship by the National Restaurant Association, maybe there’s some new location they’re sponsoring too.

    Oh, you mean the financier Warren Buffett? I’ve heard of that guy – he’s the most successful investor in the world. When his name is spelled right, you can even Google him.

    1. Oops! How embarrassing. I must have had food on my mind when I wrote this! It’s corrected now. Thanks for saying something!

      1. Its like that show “Keeping Up Appearances” where Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced “Bouquet”) has her name mispronounced in just about every episode.

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