"If you can wait tables, you can do any job."
My former roommate Kaitlynn Murphy used to tell me that all the time. With the exception of becoming a doctor or a lawyer, she was convinced that the few years she spent shuffling around in a number of restaurant management positions had prepared her for any career under the sun.
Seven years later, she's the head of operations for a food brand in San Francisco. Recently, I checked in with her to see if she still believes her own advice.
Here's what she told me.
1. Waitressing teaches you to prioritize quickly
"Getting someone's ketchup so they can eat their fries while they're still hot is more important than refilling Bob's water for the fourth time," Murphy said.
This also applies to her current role — or any role, she notes. Murphy says she has an easier time identifying and prioritizing long-term projects and job responsibilities against the immediate needs of her boss or a client.