T Nation

Overqualified... Job Frustrations


I am trying to get a second job to make as much money as I can for the next 8 months. I am 27 and have two bachelors degrees, one in exercise science and the other in biochem. I am trying to get a simple bartending job at night/weekends based on the amount of money I can make as this is what I did while i was in school for my first degree. I have literally been to EVERY bar/club in my area and have not gotten a single call back or anything. I would understand this if I had no experience but I have plenty of experience, two degrees, and have a great resume with managerial experience. I am a good looking guy that looks like I take care of myself and lift and am frustrated with my lack of progress on the part time job search.

IS this a prime example of being overqualified for a job? Bartending is pretty simple, bullshit with customers, flirt with older ladies, mix drinks and make tips, and repeat.

I would think an employer would want a responsible person with a degree to work for them, especially in the bar scene where the average bartender is one step away from steeling cash from the till. I went into a brand new club that was opening and was the ONLY canidate that had a fucking resume, and I STILL didn't even get a call back. WTF am I doing wrong?

any other suggestions on how to come up with some fast money working nights/weekends?

any shame in working the Mcdonalds night shifts or something like that?

frustrated with the job search, pointers or ideas are welcome.


Try sales of some sort, self employed.


Overqualified is the nice term for 'we're not going to hire you because we know you're just buying time while looking for a career'. You're not overqualified, but for a bartender position, I would say you're other-qualified. How about doing temp work? You can always say no if they offer something real bad, and they just keep searching for assignments that match your availability/interests. You can potentially make some good connections, if you're a hard worker. The money can be ok, if the right opportunity comes along. I did a 6 month assignment upgrading PC's (for which they gave you a script a retarded monkey could follow) at $20/hr., which ain't bad by temp standards.


No shame in working any job if you do the job well and with dignity. Working manual labor in Mississippi taught me far more than more white collar jobs.

But then again, you are young, in good shape, looking to work nights and weekend, can mix drinks and adapted at flirting with old women. There may be another career for you.


If your resume is solid like you say it is why are you zoning in on bar tending only?


If your degree is in exercise science, why don't you apply for a job at a gym instead of a bar? It's like a doctor applying for jobs at a law firm.


Everybody thinks they're a bartender, no matter their experience. In general, clubs would rather hire a hot young woman bartender than anybody else. I know a bartender with 12 years experience in high volume clubs and she can't even get a job, partly because she's a little too old for the position.

I once jokingly told the staff at the local nursery that I'd love a job working only weekends (when they're busy) doing nothing but lifting, moving things, and loading cars and trucks. Nothing like getting paid to workout, huh? The manager whipped out an application and gave it to me, saying that's the job nobody else wants. Maybe you can find a job like that in the spring.


Could be at a building supply store or even a furniture store. They always look for people to do the lifting.


ask them. most people are prepared to give additional feedback if you are genuinely curious and not looking to pick a fight about it.


LOL. Bartending is like that dire straits song "money for nothin and your chicks for free". The service industry is a loosy goosy world. Lose the resume. Seriously, I'm a felon without a HS diploma and I was hired at a very cool bar in DC because I knew the band and the owner...

Here's a few insights: The Owner opened a bar so he could get laid like a rock star, he doesn't give a shit about you. The Manager got to his position because he was a little bit smarter than the rest or the service staff and he probably has a small dick and an inferiority complex, thus has a desire to control everyone (and he want's to get laid like a rock star). So when you go in there waving your resume around saying "hire MEEEE!!!, I'm SUUUUUPER qualified!!! I mean ANY asshole can mix drinks and flirt with old ladies - I'm BUILT TOO!!!!" the only thing you are doing is annoying the Owner (who just want's to get laid and will be subconsciously a bit territorial and really cant be bothered with you) and THREATENING the manager, who most likely IS NOT as smart OR as qualified as you are. You think you are impressing them, when in fact you are making them worry about their job. TONE IT DOWN. Be cool. Hang around a bit. Network. Make connections. It's WHO you know, not WHAT you know. OK, it's also what you know too...

GOOD bartending is about SERVICE and making customers feel good so they come back when YOU are working. But you also have to know your shit. Here's a question: can you identify the ingredients of a "slow comfortable screw against the wall" without looking it up? Here's a hint, every ingredient is identified in "bar code" in the name of that drink (Slow = sloe gin; comfortable = southern comfort; screw = orange juice; against the wall = galliano). Do you speak that language? Can you make five drinks in two minutes after being told everything ONCE? And know the prices and add it up on the fly to collect cash from your customer so you save a trip to the register? While loading a hand full of glassware in the dishwasher? While paying attention to the waitress shouting HER drink order to you from the dining room? While washing the mint out of your tin cuz some asshole ordered three mojitos during a rush? Do you know how many counts of vodka, triple sec and lime to pour when a group orders nine kamikazes? Can you fit that in one tin? It ain't quite as easy as you think...

LMAO is that what you "think"? It is obviously not the case now, is it, or else you'd have been hired... amiright? LOL Did your contempt for service industry people subconsciously creep through in your communication? Cuz you sound kinda like a dick when you say shit like that... Here's a news flash: EVERY bartender "steals". It's PART of the job. From over pouring and giving the occasional free drink to your regulars, to knowing how to "give change", you are there for one purpose: TO PUT MONEY IN YOUR POCKET. That's it. Well, and to get laid, of course.

you had a resume NOT IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY instead of a social networking following of customers who love you already

Bartending is a great way, but you are approaching it like a "real job". It's not.

Whatever floats your boat

You sound a bit entitled and you seem to have a low opinion of the service industry. Get over yourself. No one gives a shit about your degree cuz you're STILL trying get a job bartending! I wouldn't even talk about it if I were you because it only reflects poorly on you (because you are failing to use it and paid a lot of money for a piece of paper you are not able to use). You have to balance your swagger with being humble. Everyone want's to feel good. CREATE space for that with your personality and your service.


It doesn't take a degree to bartend so I would not consider a degree to be really a pro or a con. Almost no places let people walk right into bartender gigs unless you are a hot girl or willing to work the weekday shifts when you make no money. Most guys who work in a bar as a bartender know the owner and/or manager, or started off as a barback and worked their way up.

Speaking of barbacking, if you are willing to work hard that can be a good job to have at some of the higher-end bars if you are near a decent city. Lots of places are looking for barbacks (as opposed to bartenders) since barbacking is physically demanding and instead of flirting with older ladies you are cleaning up shit and carrying heavy things up the stairs. I did know some guys though that would take home 200-300 a night barbacking at a good place (sometimes even 400).

If you're still looking for something and don't want to barback, send me a PM before working a night shift at McDonalds. I can find something for you to do online at a better rate than that and you'll be able to work from home.


where do you live and where are you applying? maybe you should look to get your foot in the door doing security or being a door guy, then when they need a bartender to fill in you can prove yourself.

if youre a big good looking guy youll get a door guy job much easier than bartending, if youre really big most places dont want a meathead behind the bar, thinner abercrombie looking dudes that are non threatening, sometimes not even good looking get bartending jobs.

ive been a door guy/security at bars for years, and have been offered to do bartending once id show that im outgoing and funny, but i know nothing about liquor or alchool since i can really only handle beer so id always turn it down.


You cant spell "stealing." I have a feeling that is part of your problem.

Go work a manual labor type job for a while. It will change you for the better if you let it.


great post, I agree I have gone about it all wrong.

I am starting in med school in 8 months and I currently train clients during the day, I am just trying to make extra money and start saving.


I left some info out of my initial post, I currently train clients during the day but am trying to start saving some money and paying off all of my debt, (car, ccard, etc...)

basically just trying to work my ass off for the next 8 months and get as much as I can saved and paid off.


I am not the huge door man type, but thats a great idea. I used to bartend at a stripclub and the door guys just sat up front with the dancers that were not dancing sitting on their lap the entire night, then they got paid out at the end of the night!

that was a fun job.


angry chicken-

I get the bar lingo, also appreciate how the galliano bottle easily doubles as a beating stick!


I graduated University in July of last year, took a couple months to just chill out and not have to worry about education, work, etc. and then set out looking for work the start of November. 12 months and 70 job applications later, I'm still unemployed, with no prospects. Having stayed in education up to the age of 21, achieving high grades, and even going out to achieve additional qualifications by entering into part-time courses, I can safely say that I feel completely fucking cheated for putting so much effort into all those years, only now to be rejected from posts as high-calibre as 'dishwasher', McDonald's 'counter assistant' and chip-shop 'fish fryer'. Always being told that studying hard will get me where I want to go in life, it seems ironic that had I chose to end my education early and get a head-start on some sort of career, I'd probably be doing better than I am now. Basically what I'm trying to say is, I feel you, OP.




Why the association with old women and bars? There are tons more YOUNG women then OLD women in bars.