How To Attain Real Job Security In Hospitality / F&B

The past few months have been some trying times in hospitality and having a birds-eye view of the jobs market we’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons about what everybody calls job security. When you have a job the money that gets deposited in your account every month is comforting but it’s really only providing an illusion of security.

The truth that so many people are facing this year is that sadly job security is never guaranteed. And so if you want to ensure that you have an income, something to cover your basic needs and beyond, you need to do so much more than just land a job.

Job Security – Becoming Indispensable

Job Security

I really want to talk about how to maintain and how to sustain income and job security. First, you need to become indispensable. You do this by getting really good at what you do, by investing your time and energy in mastering your craft.

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000-hour rule – the idea being that if you want to master anything, you need to invest around 10,000 hours into your craft.

He says – “Every great classical composer without exception composes for at least 10 years before writing their masterwork. Mozart was composing at 11, but he was composing garbage at 11. He didn’t produce something great until he was 23”.

Cultivate your craft

The exact number of hours you need to learn a craft is really arbitrary and depends on what you’re learning. But the main point is the best in the world weren’t born great. The best in their fields all had to devote themselves to their work to get better and naturally as they did so their income security/job security improved.

One of my favorite channels on YouTube is Mike Boyd’s channel . Mike Boyd has dedicated the past few years to learning new skills and he’s quantified the actual time, the exact hours it takes for him to learn new things with some fascinating and entertaining results.

Mike says “People really resonate with the idea of quantifying something in hours. It’s much more tangible and understandable, like an 8-hour shift at work. That’s something people understand so when someone says, Oh it took me eight hours to learn to do this, it seems like you can do it. If someone says it took me six weeks to learn to do this, even though the actual time was only 6 hours or eight hours, that seems much more insurmountable”.

Key points

Mike Boyd has learned a lot about learning. I want to share a couple of his ideas here that I think are really useful and can help us along the way to job security.

  • Schedule practice time. Whatever you’re learning do it in a way that doesn’t really interrupt or disrupt your routine. If you can reduce the barriers to practice it just makes learning that much easier.
  • Isolate issues. Look at issues that arise In a more pragmatic way. To do things better you can identify problems and issues in your techniques. Mike was trying to get better at muscle-ups. He identified that the issue really was not strength. It was much more the actual technique of getting his arms over the bar. He was able to isolate that issue with resistance bands. This then enabled him to get the technique down and then the strength.
  • Think of learning as the discipline in and of itself. Mike’s experiments show you just how quickly you can pick up new things if you dedicate yourself to the process consistently.

Job Security

Of course, by becoming a master at something, creating skills that are valuable, you become indispensable to your boss or clients. Which takes your job security to the next level. It just takes repeated practice working your way up to around 10,000 hours to master a subject. It’s worth remembering that as soon as you start you are well on the way to increasing job security as others will note your dedication. As they do your value to employers or clients increases accordingly.


As a hospitality / F&B recruiter, I realised that we had to continue to deliver project after project. If we screwed up, if we missed the deadline, if we didn’t complete a project on time, then we would likely never see that client again. There was very little room for screwing up and making mistakes. So we had to learn to deliver very quickly.

When we did deliver, then we saw those clients come back over and over again. I was able to increase our income. I was able to develop my skills even more and that quick feedback loop helped to push me forward. This was the first step that really helped me gain true income/job security.

Expect the unexpected

The next point is just as practical and has to do with money and creating financial freedom. When you have a job and buy into the idea of job security you assume that your income will always be there. You rarely ever think about the worst that could happen. Or maybe you’re simply pushing it to the back of your mind and pretending like it could never happen.

But the truth is that you could lose your job. But since you’re not thinking about it, you can’t prepare for it. Perhaps the most valuable thing that I took away from the beginning, starting out in recruiting was that I never had a stable income. I never had that constant monthly paycheck that I could rely on. That might not sound like a good thing to you. But it taught me to be really conservative and really thoughtful about the money that I was saving. To prepare for the absolute worst-case scenario as a business owner.

In the beginning, I never had the illusion that I had a secure income. I would have busy months and slow months. Some months I made $0 – $1000 and other months I made $10,000. I learned that if I wanted to weather these storms, I needed to learn how to control my finances and my spending.

Although I didn’t realise it at the time I was entering into this market that was completely unstable. I was trying to build my own business, trying to find new clients, and struggling in the beginning. At the start my career path was defined by the idea that I might not be able to have enough money to pay rent this month.

Prepare for a rainy day

That forced me to be extra conservative, extra responsible when I finally did get those projects. I started out by storing away $1000 for my emergency fund. I would not touch this unless I absolutely had to. This wasn’t for beers on the weekend. It was for the broken-down car, the potential medical bill. The unexpected will happen so planning for the unexpected becomes absolutely vital for job security.

After that, I started to build up this emergency fund even more. Eventually I built it from $1,000 to $5,000 and then $10,000 and eventually over $20,000. The idea was that this money would give me padding. What I didn’t realize at the time was that this was providing me with true freedom. Now if I got sick, if I couldn’t work I’d have my basic needs met for at least six months to a year. The weight that was removed and lifted off my shoulders because of this was immense.

Job Security allows you to pursue the things you care about most

job security

It also allowed me to pursue the things that I really cared about when I had that sense of income/job security that that padding provided me. I was able to say no to projects and clients that I didn’t care about, that didn’t have the budget and focus my energy and time on things that really excited the hell out of me. I cannot tell you how much that changed my life.

Planning for the worst and building a rainy day fund gave me a sense of freedom and income/job security that I had never experienced up until that point.

Job Security – Conclusion

Regardless of whether you’re a business owner or if you have a career, the principles to follow are still the same:

  • Get really really good at what you do
  • Try to improve every single day – Invest back into yourself
  • Be smart about your finances – Put money away for a rainy days. Build up as much financial security as you can

So the best advice I could give for this is really this simple – Just start!

As you are picking up new skills you’ll feel like a total newbie. It may even be totally cringy during that period where you’re just picking up something. But that’s when you’re going to make the biggest progress! And all you have to do is get out the door and start!

Let me know what you think and if you have any tips to share that enhance job and income security.

Until next time, wishing you all the very best!


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5 Tips On How To Answer Interview Questions & Get Your Next Hospitality / F&B Job!

Are you nervous about a job interview that's coming up? I’m going to give you five tips on how to answer interview questions and get that job!

answer interview questions, black chairs

Crush that job interview!

So if we haven’t met, my name is Nathan, I help motivated Hospitality and F&B professionals build their careers and businesses. I want to offer some practical tips to gain further career confidence. So let’s start talking about ways to crush that job interview and how to best answer Interview questions!

answer interview questions

First Impressions

So number one, first impressions matter a lot, and I mean A LOT when you’re going for that job interview. It’s said an interviewers mind is about 70% of the way made up in the first six seconds. That’s a lot! 

Now here’s the great part about it. If you make a great first impression all answers afterwards are going to reinforce what they’ve already decided about you. They’re going to see them in a positive light. There’s a study showing that if you give a bad first impression it takes seven good Impressions afterwards to make up for it. So if it’s a bad first impression, you have to give seven awesome answers. That’s really hard.

So let’s give a great first impression. How do you do that?

  • You’re smiling
  • You make on eye contact
  • You’re on time (slightly early). Even if it’s on a zoom get on that Zoom several minutes early. Make sure you’re in frame. Make sure your lighting’s good.
answer interview questions

First impressions are super key to getting that job.

When it comes that “Tell me about yourself” question

You need to blow them away when you start to answer interview questions.

If I were to ask you now “Tell me about yourself”. And you had to answer it right now, the chances are you may struggle.

I promise you I have asked enough people, you can tell who practice and who thought they could wing it. I promise you you can’t wing it. 

answer interview questions

"Tell Me About Yourself?"

So “Tell me about yourself” is the question where you get to really craft your pitch ahead of time. Really explain who you are and what you’ve done that matters to this company.

The really short version of this is that you need to highlight past jobs or experiences. Highlight one thing you did in that job that you learned and that will be important for this job.

So for example… “Oh, I worked at Starbucks and while I was there, it really taught me the value of customer service. I learned how to really make every customer happy every day. I then moved on from there and went to (x,y,z company).”

Then tell them something you learned there 

And then end with why you’re in the room today…..“And that’s why I’m excited to be here. This really seems like the next step in my career progression” (provide a reason). Then “I’m ready to move on to that next challenge and (xyz) is something I’m really passionate about”.

So first crush the “Tell me about yourself” part, then you need to answer interview questions that are about behaviour. Those “Tell me about a time when…” questions.

The Star Method

The star method walks someone through a time something happened, highlighting how you successfully handled the situation.

You need to give…

  • The general situation

  • The task

  • The action

  • The result

So here’s where people sometimes mess up.

  • They tend to talk about a time and situation that was at hand.

  • Then they give the task they were told to do or the thing that needed to happen.

  • They then lastly give their action and they think that’s the important part.

For example “I did this thing, I took initiative. I helped with defusing the conflict”.

You need to tell them what happened because of that action. Did the whole team come together after that? Did they promote you because of your excellent leadership skills? Give the result.

That’s some key tips to answer interview questions in the best way. But it’s not all about the interview questions.


You are not done when you leave the meeting on Zoom or you walk out the door of the office

thank you sign

You also need to send a thank you email within 24 hours of finishing that interview.

It’s great if you can do it in the first couple of hours, but I totally understand, lives are busy. You may have done an interview and have to leave quickly to go to a dinner or similar. Naturally in that case just get a good night’s sleep and send it the next morning. When you write that thank you email keep it short, about four sentences. You’re going to want to say…

  • Thank you

  • Restate your excitement for this position

  • Name something specific from the interview that made you excited.

    *So, please don’t try and write these ahead of time.

I’ve heard of people coming out to the front desk and handing them the note saying “can you give this to …..” That’s what we call disingenuous.

Always craft it on your own afterwards, within 24 hours.

And fun fact, I have timed this process multiple times it takes you three to four minutes. So I want you to think about it this way, three to four minutes is what stands between you and getting that job. Because the thank you note can be the dealmaker.

Practice & Prepare

If you’ve recognised anything from the things I’ve already said you cannot just wing this. No one can go into an interview and just be like, “You know what I’m just gonna talk and see what happens”. It does not work.

You need to practice and prepare. So practice in front of a mirror, record yourself, write out your answers. Please, please, please do not let the first time you say those words to those answers be in the room or on the zoom. You need to do it ahead of time!

So to help you with that. I do have a very affordable course called “How To Ace The Interview’. For your next interview I’ll literally walk you step-by-step through my process. This system works. So if you want information on it click below.

It’s a quick course. You don’t need to spend hours and hours taking a course to then have to go practice for the interview. It’s short, I walk you through it quickly and get you to practicing the key areas that make all the difference in the interview.

It lays out all of the most common pitfalls and the questions you will be asked and how to best prepare.

In short it will give you a huge boost in any interview as most people who interview just don’t know how to stack the odds in their favour!

That’s all for today. I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know what tip means the most to you in the comments below,

Until next time. Bye!




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Be Sure To AVOID THIS COMMON MISTAKE In Your Hospitality Job Search

Today I am going to share with you a mistake I made all the time in my hospitality job search in Asia.

Fixing this is critical to your Hospitality Job Search. So today I’ll tell you what it is. You can see if you’ve been making this mistake and we’ll talk about how to fix it.

If we haven’t met, my name is Nathan and I help motivated professionals build their careers and business in Hospitality & F&B in Asia and the Middle East. So let’s talk about this mistake.

So back in the day when I was still  working as a chef in fine dining and more casual restaurants in Asia,when I was job searching, I’d go to events and meet people and they’d say, “So what are you doing?” I’d say “Oh I work in as a chef at this restaurant, but I’m currently searching hospitality jobs. You know, I’m looking for something else in the industry.”

Be sure hospitality employers know your priority!

Okay, so being really broad here was my mistaken priority. I didn’t want to say “Oh, I’m really looking for hospitality jobs involving Japanese cuisine or sushi roles”, I was scared that if I said I really wanted a Japanese chef job in Asia (as that’s an area that really interested me) that would be too narrow and they’d go “No I have nothing for you”. So I didn’t want to rule out an opportunity. I was afraid if I said I really want this type of hospitality job that they might have some other great chef job opening and not tell me about it because I said I wanted something in Japanese cuisine.

So if (for example) I wanted a job in HK in a modern Japanese restaurant and something opened in Singapore that fitted my Western Cuisine experience with an F&B group there. then they could  think “Oh, well, no not going to share that with him because he said he wanted a Japanese chef job”. Right? This is a fear a lot of people have, they’re scared that if they say something too specific they’re never going to get offered jobs in that niche, they’re afraid they’re going to rule out other options. 

Here is the problem – When you are so general in your hospitality jobs search, no one knows what hospitality role to offer you.

For example the other day I met a job seeker and she recently graduated, she said, “Yes I’m a job Seeker. I’m looking for new opportunities and have been doing a lot of interviews” but when I asked her what kind of jobs? She said “Oh, you know something in the hotels area or also wellness area would be nice”, and she gave us two different titles and we went okay, but what industry are you really looking for?, “Oh, either is OK”. I thought you’re killing me, you’ve got to tell me what you want, because here is the thing that she didn’t realise and here’s the thing that I didn’t realise back in the day, people need to put you in a box. in order to take you out of it. 

Be specific about the type of hospitality job you are searching for.

People need to know specifically what you want in your hospitality jobs search. And once they know what that is first, they can then think of things for you, they can think of what people to put you in touch with and say “Oh, you should meet my friend so-and-so, and you should meet this person who does something similar” Oh my friend works in that industry, but they’re in this department.” 

You can’t connect people when you just say I’m looking for a job or I’m looking for a job in the casual dining industry, even then It’s a little too generic, right? They won’t know what to do with you. But once you’ve said what you want, then they can think of somewhere else to put you. They need to put you in the box to take you out of it. 

So if you say “Oh I’d really love to do marketing for restaurant groups in South East Asia, that’s something that really interests me. I’m looking at specifically that area”. Then they can go, “Oh, well, I don’t know anyone looking for marketing candidates in restaurants groups right now, but I do have a friend who works in marketing in the wellness industry in that region, would you be interested in talking with them? 

Here’s a different example of this just to prove the point.

Have you ever you been with a friend, spouse or partner and looked at them and said, where do you want to eat? And they reply I don’t know, I don’t really care… anywhere, it’s up to you, where would you like to eat? And then you say “oh, I want to go to a Chinese restaurant”, but then they say I don’t really fancy Chinese food today, I’d rather go for Italian cuisine. That’s really something that happens, but they had to hear something first to go, no, that’s not it. I want this other thing. It’s the same concept, right? You need to be specific with people. 

Allow others to propose career openings in hospitality in Asia and beyond.

Don’t be scared that you are missing out on the job opportunity because you’re so specific. Once you’re specific about your hospitality jobs search they can then put you in touch with the specific right people, but they can also start thinking outside the box to peripheral options that might also be of interest to you. Let them come up with ideas around what could work for you? Don’t be so generic that they can’t figure out a way to help you at all, the more specific we are, the more people can help.

I’d like you to think about if you’ve been making this mistake and in the comments get specific. We can start to help each other, tell me what kind of jobs specifically you are looking for. I know other people read the comments so feel free to leave that below maybe one of us might be able to connect you with your next opportunity!

That’s all for today. Thanks so much, until next time!


Interested in more tips like this? Here’s my article on why a growth mindset is so important in Hospitality

For something even more in depth our Ace The Interview course is going to take your interview success to the next level, click below

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Did you know HR managers use this crazy method before deciding whether to reject a candidate?

The Truth About The Way Many HR Depts Select Candidates

I was recently told a fascinating story about a manager that has been trying to hire a new employee in a medium sized organisation.

After advertising several times with few applicants, and a couple of rounds of interviews, they hired a new employee that was less than great. Then she discovered there were other applicants. Among them was someone she knows personally, who has a spot-on CV, loads of experience, lives locally and would be the perfect person for the job.

So she went to HR to ask why that application was never sent through to her department. The answer – she didn’t score well…..

Score well on what?

It turns out the HR dept adopted screening software that asks random questions that applicants must answer quickly, the results of which determine a suitability score. Only those deemed suitable are sent through to the department for interview. The test supposedly shows with a high degree of scientific accuracy whether an applicant is suitable, giving scores for self-confidence, caring nature, respect for authority etc.

So regardless of someone’s qualifications and experience, if they don’t pass the personality test, their application doesn’t even make it past their HR. So the manager sat down with the dept head and took the test. She scored 1 star. She has worked there for more than 10 years and is quite senior in the department. She has been recognized with internal and external awards for her work. But she wouldn’t even get an interview for a junior casual spot in her dept because she failed a personality test.

Their HR dept insists their system is highly accurate and they will not pass on any applications from people who don’t pass the test. So now the entire department, along with a few senior members of other departments are all taking the test, and coming up with some very poor scores.

People’s careers are all too often being derailed by HR “astrology”. It’s clearly not ideal for the organisations that need good people either. 

Likewise, if you’re wondering why you can’t find the right people for that crucial position, it might be because Maggie in HR is excluding people using re-purposed quizzes from 1980s magazines.

So if you’re wondering why you never got an interview for that job you know you would be perfect for – it might be because some recruiters and HR depts (not us, we always check every CV we receive and assess candidate suitability via other methods) are all too often becoming slaves to poor software. 

Our upcoming course will show you how to overcome this and many other interview challenges.

It’s all this type of information in much more depth, finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration. Everything careers related.

I’d also love to hear from you, so if you have anything you would specifically like learn that’s jobs related or any questions, let me know by replying to this email.

Until next week, happy job hunting,


Did you know HR managers use this crazy method before deciding whether to reject a candidate? Read More »