One of the best jobs I’ve ever had was working as a waitress. Though not the “best” by the common definition of career aspirations, I truly loved it—the action, the people, the environment, the energy. I started work as a waitress after getting word that I was being laid off from my journalism job, and though painful at the time, I’m sometimes thankful the layoff happened because it allowed me to learn so much.

A key part of what I learned from waitressing, in particular, was how to practice good customer service. Sure, I’d been on the receiving end of it plenty of times, but being on the serving side (quite literally!) provided me with a heaping helping of new insight on workplace interactions.

Though not all of us work in customer service, specifically, there is an element of customer service in all our work. As Merriam Webster defines it, service is (among other definitions) “contribution to the welfare of others.” Stop and think for a moment: how are you contributing to the welfare of others in your job? Whatever your field, simply looking at it through the lens of other people’s needs is one step toward developing a customer service mindset. 

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