What types of jobs can I do in a pub

Is working in a pub flexible?

Pub work is often seen as the antidote to the nine-to-five—a freer alternative that releases you from the daily grind of rush hour commuting (which is still a thing in most sectors) and working the same shifts day-in-day-out.

There’s a reason it has that reputation and it comes down to the fact that the hospitality sector tends to kick into life when other sectors are on their down time—at evenings and at weekends and, of course, at Christmas and during the summer holidays. That’s a lot of hours that need covering, which means lots of wiggle room when it comes to the weekly rota.

Let’s look in more detail at what makes pub work so flexible and what you can do to make the most of it as a pub worker.

👉Get the pub shifts you need by staying organised
👉Is it easy to swap shifts at short notice?
👉Can I reduce my pub hours if I have exams?

Looking for a job in a pub?🍻 Look no further! Greene King have a wide range of roles available right across the country!🙌


Get the pub shifts you need by staying organised

With daytime, evening and weekend work available, not to mention a range of full- and part-time positions, working in a pub can be one of the most varied and flexible jobs out there. But, as much as your manager will try to accommodate all your rota needs, getting the hours you want takes a bit of preparation on your part too.

Most pubs will have a system in place for booking time off and giving your availability for shifts. Learning about that system will be a part of your training, which is another reason why your induction is so important. Different pubs will have different systems but usually it’ll involve a little book or a diary where everyone writes down the hours they can and can’t work. By using the book, you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting the hours you want.

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Is it easy to swap shifts at short notice?

If this is your first hospitality role, you might not know that swapping shifts with colleagues is very much part of the culture in the sector and if often done at short notice. Working on the bar, front-of-house or in the kitchen, you’ll often hear things like “fancy covering my six til close tomorrow?” and replies like “sure” or “I can’t but I think Amy might be up for it.” And even if Amy (or whoever) isn’t up for it, there will generally be someone who is. So long as the swappers do the same role and tell their manager that the change has occurred, everybody’s happy.

Remember swapping stuff as a kid? Shift swapping is the same in that you have to give a little to get what you want. Don’t always be the one looking to give away shifts and never taking on any extra or you could end up getting sidelined in the shift-swapping marketplace. And nobody wants that. So, if you can cover a shift, why not do it? Coming in the next morning after a busy night might not always seem like the most appealing prospect but doing it will earn you some extra cash and buy you some favour when you need it in the future. In that regard, pub work is as flexible as you make it.

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Can I reduce my pub hours if I have exams?

The great thing about working in a pub as a student is that the really busy times, like Christmas and summer, coincide with when you’re off uni. And if you need a bit of breathing space when exam time comes around, that’s possible too. Plenty of Pub Managers have been to uni themselves and have a first-hand understanding of how stressful the exam period can be.

Say, for example, that you’ve got two weeks to go until your first exam, coursework deadlines looming and, on top of that, you’ve still got two or three chapters of your dissertation to do. Things can quickly stack-up at uni, so it’s entirely understandable when students want to reduce their hours. You might even want zero. Bigger pubs and bars (like those run by Greene King) employ large teams that are able to cover for students when the pressure’s on so, if you need to tap out for a week or two, that’s fine, just keep your manager in the loop so they can make sure there are shifts for you when you tag back in.

Looking for something else to read? Check out our overview of everything you need to know about temporary pub jobs.

From Apprenticeships to management, from the north of Scotland to the far west of Cornwall, if you’re looking for a role in a hospitality, the huge range of opportunities that Greene King have are definitely worth a look.👀

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