The No. 1 soft skill you get working in fast food ‘can help you excel in any job,’ says McDonald’s HR exec

Working in fast food restaurants is often underestimated, but it can actually provide valuable career experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 3 million people work in fast-food establishments across the United States. Tiffanie Boyd, McDonald's senior vice president and chief people officer for the U.S., explains that these jobs allow individuals to develop critical soft skills such as time management, customer service, communication, and adaptability.

The most important skill that fast food employees cultivate is the ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure. Navigating a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines and high customer expectations helps individuals learn to process incoming information calmly, take quick action, and deliver results. This skill is transferable to any job, whether it's software development, leading a retail team, or working in investment banking.

It's worth noting that many successful individuals, including Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, and Queen Latifah, started their careers in fast-food restaurants. Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby also began his professional journey at McDonald's when he was 16 years old. Rigsby emphasizes the importance of his time at McDonald's, as it instilled in him a strong work ethic and taught him valuable skills such as time management and compassion.

Being punctual shows respect and goes a long way in any job, while treating colleagues with humanity, kindness, and respect is noticed and appreciated. Rigsby encourages everyone to take these skills with them, regardless of their level of wealth or success.  

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