Courtney Miller

Barista

Location: Half Moon Bay, CA

"I am a firm believer in doing what you love, but I wasn’t very confident that I had made the right decision."

For the last few years of college I worked as a barista at a café. As my college career came to a close, there was a lot of pressure from family and friends to find a job in line with my degree. I searched for months and interviewed for many different positions, but realized that I was truly passionate about becoming an expert barista.

I decided to switch gears and apply to other barista positions with more opportunity for growth. There was a four-month period in which I was working two jobs to make ends meet.  Three months in, I was promoted at both jobs. One café was focused on coffee, while the other was a yogurt shop that served coffee as well.

With two promotions, I had to make a choice. I couldn’t work both jobs full time with greater responsibilities. The yogurt shop offered me a salaried position, while the coffee shop offered me a lower hourly wage. The security of a salaried position was very appealing; however I was not passionate about the yogurt, and coffee wouldn’t be my main focus. I put in my notice at the yogurt shop, and went to work at the coffee shop full time as the assistant manager.

I am a firm believer in doing what you love, but I wasn’t very confident that I had made the right decision. Four months later, I was promoted to senior manager of the coffee shop.  Not only was I given a pay raise and salary, but I was given many opportunities to learn and grow professionally.

I am so happy now, and I was recently informed that my contract will be extended for another year. I feel so lucky for being able to do what I love, and experiencing early on that money can’t replace happiness. I consider it part of my job to encourage my staff and help them pursue what they are passionate about. Although I am young, the confidence, learning experiences, and opportunities this position has given me have made me eagerly look forward to all that I can accomplish in the future.