This Dublin woman found a career and her self-confidence with McDonald’s
For many people, a job in McDonald's might seem like a stepping stone or a stop gap to earn some handy money. Yet the numbers show that it can actually be a great launchpad for a career.
Fancy a job with great progression opportunities? Well, 95pc of McDonald's managers started out as crew members. Looking for a work life balance or a job that will let you balance family/college responsibilities? 40pc of McDonald's employees choose McDonald's because of the flexibility it offers in terms of balancing life commitments.
To find out more about what it’s really like for real McDonald's workers, we spoke to Shauna Boylan from Clondalkin, who has been working with McDonald's since her late teens. Like many people, Shauna applied for part time work to earn some extra cash while she was in school.
“I did an interview for McDonald's and afterwards I was offered a job,” Shauna recalls. “They hired me as a part-time worker on Saturday and Sunday at first and after school I went full time.”
Looking back, she realised fairly quickly that it was more than a part-time job and that she wanted to progress within the company.
“When I applied, I thought it was just going to be temporary but once I got in, I knew it was definitely going to be long term. There was never a day when I dreaded going into work. I was always looking forward to the next day.”
Despite doing a two-year Diploma in Business in Ballyfermot after school, Shauna was able to keep working and build her timetable around her college commitments. It proved easier than she could have hoped to balance her work and college schedule.
“I wasn’t expecting McDonald's to be so flexible for my needs. I was able to work around college, school and exams or even holidays. It was so handy to get time off. I was actually quite surprised.
“It was around that time that they asked me if I was interested in being an Area Leader.”
Although her upward career trajectory was obviously welcome, another positive consequence of working in McDonald's was to have an even bigger impact on Shauna.
“I was quite shy and reserved when I started,” says Shauna. “I wasn’t very outgoing. I was always very friendly but I would’ve been very shy.”
She started to notice the difference that came as a result of working there. Dealing with customers and interacting with staff from various cultures and backgrounds helped her to come out of her shell and it really developed her confidence. Even something as simple as working alongside and interacting with older people was an eye-opener at first.
“The confidence I gained was the best thing for me,” admits Shauna. “I was so shy I wouldn’t even make eye contact with people.”
Along with her growing self-assurance, she was also growing into her role and moving up the ranks.
“First of all, I went from being crew to a crew trainer. I spent a number of months training in new staff and making sure that I was an expert on every station.”
From not being able to look people in the eye, she was now telling them how to do their job. Shauna learnt how to gain people’s respect and continued to hone her skills and expertise as she moved up the ranks. She became a Shift Manager in the Temple Bar restaurant and is now a Second Assistant Manager at just 22 year-of-age. Naturally, she is eyeing up a First Assistant Manager position with a mind to becoming a Branch Manager one day.
When asked what she loves most about working there, she says the best thing is the flexibility although the social life and the team spirit isn’t far behind. And the free meals also help!
What does she think is the biggest misconception about working in McDonald's?
“I think people think that McDonald's is just a job to get money while you’re looking for something else. A lot of people don’t realise that you can actually progress. You don’t need to be a superstar. A lot of people don’t realise that it’s not just flipping burgers.”
She has one simple piece of advice for anyone who is thinking about applying for a job in one of their branches.
“Go for it. Give it a try. You’re going to make lots of friends and learn lots of new things.”
If you’re interested in a career at McDonald's, they offer a variety of jobs and roles. From managing teams of people to managing lots of customers in busy restaurants, over 5,000 people in Ireland are employed in McDonald's. Over 95pc of stores are franchised and managed by local business men and women around Ireland.
McDonald's offers employees training and qualifications that facilitates career progression at McDonald’s or beyond. For more information on careers in McDonald's, click here.