Corporate Woman Reveals The Genius Reason She Accepted A Part-Time Job As A Coffee Barista — And Celebrated It On Linkedin

“Working a service industry job isn’t beneath me.”

Barista handing a customer a pastry. Ferrantraite / CanvaPro

In a now-viral LinkedIn post from early March, marketing expert Karli Williamson explained why she accepted a job as a coffee barista after years of working in corporate jobs. “I GOT A JOB!!!” she exclaimed at the top of the post, adding, “ a part-time barista at my neighborhood coffee shop.”

Despite the initial reaction of thousands of readers instinctively shuddering at the mention of a “professional” transitioning to work at a coffee shop, Williamson quickly explained why she made the switch. Instead of feeding into the chaotic desperation of a job search, as many have in recent years, she found a low-stress source of income to support her while awaiting the “perfect fit job.” 


Williamson celebrated her new part-time coffee barista job on LinkedIn, sparking discourse on the job market.

“I’m taking this job because I’m not desperate now, and I don’t want to be later,” she emphasized in her post. “This gives me more runway to continue to be selective as I apply for roles while not taking on work that will occupy more of my time and brain space.”

“Why wouldn’t I take this opportunity?” she asked, recounting the nostalgia of her high school barista jobs. 


Reframing my mindset on future employment !!! thanks linkedin

♬ original sound - me

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And why shouldn’t she be able to celebrate that on LinkedIn? Half of the people celebrating new corporate jobs on the site will be unhappy and fantasizing about leaving within six months anyway.

Creator @millerrlite on TikTok agreed. She shared that she is “reframing her mind” on future employment opportunities and goals after reading Williamson’s post. “This is the lens in which I’m crafting the next year in my life,” she said. “You want to accept [a job] based on intention and decision and not desperation."

Not only do ‘bridge jobs’ provide flexibility for corporate professionals entering the job market, but they also provide space for healthy rest.

Of course, jobs that provide flexibility like this don’t have to be service or retail positions, as employment expert @hannagetshired on TikTok emphasized. They can also be “lateral” moves or corporate jobs with a lower salary than you’d normally allow. You might be dipping into savings or scaling your budget, but these jobs will take less energy, help promote a healthier mindset, and give you the flexibility to find “the perfect fit.”

@hannagetshired #stitch with @me give youself a little bit if GRACE if the next career move doesn’t fit in with the plan. We’re playing the long game here!! #jobsearch #findajob #needajob #bridgejob #careerpath ♬ original sound - hanna gets hired

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“Depending on the job, it might also give you room to continue building your skills,” she said, “while you’re looking for the next ideal job. If you’re worried about what it looks like on a resume, you could just leave it off entirely… I think that the market is a lot more understanding of resume gaps right now.”

Ultimately, stories like Williamson’s are empowering. They provide a much-needed reminder that your life and identity don’t always need to be fueled by your work. 

You can take breaks, pursue passions, and take a job just for the money and not for some kind of fulfillment if you need a break from the “all-consuming” nature of many professions.

The stigma surrounding ‘bridge jobs’ often forces people to accept corporate jobs that aren’t right for them, exacerbating mental health struggles and stress.

“I worked as a nanny while trying to break into the kids’ animation industry. Because I waited, my first role was at Disney,” one person added in the comments. “Rather than taking a job at a smaller company with less growth, I went from a coordinator to a staff writer in four years… now I’m living my dream!”

@hannagetshired #stitch with @me give youself a little bit if GRACE if the next career move doesn’t fit in with the plan. We’re playing the long game here!! #jobsearch #findajob #needajob #bridgejob #careerpath ♬ original sound - hanna gets hired

Whether working at a coffee shop, a retail store, a library, or being a babysitter, society has misguidedly categorized some jobs as less “admirable” for older people, as they’re often “bridge jobs” for people with lower education or college students. However, the truth is that these jobs usually provide greater flexibility, more social interaction, and healthier environments than their corporate counterparts — making them the perfect breath of fresh air from the current toxic corporate climate.

They might not provide the same level of financial compensation, but they can help support someone looking to transition careers or even step back from corporate life


Williamson’s final line in her viral LinkedIn post summed up the simplicity of her choice: “Please don’t feel sorry or embarrassed for me and certainly don’t take this as a sign of weakness,” she wrote. “There is no shame in paying your bills and eating free pastries doing it.”

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.