While bartending has its downsides, there are certain positive aspects of the job that can be extremely addictive. The following advantages make it hard for us to leave our lives behind the bar. From being allowed to be yourself to getting a rush from double shifts, here are 9 things you get addicted to bartending.

1. The flexible schedule.

This does come with some caveats. Weekend trips and holidays can be difficult to swing. But spending your Mondays on the beach or taking a few months off to go backpacking more than make up for it. Life feels less like a grind when can avoid the boring 9-5 and the morning commute.

2. The adrenaline rush.

Busy nights are a fast-paced whirl. There’s that rush you get when you have a line of people who need to be served. There’s the feeling of having a hundred things in your head at once, yet a laser focus on the task at hand. There’s the speed with which hours can whip by. Like an extreme sport, bartending can be stressful, but getting through a slammed shift leaves you with quite the high.

3. The long hours.

Late nights and doubles can become a badge of honor and provide a sense of pride among bartenders. 14-hour shift? No problem. Epic hangover? I’ll muddle through. The tenth shift in a row? At least, I’m making money. Eventually, our bodies catch up with us, but when you are new to the industry, long hours can be fueling.

4. The free drinks.

Not only do you often drink for free at your job, but you are usually treated to free drinks when you go out, too (bartenders have a sixth sense for spotting other bartenders). The result, we probably drink too much.

5. Working with your friends.

One of the great perks of bartending are the people we work with. There is something about the service industry that attracts interesting, social, creative types from all over the world. Slow shifts and after-work drinks give you the opportunity to really connect with your co-workers. Plus, your friends can come to visit you while you bartend.

6. Constantly meeting new people.

You interact with new people every day. As an adult, it can be hard to meet people or expand your social network, especially if you are always in the same environment. With bartending, the environment is the same, but the people in it constantly changes. This allows you the opportunity to continually make new connections.

7. Being yourself at work.

Professionalism in the service industry looks a bit different than anywhere else. While it is vital that you are respectful to guests and co-workers, bar jobs tend to be more relaxed than an office environment. Your personality is a huge part of your work as a bartender. It’s important to be yourself, to share your interests, to have a sense of humor, to be fun to work with. It’s freeing to have a job where you can let your personality shine through.

8. The world of food and drink.

The more your culinary and beverage knowledge expands, the more you want to learn and experience. Whether it is seeking out the best cocktail bar in your town, infusing your own spirits for homemade drinks, or attending a tasting at your local wine shop, bartending can be a gateway to a lifelong passion.

9. Running the show.

When you are bartending, you are the star of the show. You control the flow and the energy of the space around you. You have the power to make someone’s night special with free drinks or dessert. You have the chance to give a regular who is having a rough week a little extra attention. Most people have respect for your space and your role in it. You don’t get that in a lot of jobs.

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