Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why (not) change careers; becoming a chef.

This will be response to a question of someone who posed a question from another blogger who commented:

"Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts, opinions, advice for someone in similar shoes as you 3 years ago? I see you're no longer a cook? Would you mind sharing why?"

The cold hard and honest truth...I lied to myself in the beginning.

These are some of the basic questions one must ask when contemplating becoming a cook:

If there is a large pay differential, how will that affect my daily life? Can I pay rent, insurance, medical costs, student loans, new knives, etc...

Am I truly comfortable spending every Friday and Saturday night working as well as every holiday? I will not see my friends, family, significant other, children, etc..

Is my physical condition compatible with this work lifestyle, standing for 8 to 16 hours, lifting heavy sacks of rice, potatoes, meat, stock pots, etc in a high pressure environment where in the beginning the dishwasher is likely to be a much better cook than I am.

Am I really unhappy what my entire career is or is there another job in my line of work that I can be happy in?

Answer key for me: Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes

Fast forward: I found a job in my original career that I am truly happy (most of the time). To prove my point, I have been at my current job 2 years and 3 months. Prior to that the last 6 jobs I lasted exactly 1 year for for a couple of them, maybe 14 months for the others and one only 10 months.

Do I regret going to culinary school? That would be a resounding NO! It is a great skill to have, I mean how many times have you heard the comment, "He is too good of a cook, everything he makes is just too darn delicious"?

It is probably not the most helpful advice, but let's call this part 1 of a few.