Doubts about your career?

Joined Apr 3, 2006
Recently, I've found myself feeling like maybe I'm in the wrong industry.  Been cooking professionally for about 8 years now (not much compared to many of you veterans), and in the past few weeks, I seem to have lost some motivation.  After going through a really busy service, I don't feel the satisfaction of having done a really good job anymore.  I never used to mind the long hours and late finishes.

Have you ever had that feeling some time in your career?  
Joined May 5, 2010
I believe what you might be going through is "Burn out."

Now you may want to deny it but plain and simple it happens to the best of us at some point in our career.

The trick though is that it MAY be only temporary


You may very well be at your end.

I believe only time and you can answer this
Joined Aug 6, 2010
I think Chefross may be right, burn out is the likely cause. I feel, being an emt, firefighter, and cook, that burnout is inevitable. The key is finding an outlet... When you stop enjoying dinner service, ask why? Is it the people, is the menu boring? Sometimes change will help, new menu maybe, or try taking a class, learning something new and offering to apply it to your menu.... a garde manger complement maybe? Do an artistic fruit presentation or something. Maybe just take a vacation and get away from work all together for a week or so, then apply yourself to learning. When I felt like I wanted to find a new profesion, I found a new job, learned a new skill to apply at that place, and I got a new hobby to take my mind away from work when I left. Burn out can kill the best chefs... hope you make it through and regain your passion,.


well if you are like me, you may want a new challenge... perhaps its time to do your own thing.
Last edited by a moderator:


Joined Mar 2, 2006
I feel the same way, after 20 years I did not enjoy what I did, I was working in fine dining and doing the plated desserts, brunches big events etc. What killed it for me was the don't care attitude of some of the cooks and even the chef. Seeing vast quantities of food being thrown out every sunday after brunch and watching people eat like pigs really grossed me out. I got a new job with  focus on sustainable local food, we recycle, compost the whole nine yards, I like it much more than before, I did take a pay cut of about 20% but I am much happier. Every place has its mindset maybe you need a change of scenery?
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I have gone much the same as Rat.  life isn't about money for me but more about using my skills for what I believe in. (not that I couldn't use some more money,  just like anybody else.) After reading your post I was struck with the idea that you needed to find a new venue for your talents. Either you will cherish were you move next or you will cherish what you left. Either way, change has happened and your a better person for it.
Joined Jul 13, 2010
I had gone through a similar phase recently myself. I had worked 4 years (the last 3.5 years as kitchen manager) in a kitchen I loved. Shortly after we got bought out by a company they were making labor cuts, me being one since I was one of the most paid in the kitchen...

I found another job as a cook in a kitchen doing prepared foods for a large corporate company. Working here basically took all my experience and training, and shoved it in the trash. The recipes, the food quality, amount of food waste... all were ridiculous. Combine that with horrible managing style, and lack of work ethic from the other employees made me strongly reconsider this career; I almost gave up cooking all together.

Fast forward a couple months, I found a new job working in an awesome kitchen. Only having been at the new spot a couple months, the chef and proprietors tell me they want to make me sous chef soon (fingers crossed). 

Working in kitchens has been a roller coaster ride for me. I believe if you have the motivation, stamina, proper resources, and patience to deal with some of the most [email protected]##*% up experiences... you can always find a place in this industry.
Top Bottom