my career progression maybe in danger, need some career advice and help, probably a mentor as well

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by commoncents, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. commoncents

    commoncents

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    Hi guys, I recently just changed workplace from a fine dining to a small local bakery cafe.
    Reason of change is because I want to take a step down and do more comfort food instead of exquisite food items.
    Yesterday was my first day at work but I realized I may have made it too simple for me.
    Because I have transferred to one of the smaller outlets in the company and all I do daily is just making fresh sandwiches, doing mise en place for the sandwiches, pouring custards into quiches which already loaded with ingredients, baking pies which are already done back in the main production kitchen.
    I tried asking for a transfer back so that I could learn something.
    But chef said that this small outlet needs manpower.
    But I feel that based on the first day, there's gonna be a few hours where I stand in the kitchen, with nothing to do. Since there aren't much customers outside, so I don't need to top up anything.
    I just need help deciding, should I just leave fast, or just stay on since it is only my second day today?
    I have been making the wrong workplace choices for this entire year already..
     
  2. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Experience is experience <_< 

    It will only look bad in a resume stating you stayed one day in a bakery. 

    Stay at least a month or 2 unless you really hate it. 

    When i worked at a buffet we had such a great crew after cooking and getting our work done we usually stood around for 1 - 2 hours in the kitchen just chatting because we had nothing to do , then one day we get mobbed with people. 

    Just because its a slower paced workplace doesnt mean you wont learn something. 

    Right now im out of work , if i had a job in a bakery i would take it , not for the money but for the experience , since its something i could add onto my resume and its something new i could attempt to dominate. 

    Besides take the time you are not working to learn new things , ask questions , develop strategies , etc....

    Everything you do in the culinary industry is a learning experience , just because its easier don´t take it for granted. 

    I have worked with cooks who could do the difficult tasks , but not the easier ones. 

    Example culinary grad with over 5 years of exp in kitchens couldn´t supreme oranges.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  3. commoncents

    commoncents

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    I shall try to give myself time and see how the place will progress, in the probation period. If not I will make my move and go.
     
  4. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Remembering you took a step down because you wanted to. 

    You were working fine dining and switched , if one was too rough and now this one is too easy , then i really dont think you will find a middle. 

    Either you work your arse off , or don´t. 

    Basically pick you poison:

    Fast paced fine dining , where you will sweat , learn , gain experience ....

    Or

    Slow paced , less stressful enviroment , where you can work at your own pace , ask questions , you will still learn , but may get bored. 
     
  5. commoncents

    commoncents

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    So what will you advice if you were in my shoes? Go back to a fast paced place, or just stay on, hoping that someday something might unfold?
     
  6. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I have already worked in large , small , fast paced and stressful kitchens , as well as kitchens that were extremely slow. 

    Regardless of where i worked i gained experience ( good and bad ). 

    Regardless of your position in a kitchen , you learn by doing your tasks , and watching others perform theirs either correctly or incorrectly. 

    If you wanna leave so be it , just remember you might actually learn something. 

    My first job was in an extremely slow buffet , and well i ended up learning alot because the chef had time to actually explain step by step and teach me things other chefs hadnt. 

    I went into a kitchen small as hell ( about 10 feet by 4 feet ) , and we would serve 150 a night. 

    Also worked tradition italian , fast paced , with rich clients. 

    I learned from all....

    No i havent worked in a bakery , because thats not where i want to work right now , but if i had the opportunity i would take it as an attempt to immerse myself more in the industry. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  7. commoncents

    commoncents

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    Just afraid I might not be able to learn something new due to my boss's business point of view.

    If you know what I mean.
     
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Just for future reference....

    When a bird in the hand is paying the bills don't jump over the fence to taste the grass.

    Stage, stage, stage

    mimi
     
  9. commoncents

    commoncents

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    Well, that's one thing I didn't do before signing the dotted line.

    In future, I shall stage and try out new workplaces first, unless it's big establishments like hotels etc?
     
  10. debo

    debo

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    You can also use this time when you are working at a less stressful job to pay the bill and use your off time to explore and stage at many different restaurants to gain experience, different points of view and maybe find they type of place you would like to work for an extended period of time.
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  11. commoncents

    commoncents

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    So it's not really a bad thing necessarily that I make that change right? Or in the first place that change isn't really needed?

    Any other advice? I would really love to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions, no matter good or bad.
     
  12. chef diana

    chef diana

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    I wouldn't waste any time. Start looking for a new job right away. You don't have to put it on your resume. If your not learning, your not progressing. No point going backwards.
     
  13. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    What is your ultimate goal? Where do you see yourself in five years?
     
  14. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    If he is young , and moved from one enviroment to the other , i dont think he is going backwards. 

    Like stated everything can be used as a learning experience , heck its been 3 days do you really expect to enter a new job , and they will just toss you into doing complicated work, especially if your boss or others have no idea of your limitations. 

    I agree with debo and mimi , attempt to stage and see what happens. 

    Like you said you can always stay until your probation period ends. 

    I think you need to set aside an objective and see what field , cuisine , restaurant style , what chefs you want to work under , and attempt to reach these objectives. 

    You are still young , so its not like you entire culinary career will be determined in 5 minutes. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  15. commoncents

    commoncents

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    I feel like I want to stay on to see what's coming next. May not be for long, maybe a few months?
     
  16. commoncents

    commoncents

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    Well, I don't have that thought yet honestly.
     
  17. commoncents

    commoncents

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    I think I still need time to determine what I really want out from my career. I just love French cuisine, that's all I know for now.
     
  18. commoncents

    commoncents

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    Any other advice/tips/suggestions? Feel free to share! I really love to know!
     
  19. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Sit down and write your goals for the next:
    • Year
    • 5 years
    • 10 years
    • 20 years
    Don't worry, they will all change as time goes forward but by writing goals, it helps you to focus on the present and how it may affect your future.

    Plan on updating your list of goals every six months to a year.

    Strictly as an example:
    • Within a year, I want to be a skilled grill cook
    • Within five years, I want to be skilled at all stations in a fine dining restaurant for the production of French cuisine
    • Within 10 years, I want to be a Sous Chef in a French restaurant serving avant guarde cuisine
    • Within 20 years, I want to develop all the skills necessary to open and operate my own restaurant in New York
    Now you will be able to evaluate your current job and how it leads towards your goals or where you need to start looking.
     
  20. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    It is difficult to offer sound advice on a career path without having a better idea of what it is that are looking for in your career. Any advice that I would offer would vary depending upon whether your goals were scenario A, B, or C.

    It is kind of like when a guest wants my recommendation on a wine for the evening. I can't really offer a good suggestion on a choice of wine until I know what it is that they will be eating. My suggestion would vary depending whether they were going to eat A, B, or C.