What type of jobs can I do coming out of school and into the working world besides being a chef?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by devin ancrum, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. devin ancrum

    devin ancrum

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    I'm curious Because I really enjoy Cooking but surprisingly enough my biggest passion in life is to live comfortably with a 9-5 making decent money for a 20 year old and slowly work my way up. Now I could just take the maintenance route and become some technician especially with prior experience in the military but I want to do something I completely enjoy and I love cooking it's fun. I don't mind cooking  on a line but that job doesn't pay you well unless you work towards a well regarded kitchen, and sometimes that's not me. When I cook I prefer the creation and challanging of myself to making something completely new and original  or different. I honestly enjoy making new things , and I don't think being a chef is specifically what i want, and again

    I won't be happy just making the cut with paychecks,I'm not ooking for big cash but I'm looking for something in between where I can live comfortably. what is a pastry chef like? is it difficult to work  on a daily basis.

    Can anyone give me any idea of options available that fit what  I have mentioned?
     
  2. iceman

    iceman

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    I'm curious about how much "experience" in any field a "20 year old" can have from the military. After 2 years of military anything, the only experience you could have would be in sweating.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  3. soesje

    soesje

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    what is it you REALLY want?

    your post does not radiate the passion for cooking you say to have.

    you mention money, being able to pay your bills first place.

    if working in a restaurant kitchen is for you : be prepared to make 12 hours or more days, for little pay.

    work your *** off to get somewhere.

    what is your vision? where do you want to go? fine dining? what kind of kitchen speaks to you.

    pastry chef is a whole different thing, and in ways much more complex than just working in a restaurant kitchen as a line cook, say.

    whatever you choose to do, the starting point will be : work your way from bottom up.

    try to get a stage at a restaurant that inspires you, maybe on your days off to start with. check out what chefs you would like to work for if needed. (its worth googling and reading up their CV, so you can see whether they are experienced and in what fields).

    start working as a kitchen help or even as a dishwasher, to get your foot in the door.

    if you find a place that wants to take you, work there for a while and then see how you are doing, can you cope with the high pressure, the challenges, the long days, etc.

    maybe take an education…..you are only 20 yet, so WAY to go and LOTS of possibilities to try things out and find your path.

    good luck.

    if you really love cooking then by all means follow your heart and do it all with all the passion thats in you.

    it will be noticed, and before you know it, you will be out there and doing your thing.
     
  4. chefross

    chefross

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    While I applaud your attitude, you're going to need more than that in order to survive in this business.

    If it were only about the cooking, then you might have a chance.

    One comment you made about wanting the ability to create and be challenged, is probably something better suited to upscale dining

    because anything else is going to be mundane and boring.

    Unless you work for yourself your wish to create and be challenged will be sacrificed and even then you will have limits to adhere to.

    9-5's  in this business are usually relegated to food service workers, or, if you are very very lucky, you might find something better suited but with Iittle experience behind you, it will be difficult.

    Good luck.
     
  5. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    As mentioned by Soesje , i really dont see your burning culinary passion from this post. 

    In all honesty finding a job working 9-5 , and making decent cash in the culinary industry with no prior experience is rare <_< . 

    Be prepared to work 12 hours and up for minimum wage. 

    I also dont understand how being a pastry chef will differ. Its something completely on the other side of the culinary spectrum. 

    To me this post sounded like someone who probably has a lot of free time and enjoys cooking , so considers it a career option , without having any prior experience. 

    My advice take a job in a restaurant , maybe you will get lucky and make above minimum wage. 

    Regardless go find a job either it be cooking , baking , or washing dishes , just to get a taste of what its like to work in a kitchen. 

    Thats the best advice i can give you <_<. 

    Remembering this is just my honest opinion do with the advice as you like. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  6. devin ancrum

    devin ancrum

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    i'm sorry I I should've elaborated more but I was honorably discharged and I was an aircraft mechanic specializing in hydraulic systems. my main thing was Im aware i won't be able to outright find a job like that, but  i was wondering if there is a median, at some point in the career. and I mean is there any other jobs  besides just working at a resturaunt where i can still kinda be in the kitchen or near it?

    1. How do I become a submarine chef.

    2. Recipe tester

    3. Is there any job in which I can solely create dishes and ideas, or is that completely  a different field.
     
  7. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I can tell your right now , if you wanna work with food , be prepared to work long hours , work with annoying people , and get ready to learn alot. That or open up your own business. 

    Allow me to remind you , that you haven´t mentioned that you have experience working in the industry , so achieving a goal where you wish to work good hours and make decent pay wont happen unless you have money to invest on yourself. 

    Ill say it again : If you wanna work in the industry find a job in the industry. Stating you want to work with food because you like to cook at home for yourself , friends , creating new dishes etc... doesnt mean you can/should work with food. Sure maybe you have what it takes to work in a kitchen and work with food , but you wont know until you find a job in the industry now will you?

    Remember you have no work experience how can you justify to a potential client or boss that you should make decent pay , and work certain hours <_<?

    I know of so many cooks not just here on cheftalk , that started out washing dishes or working from PM - AM just to get some experience in the field. Getting little sleep , attempting degrees , and probably working at places below there standards. Sure many of them now have decent jobs , and have a decent pay but that was after working years in the industry , and putting in alot of heart , soul , blood , sweat , and tears , along with never regretting their choices. 

    If you really want to work with food , start thinking about a career choice , a plan on how to reach your goals , and go find a job ( even if it means washing dishes or prepping salads ). You need some REAL WORLD experience. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  8. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I think I can answer your question with another question.  Here it is:

    Although I have been cooking and baking for over 30 years, I dabble with hydraulics systems in my garage at home.  I think I have developed a good system for medium sized aircraft.

    -I have no engineering background, or knowledge of materials or how they behave in less-than-ideal conditions

    -I have no idea if my system can be manufactured in large quantities, or if it can be manufactured economically

    -I have no idea of how my system will compare with others in the next 5 years

    -I have no idea of how maintainence personel will maintain my system

    Do you think Boeing or Lockheed will give me the time of the day?
     
  9. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    Let me save you a lot of time and frustration and also let me save members of this forum a little time and frustration. The food service industry is not for you!

    Your head is in the clouds if you think you can find a job like you want. I'd give it about a 1% chance you could find what you stated as your criteria. Even then, it will take many years of working in a place that doesn't meet that criteria. 

    Pursue the aircraft mechanic field instead. 
     
    kaiquekuisine likes this.
  10. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Agreed...
     
  11. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Work five or 6 years as an A&E and you'll be making enuf to get some self education in the food industry,

    then with that nest egg, you can still stage and/or work for peanuts in various kitchens for a while, and actually

    LEARN something. At the end of which you'll  have some valuable experience, opened eyes, plus enuf $$$ to

    start your OWN food business....any way you want it....IF you still want it.

    For the now, I'm with those in here who kind of believe you may be looking at this industry like many

     culinary students do--as more fun and glamorous, with ample room for *cough* food-network-style flamboyancy

    than is almost ever the case. I'd say with would not be a stretch to consider it every bit as hard as your initial military

    boot training--only hotter. lol . And prob less pay that you made there too.
     
  12. devin ancrum

    devin ancrum

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    No you need  a degree specifically in aerospace engineering, and I believe certain sectors of lockheed require you to have a CCAF
    My thing is  I've worked in the back for Mcdonalds at a completely anal restaurant for 5 years as a crew trainer  which was also constantly understaffed , which isn't  the same but the volume and the quality they expect out of 60 seconds  per order gives me a perspective,like i said it's not the same but it's not completely different. People honestly think it's just flippin burgers, but it's far from it, I've spoken to people who've worked at both mcdonalds and applebess and they've explained to me what it's like and that it's not all that different. I do not have   a pipedream or a view of  what  it would be like based on what i've seen on tv, i barely watch tv, and I can't stand cooking shows.. my true goal is to Live comfortably and work  a  9-5, the main reason i asked about cooking is because it is something I enjoy to do even for a job I don't mind working all day in a kitchen sweating but , one thing I can not settle with is not having money, and all i hear left and right is " you should persue cooking ; it has terrible pay, but you enjoy this so much.". I'd rather  be a chef than do maintenance, but  I can live comfortably off of maintenance and not have to burst my behind for years to be where I would prefer to start off financially.  I just want to simply cook, I wouldn't mind grinding all day if it paid  decent My  quarter term goal is to be making above 40k per year before 30. from what i've seen  I feel like there is no Median. it seems you either get paid minimum wage or burst your behind for years before you see something good, I can not see myself getting paid that much by then, but I do believe you guys are right and I should just stick to maintenance. Would you believe me if i said I  planned on doing this on an  Art Forum as well, I can draw very well.
     
  13. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    You really shouldnt compare food chains , to fine dining restaurants.

    Sure you may have learned something , but not what would be ideal. 

    Now i have a few questions:

    What cuisine do you like? Who do you want to work for? What actual experience do you have working in fine dining restaurants?Do you have a degree in the culinary field? Have you had any specific culinary training? Have you done events , weddings , any experience with wine pairings?What are some basic mother sauces and can you make them?Can you brunoise an onion at least?

    Are you okay with earning minimum wage for lets say about 6 years maybe?

    There are a series of other questions i could ask , but i think those are fine for now. 

    Regardless of that your head is too high up in the clouds. You want to work 9-5 and have financial stability. 

    You dont have a degree and regardless of that your experience in the culinary field isnt enough to get you a decent paying job yet. 

    Just because you enjoy cooking does not mean you should make a living off of it , right now if you came into the restaurant i worked at with a resume stating what you posted on this forum , the most you would get is a dishwasher position working weekends 6-2 am and sunday 9-6pm.... making minimum wage. Like i siad this is the most you would get , meaning either you work in the dish pit or you stay unemployed. 

    As stated the food industry is not for you , get yourself some real world experience and possibly degree and then you may have a chance. 

    You obviously find cooking a hobby, now go find a career in your field , suited for the lifestyle you wish to have. 

    P.S. get a new paper and search the employment section , i can guarentee the chances of you finding a job stating " need cook , job hours 9-5 , salary above minimum wage " extremely rare if you find one , and chances of you being employed is less than 1%. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Don't even think about food business. You seem to favor the conventional 9 to 5 attitude. Go into finance or law. or become a computer programmer.
     
  15. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Exactly, some kind of qualification.  If you don't know what you're doing an accident could happen, the mnfctr could get sued, class action or otherwise, reputation lost, company down the drain, right? 

    Same thing with creating and selling a recipie.  If you don't know what you're doing, people could get poisoned and die or maimed, class action, company down the drain.  A large company will spend millions in R & D for a new product, not just with creating a new item, but building HACCP procedures into the recipie, considering the equipment on hand, current suppliers and ingredients, shelf life, packaging considerations and many other factors. And if a small business has to hire someone to create them a recipie, then they are in the wrong business.

    Look, people eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Cooks cook, so you either work the breakfast shift with lunch rush included, or the dinner shift with or without lunch rush included, but no one cooking gets a 9-5 shift.  Mngmt, maybe, dishwashing maybe, but not cooking.  
     
  16. bonitabrit

    bonitabrit

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    With my job I had the odds in my favor. I am a prep cook for a small catering company that gets a lot of business because of devoted clients. I had no experience in a kitchen besides my at-home cooking.

    Google is your best friend.

    Look at prep cook jobs in your area using your zip code and keep looking! Stage at restaurants if you have the free time! Experience is necessary in this industry as well as patience and knowin the right people.

    I'm 22 and quickly learned that 9-5 jobs are crap and drain all the energy out of you. With my prep cook job it just depends on how many parties you've got going on and sometimes we are in the kitchen from 8-5*. I get paid well and I also work in the kitchen at parties or even on waitstaff.

    Maybe even look at big catering companies in your town or city and see if they are looking for anyone without experience. As long as you show you're determined and devoted you just might get somewhere

    Good luck to you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  17. jenniferann

    jenniferann

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    I believe cooking, like any other art, is "in the blood". I know you mean well, so I won't take offence to the idea that our careers can just be played at. Many years of hard work, crawling your way up the line. Also I wouldn't drop a ton of cash into school if you're not sure. Hope this helps.
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    You nailed it ,.

    It's in the blood and in the hands   You do not learn to be a Pastry Chef or Garde Manger you must have that touch of artistic flair  and imagination in you before you start ,then schools and learning will bring that out.
     
  19. habanerolove

    habanerolove

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    OP, I get what youre saying.Ive always enjoyed cooking and was working retail/costumer service/managment until 2 years ago.I thought I would do some time in the kitchen before investing in school.And I also wondered what other options might be availanble in case the chef thing didnt work out.

    After working kitchen jobs that expect you 60+ hours a week and pay like 600 bucks a week (it sucks)I can see that this is what I want to do and the only 2 options I want are

    1. Become a chef for a reputable spot and earn enough to do what I love and support a family.

    2.Open up a place of my own.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  20. soesje

    soesje

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    habanerolove, when you want to become a chef, MAKE it work out!!!

    put everything in it thats in you, with all the drive and passion you have.

    be prepared to suffer through it when needed, just to learn everything you can.

    you did not say how much experience you have in the field, although your status says line cook.

    how long have you been a line cook? 

    I'd like to point out that its all about mindset….. when you set out with a plan B for just in case…..do you believe in yourself and your talents?

    thats very important to have.

    its better to have a positive mindset, and just tell yourself you're gonna make it, no matter how long it takes to get there...
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
    habanerolove likes this.