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When I face a mountain...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

"when I face a mountain, I will not quit, I'll try to climb over it, find a way around it, tunnel underneath or perhaps stay where I am and turn it into a gold mine"


I'm looking for some advice, really.


I've been working in the same town for 5 years and I am currently at my 6th job. "The art of getting by" is easily mastered by those who go unchecked, or find a shifty health inspector who accepts tips. My school taught me a right way of running a tight ship. Yet, at almost every foodservice establishment in the county, there is a subtle lack of sincerity and integrity. 


The only reason I haven't left town since finishing culinary school 2 years ago is because my work history is fragmented. so I'm just holding up in one of the better bistros in town. but I'm just picking up bad work and sanitation habits there. I have 6 more months until I will have had my fist solid year in a while on my resume, And I'm crossing my fingers for my Chef to write a letter of recommendation,. But, I have thought about enlisting in the military as a CS just to go ahead and gain some structure before I get too far bent.


I really just want to stay with food as my career, I just want out of this mucky hole. has anyone else ever just stuck it out in a sub-par town just to try and get good?

post #2 of 7

Your post touched a nerve for me. What you have experienced is much the same everywhere. Not every chef/owner/cook cares enough to do it right and many get away with it for a long time. Don't let them drag you down.  I have worked for European trained chefs who got slack in their craft. It can certainly be depressing. The profession is full of people at all levels of skill, many of whom are too quick to want to consider themselves competent and forget to continue learning. They are easily intimidated by someone they think may have better skills and will do what they can to put you down in order to make themselves feel better. 

So while it is not just your town I would advise you to move anyway. It sounds like you have exhausted the potential where you are. 

One possible way to overcome what you perceive is a bad work history is to ask for a working interview. That way your skills and professionalism are evident right away no matter how your resume may be interpreted. 

Above all, do not lose faith in yourself and allow others to drag you down. Continue to do things correctly. Continue improving and learning.  If you are developing bad habits, work hard now to correct them. Remember that doing it the way you have been told in a particular restaurant is not the same as having the habit of doing it badly. Keep looking for the company of others who share your enthusiasm and professionalism. I have been fortunate enough to work at places that do it right and demand excellence yet encourage learning and self improvement. They are out there. 

post #3 of 7

Also remember a resume doesn't have to contain all the places you've worked (nor should it)  dates are also pretty meaningless so don't bother to include them at all.


Include positions held, responsibilities / tasks and skills used.


Resume's are tailored to show the prospective employer why you are the right person for the job.   If you took 6 months off cooking to drive a bus to pay the bills on time, no need to put it on there.   


Never lie, but only include pertinent things.


Think about what a resume from a person who's been cooking for 25+ years would look like - it'd be a mess and likely 4 pages long if everything was included.


Working interviews are very key - ask for a Stage and do well and 8 out of 10 times you will be hired.  Hell I was hired before I even finished on stage.  Worked for a couple of hours doing prep and the Chef came back and asked if I wanted a job doing prep and part time linework?   I said yes... he walked out back and fired the guy who was trying to buzz himself in at the back door (he was late again) LOL.


Good luck often only happens to those who try to make it!



"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold





"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold


post #4 of 7

I wouldn't agree that dates are meaningless, if someone has worked 7 different places in 10 months, most people are going to seriously question why that is.


However, I totally agree with the rest of your post.

post #5 of 7

I think what he means is including dates worked at places on the resume isn't important.  


And I agree. I notice looking at resumes of older, more experienced chefs, they tend to focus on the most important jobs they've held and the responsibilities involved and sometimes their "numbers", i.e. sales, labor and food costs reduced, number of patrons served, profit increases, etc. They usually don't include dates of employment and use space for that type of stuff instead.  

post #6 of 7

I know exactly what he's talking about, i've personally never seen a resume that didn't have dates of employment of the various places, listed.

post #7 of 7

Must be regional thing - most agencies and government organizations to help with employment here suggest not including dates as it unconsciously promotes ageism (discrimination based on age) it also promotes discrimination against those who have left the work force to raise or start a family.  (or so says the nanny state of Kanukistan)


It's kind of like not putting your DoB on a resume anymore, that fell out of fashion many years back.


It's kind of a moot point as I rarely look at the dates anyway, I do however check for the 7 jobs in 10 months problem person as ya it happens.


I also always ask for a couple of recent references from the industry if they are not supplied on the resume.   (again here they are often not included as it is someone else's personal / private information)

I usually check them by calling the owner of the place rather than the person referenced, nothing like going to the guy / gal who cut the cheques to get the 'straight' information.


For what it's worth and to bring the thread back on track - when hiring "less experienced" people at the restaurant I rely way more on an interview than any piece of paper.



"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold





"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold


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