I'll try to keep this short and simple.
I am a lead line cook at gastropub-concept restaurant for a rapidly growing restaurant group.
However, I am also attempting to go back to graduate school next August (2016). So, I have ~10-11 months left in the industry. This is important.
From what everyone has been whispering in my ear (my exec, FOH managers, other line cooks), I should forget about higher education and pursue a culinary career. It's gotten to my head that my aspirations for graduate school have been clouded.
I've rapidly outgrown my current workplace, as I am actually bored and unchallenged at work, and our menu is far below my talent level and capability (sounds cocky, but true, and my coworkers constantly tell me this [exec included])
So the company is opening a new restaurant in a few months of the same gastropub concept, but with a slightly expanded menu.
My name was in contention for Sous, and for roughly a month it seemed it was all but official that I would be Sous (confidence from corporate employees, my exec, managers, etc).
Had a meeting this morning and it turns out the company loves me and thinks I am a valuable asset with no ceiling in sight...
But they're making me lead line cook at the new restaurant... a VERY lateral move when I want experience, growth, challenges, and to climb the ladder as much as I can in my remaining time in the industry.
I'm extremely disappointed. Bummed. Hurt, even.
Why cap me off at lead line when I know I can give you 8-9 SOLID months of Sous Chef?
Their concern is that I might not like it and my short time span in the industry. If I can forgo higher education for 2-3 years and kill it at lead line cook and enjoy it, only then can I climb the ladder to sous, and exec.
I can defer graduate school for one year if I love it as Sous, which I was not opposed to doing at all.
But pushing me laterally has killed any interest for me to continue working with the company because it caps me off and forces my hand to either commit years or get locked in as lead line cook.
I'm going to talk to my exec about this tomorrow morning, and of my plans to quit my current job once I get hired somewhere else. I'm looking for a scratch kitchen with changing menus, as I believe that's where I fit best with my talent, creativity, and skill.
What do you guys think? Sorry about the long read.
I fully understand their hesitance to promote me to sous... but 8-9 months is definitely enough time for me to make it worth their while.