Chef Job or Not?

Chef Job or Not?

Editor’s note: Chef Job or Not? was originally published in January 2017 and most recently updated in May 2022.

If you’re reading this, then we’re going to take a leap of faith and assume you’re contemplating becoming a chef. We’ll sidestep waving our hands over a crystal ball whilst pensively appearing to figure out your true career calling!

You won’t all be at the same point in the contemplation and consideration process – of course – but it’s often helpful to draw up the pros and the cons of something ahead of making and committing to a career decision. And that’s precisely what we’re looking to do for you here (you’re very welcome).

So, chef job or not, let’s consider.

Chef job or not? The pros to becoming a chef

You will join a growth industry. Everybody’s got to eat and the love of eating out and not always cooking at home endures. Early indicators are showing that as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic demand for eating out is on the rise.

Chef job or not? Pay is on the up

With a historical chef shortage across pretty much every country in the world your skills are in high-demand, and with this pay rates have seen sustained growth at all levels. As the world returns to normality post Covid, chef pay rates are undoubtedly rising.

As a chef, you’ll work with a diverse range of people

A chef communicates with servers, line cooks, dishwashers and fellow chefs to ensure that everything in the kitchen is running as smoothly as possible. A career as a chef is a social one. It’s an ideal job if you like to interact with many different types of people in the course of the work day.

You can get creative

A career as a chef allows you to exercise your creativity. Plating up food and creating new dishes is an art in itself, so it’s a great career choice for creative people.

You can choose to specialise

Most chefs learn by preparing and cooking all kinds of food, and some are happy to pursue that path. But there’s plenty of opportunity to specialise if you discover a particular passion for a type or style of cuisine.

Chef job or not? You can always change your scenery

Chefs can work in many different settings, giving them plenty of variety. A chef can work in a restaurant, hotel or another food-service establishment in their area. They can also work as a personal chef for one or several private households.

You will always be able to travel + work

Being a chef is a highly portable career choice and you can put your skills to work around the world on land or at sea.

Read: Chef Jobs Overseas

You can become your own boss

Most chefs are extremely passionate about what they do and many choose to branch out on their own and set up their own chef venture or restaurant.

You’ll remain active while at work

A career as a chef allows individuals to remain physically active. They spend most of their workdays standing and walking, making this an ideal job for those who want to be physically active.

You don’t have to wear a suit

No uncomfortable ties, heels or business suits!

Chef job or not? Your chef skills will make can make people happy

People love eating out, so whether you are helping make a special event happen or a Lunch time meal more delicious, your work is being appreciated.

You can enjoy a life-long learning opportunity

Being a chef is a vocation that truly embodies the meaning of life-long learning – the possibility for personal advancement and creativity are literally limitless.

You will never be bored

There is always something going on in a kitchen!

Chef job or not? The cons of becoming a chef

It’s physically demanding

Standing on your feet for long hours, enduring cuts and burns, heavy lifting, noise, heat, smoke and fumes is not for everyone

And mentally demanding

Working under constant pressure to deliver great plates of food quickly without sacrificing quality is tough.

You’re at work when other aren’t

Especially if you work as a chef in a restaurant, you’ll be working on evenings, weekends and holidays and almost anytime when the rest of the world is not working.

Chef job or not? In conclusion

For us, the answer is ‘to chef!’

It’s a profession where all the emotions – love, hate, madness and pleasure can be experienced often during a single busy service, and let’s face it, you’re not going to get that sat in front of a computer screen all day!

To gain more insight into what a chef career is like read: Aspiring Head Chefs Tips.

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