When choosing a career, you need to be sure you find a skill that strikes the right balance between what you want to be doing and what is marketable in this tenuous job market. Becoming a chef is an increasingly popular choice with young professionals, especially with the success of television cooking competitions like Top Chef. The culinary art is a profession that demands long hours and heavy commitment and is not for those expecting the glamour of A-list chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Gordon Ramsay. But while it is a demanding profession that can take its toll on personal lives, here are five good reasons to pursue a career as a chef.
The United States Department of Labor expects job in the culinary arts to grow over the next ten years, but more slowly than on average. How is this a plus? If you are committed to the kitchen, you will have plenty of job opportunities as the below average growth will be supplemented by high turnover. The industry has long been characterized by transitional and temporary workers and when they leave their jobs, that leaves lots of positions open for people serious about their career as a chef.
If you are tired of sitting at a desk all day and want something to challenge your skills and intellect, there are few careers as challenging as a chef. As you move further up the career ladder, you will be faced with more responsibility and your skills will be tested in new and exciting ways every night. Many people buckle under the pressure and leave the profession, but for those who love their jobs, the daily test will be a plus.
If you take one look at a recipe and immediately start thinking of substitutions and changes you can make to better fit your taste, you will find a career as a chef appealing. You will do this every day and get paid for it. You will be able to test and experiment, especially if you work in a non-chain restaurant that allows you to contribute to new menus.
It is true that many restaurant positions don’t pay well, especially entry-level, but if you focus on your culinary education at a school and work your way up, you can make a decent salary from all your hard work. It is possible to make a six figure salary if you work at a high-level position in a hotel, cruise ship, or one of tens of thousands of other resort and hospitality establishments around the world.
None of these reasons to become a chef mean much unless you would find the work itself satisfying. You must determine that you have a passion for cooking and would like to spend your life in a kitchen. The hours are brutal. You can work 12 hour days (if not more) and most nights and holidays. Your social life will be limited, but if this is your calling, you will want nothing more than to cook for a living.