Whether you're a qualified Sous Chef or you're eager to get into hospitality, it's always helpful to give yourself a personality check-up. You can start by asking yourself a few questions.
Chris Chabot, 23, is a First Cook at an upscale restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Q: What do I want to do?
A: I want to become an Executive Chef.
Q: What did I like most about my last job?
A: Small staff, camaraderie and the whole team aspect— the fact that the owners and the kitchen staff work as a team.
Q: What do I want to do more of in my next job?
A: I want to do more of the leadership; focus less on the cooking and more on the management side. I want to improve my management skills so I can work my way up.
Q: What is my ideal work environment?
A: Some place that's professional but enjoyable. A place that has a small staff that gets along very well and is a strong team.
Q: What is my preference—to work independently or as part of a team?
A: Part of a team.
Q: What amount of traveling am I willing to do?
A: Right now, I would be willing to travel anywhere. I'm single and I have nothing to tie me down.
Q: What motivates me?
A: I love to cook. I love the passion towards it. It's enjoyable. You put a lot of effort into something and you get to see the reward from the guests.
Q: What companies intrigue me?
A: Four Seasons, Fairmont and any Relais & Chateau because of the high standards and the high caliber of food.
Q: What skills do I have to do a specific job?
A: A background in culinary arts, either an apprenticeship or a degree from a well-accredited college. I went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Q: What skills do I have that I do not use right now?
A: My food costing and menu pricing skills because I'm not at that level right now. As well as purchasing and choosing supplies. That's more at the management level.
Q: What area could I get more training in, and how long would it take?
A: More training in management and ordering supplies. There's nothing that I can't learn in the workplace.
Q: What do past employers/peers/teachers say are my best attributes?
A: Professionalism, creativity and team work skills.
Chris Chabot figures it will take him about six years of hard work to accomplish his goal to become an Executive Chef. He says it would normally take about 15 years, but he has experience as well as education from a respected culinary school.
* Note: There is an overwhelming number of free and fee-based personality and career quizzes available. They will not change your life nor will they determine the career path you must take. Think of them as a quick and fun way to confirm what you probably already know about yourself.
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