Do your job and demand your compensation; but in that order.
I often come across enthusiastic graduates applying for a new job, ready to start the “cook’s real life”, but shocked about the wages and hoping to negotiate that first opportunity with a better offer, rather than look at what they will learn.
It is well known that the hospitality, restaurant, and catering industries are one of the least paying; such low wages of the industry are forcing skilled workforce to look for better jobs, other better opportunities in different industries. Better living conditions, working hours, off days and most of all a better salary are the most important decisional factors when an individual decides to work for any company.
Many people think that being a cook is a career for people who don’t have proper education, without a diploma and an escape for those who can’t find a better occupation. However, if you invest in this profession with care and passion, becoming a Chef is like being a scientist, a mathematician, an artist, a nutritionist, a teacher, a police officer, a storekeeper, a celebrity and many more professions linked together.
I had started my cooking career earning only a few hundreds of Swiss francs a month, knowing well that it will be one of those jobs where I have to stand for hours, under pressure, sweating from the heat of the stoves, risking cut fingers with sharp knives and, a lot of hard work. I love my job, as my international career gave me the opportunity to learn from different professionals, all experts, in front and back of the house, from hospitality to healthcare and in various continents. When I teach, I inculcate this enthusiasm in inspiring new generations to take care of that better opportunity syndrome, investing their effort into their passion where we work 80% of our life.
Young cooks and fresh graduates, be known that the salary will come for being perseverant and a good listener. Stand tall because the future is yours and once you are a leader you will perhaps set better wages for one of the hardest and continuously growing industry; one that is committed to providing services and oriented to people satisfaction.