Being a chef seems such a glamourous job if you’re judging it by what you see on television. In reality, reaching that—the one where you get to travel and work in other places, possibly putting out a cooking book, or hosting your own cooking show—is a long, arduous process that takes years of studying, hard work, long hours and plenty of hiccups along the way. But like any career, you have to start somewhere
Becoming a star chef is not as easy as putting on a chef's hat and apron. You'll have to be prepared to get burned, sweat like crazy and be yelled at until your ears are ringing. If you like to cook and come up with dishes that will astound and delight, you need to face the reality that becoming a chef takes commitment and dedication to the overall role and nature of it.
If you’re thinking about becoming a chef, here’s a few pointers worth considering:
- Safety in the kitchen is paramount and learning how to treat burns, cuts and injuries is critical – the inevitable results of being around sharp knives, huge appliances and very hot pots, pans and constantly turned on stoves.
- Prepare for hurdles in the beginning. Just like any career, starting out means remaining strong in tough times. You’ll probably experience workplace pressure that will put you under the pump, but think of the end-result.
- The hours required in this career are long ones and the workweek can commonly reach 60-80 hours each week.
- Prepare to sacrifice some of your social life. You may have to miss holidays, and other important occasions, such as birthdays and weddings.
- Get ready to be a night person. You'll be working harder during the evenings and will be sleeping during the day.
- You'll become an expert in time management and high-pressure environments.
- You'll become multi-talented, which is your bonus—you will learn to prepare lavish meals, as well as hiring, training and firing staff, food ordering, menu planning, scheduling and kitchen management.
Becoming a chef is difficult. But with determination and perseverance, you'll eventually be reaping rewards.