Four questions for a would-be chef

Do you think a role in the kitchen could be for you? Maybe you feel like you could be the next Gordon Ramsay and when it comes to hospitality jobs, you're ultimately after a top chef role?

As with any career, you're going to have to work your way up the ranks before you get where you really want to be.

And there can be definite benefits to taking on other kitchen jobs or placements to help yourself see how a working kitchen operates before you train as a chef.

Being a kitchen porter or pot washer, for example, may not seem as glamorous as designing your own menu, but it will certainly give you an invaluable taste of the kitchen.

If you decide that the environment isn't for you after taking on this sort of work, you could save yourself undertaking training and career development for a role that's not for you.

When you're thinking about becoming a chef for a living, it's wise to ask yourself many different questions – here are just four important ones.

Do I love food?

You don't have to spend all day eating, but you'll certainly be much more well suited to your job if ingredients, and putting them together, excites you. That's the case whether you're working for a local pub or an internationally renowned restaurant!

Are you already active in the kitchen – or do you at least want to be? If you've not had the chance to cook much yet, give it a go. If you're going to work as a chef, you need to get enjoyment from cooking.

Think carefully about whether you can see what might be a hobby now become a career. If cooking for a dinner party feels too stressful, cooking for customers may well not be your thing!

Can I manage others?

If you end up as a senior chef, you're going to have to tell others in the kitchen what to do, and make sure they play their part in your workplace to the best of their ability.

Do you think you have the skills to manage people well, or could learn them? Remember that this is the sort of thing you will develop over the course of your career, so you don't need to have all the right skills now, just the potential to get them.

Do I handle pressure well?

All jobs have their stress – and jobs where it's down to you to produce something on time for a customer within minutes certainly have their adrenaline-fueled moments. The amount of pressure on you as a chef will vary depending on work environment – but remember that there may often be moments where you'll need to ride the stress through to a positive conclusion. Consider whether you have it in you to handle stress well.

Do I want to meet the public?

Chef is a hospitality role that is very much behind the scenes. In many cases, you might not actually get to see the people you're creating food for enjoy your work. If you enjoy meeting new people every day, a different hospitality role may be more up your street. 

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find chef jobs London

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