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Thread: Feel totally stuck

  1. #1
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    Feel totally stuck

    I find that im in a really hard situation regarding my job and i really dont no how to go about it.
    Iv been a chef for the past 6 years and its been a really hard 6 years full of ups and bog lows. I love cooking but the unsociable hours, relatively low pay and the pressure of the job have had a big impact on my mental health. I have a 3 year old son and i need to change my career mainly for him, as i want to spend as much quality time with him as i can (me and his mum have split up by the way).
    I feel really scared about the future because theres lots of things id like to to do career wise but i feel because of my job experience and lack of academic grades or qualifications, its impossible for me to get something that 1. Gives me a good work life balance 2. A good wage to support myself and my son and 3. Something where theres scope and progression. Its easy to go online and look but all i see for jobs id like is requiremnets that I dont have, and dont have the time to get them. Its good to mention that im 28, but I feel that i should have a foundation set career wise.
    Im finding this a really pressurising problem!
    Anyone else been through a career change where they felt stuck and bot knowing what to do?

  2. #2
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    What are you interested in?

  3. #3
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    So... not to state the obvious but... the reason why some jobs pay more than others is either because they are needing someone with a specific skill set that someone had to train for - or itís a job that people donít really want to do (itís dangerous or weird hours or far away, etc). I think that statement is just generally true in our society, unless you find your way into a unionized or government job that you can work your way up from (but those tend to have a million applicants).

    I know you are saying you ďdonít have timeĒ to train... but I would argue that you need to find that time. You are losing money for every year that you DONíT do that.

    I think you are on the right track, though. You need to find something with a short training period before you get to work - to minimize the amount of loans, etc that you may need to take and get you working faster. And I think you would be wise to check out the job market BEFORE you train. No sense in training to be a basket weaver if there are no lucrative basket weaving jobs in your area.

    To me, this all screams ďtradesĒ if you are into it. It can be very lucrative to be an electrician or a plumber, for example, and the schooling is usually about a year before you take on apprentice jobs. But is that what you want to do?

    Personally, i think you have no choice but to make an investment in yourself. Just make it a wise investment with a quick turn-around.

    ... that would be my advice.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Most companies only publish very specific needs for outside expertise while keeping most jobs in-house to promote from within. One consideration for exposure to other potential openings may be to sign up at temp agencies. The roles available for temping don't matter, because the goal is to evaluate corporate cultures to find a good fit, and then apply for open jobs from within. Lots of companies hire this way--it's a 'try before you buy' agreement that benefits both the candidate and the firm.

    Very few people develop a career in their college level of study, so don't believe that you're limited based on a need to have fulfilled a specific major in order to work in a given field. The jobs you see published are for specific levels of expertise that companies have not been able to find within their own employees, so of course those would be intimidating.

    You can't apply with temp agencies by sending a resume and expect to be matched with an opening. Openings are reserved for people who've joined an active roster by making an appointment to interview and test on any computer apps in which they've claimed competency. This is not a make-or-break deal--most agencies allow applicants to raise lousy scores by returning to use their tutorials until they are ready to retest.

    Don't be discouraged when they say they have nothing at the moment, meet with them anyway. No good agency has jobs lying around. They place people immediately from their active rosters, so getting on those lists can open some doors to exploring potential companies in your area.

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  6. #5
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    My friend who was a chef at high end restaurants and also Whole Foods for awhile and a similar store opened her own small cafe a few years ago -she has two kids and loves it. Would you be willing to stay in food service? Before that I think she did special education (and then went to culinary school)

  7. #6
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    If you do train for a specific job (I'm an accountant and my husband is a chef actually) it's likely that your training or schooling will put you in touch with the correct network/other industry professionals. Both of us were grateful for that. I have chapter meetings, workshops and mandatory ongoing/yearly training sessions to maintain my designation. My husband was good at what he did in culinary school from day 1 and was able to receive grants and scholarships and the professional references required for work placement in Europe (at his choice of Michelin star establishment) at the end of his culinary training where he lived and worked in Europe for just under a year. This helped his resume stand out when he returned and due to a mix of strong leadership and people skills, his annual take home is quite generous and he's able to take time off whenever he wants. I'm aware he doesn't live the usual chef life and yes, we absolutely are grateful for all our blessings! We also worked incredibly hard to get this far and would do it all over again.

    The only reason why I'm sharing this is to hopefully give you another perspective on schooling or training. It's only what you make of it, to be honest with you. You also have to be honest with yourself which is why I asked you what you're interested in(^^ above). It matters. Pick a passion that you just can't get enough of, eat it up like it's the best cake you've ever seen or smelled or tasted, live/breathe/dwell in it and become whatever you want to be. You have to find that for yourself and trust me, you will always find a way if you're that interested in something. You'll find the right people and you'll find the opportunities that work for you.

  8. #7
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    My husband was a chef for several years, and then left for school to become a draftsmen which he always wanted to do as a kid. He loves it to no end. Kids are resilient. So even if you take one day to have special time a week, it's great, so don't beat yourself up. I grew up in the restaurant industry with a dad who only had off on Mondays and Thanksgiving (Owned over 5 of them over the years), but I think he's the greatest dad in the wold, so it's okay. Figure out what you want to do. And take steps to get there. Even once class at a time.


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