Following myu own advice, that the human attention span is short, I divided the collection of observations acquired during over a quarter century of watching people shoot themselves in the foot into shorter lists . Here the second installment. They are in no particular order.
1) Keep your ego on a short leash, at least in an interview. Be wary of compliments and suggestions that you are the only one who can fix a properties issues or bring back flagging numbers. That’s probably exactly what they told the last guy.
2) New Job: Hold your own while showing respect for the existing culture. (Walk softly and carry a big stick). Get to know the culture before turning it on its head.
3) Trust your instincts. If you think someone is out to get you, they probably are. If you experience subversion causing staff unrest, consider the soothing effects of a public hanging.
4) Follow policy. Really. If you can’t deal with the policy, don’t take the job. Management has a reason for policy, and they won’t let you be you, very possibly because that puts their own jobs in jeopardy. Read the employee handbook and apply it. As you get to know the place better you may be able alter policies and write your own. People who ignore policy get fired.
5) Focus your career, and hold a logical career path. Find good places and stay there. Diversity and assortment are good on a buffet table. Less on a resume. Keep your career focused and follow something like a logical path. Employers (should) always look for a history of logical progression rather than two bursts of glory in jumble of jobs.
6) Don’t let staff issues slide. If someone is not performing now, they will not perform in five months. Document it and deal with it.
7) Document everything pertaining to running the kitchen and keep a copy for yourself. The chance that you may need it someday is too great for you not to.
8) If you want a great career, choose opportunity and quality over geography, unless the geography leads to opportunities in quality restaurants.
9) Marry someone who not only excites you but understands the demands of your career. Chefs are glamorous, until partners find out that they can’t go out and celebrate with the crowd or babysit in the evening. People with nine to five jobs somehow think their partners can be celebrated chefs and be home for dinner at the same time. Even if they say they get it, they probably don’t.
10) You can’t have it all. If you want to work five star, you can’t have nights off. Decide what’s important and realize that you will probably not be able to change your career trajectory once it is set. The best training spots often pay less for starting positions.
Unfortunately there are many more. In the meantime, there isn’t a man/woman/person Jack among you, who doesn’t have his/her/their own observations. Please do share. The comment link is below.