Jul 212012
 

This is the third in a loose series of pieces summarizing the most widely applicable conclusions I have made about what makes for career success in restaurants. The “Don’ts” are generally extracted from the most common termination causes I have witnessed or behavior that throws up career obstacles.

“Road Dirt” means that none of this is in any way wisdom, but a collection of the second hand mud splatters I’ve been hit with over the last 25+ years. You might want to read Road Dirt 1 and Road Dirt Redux, as well.

There is, of course, no guarantee that following all of these will make you a great chef, or that not agreeing with a few will not. You need skill, some talent, some intelligence and a spattering of good character plus a little luck to get the gold ring off the Merry Go Round. None the less, I hope you will find them worth at least considering.

18) Never argue mad. Adrenaline is infectious, and arguing with your levels raised only incites the other guy. In the end nobody gets anywhere, and you both carry away a piece of grudge. (Fact: A high adrenaline level prevents people from hearing and comprehending what the other person is saying. ) Get out of a high energy exchange – put it off until everyone has cooled down. If your subordinates are angry and excited, give them a time out, then readdress the issue when they are not about to explode.

19 ) Treat visionaries with care and caution. Don’t waste your valuable time on someone else’s dreams. Realistically assess the value of new projects.

20)   At some point you may have to decide between money and your soul. I frankly see nothing wrong with money (as long it’s honest) but I know of chefs who have regretted the tradeoff.

21)   Keep out of kitchen politics. Do what you do and let others smack talk each other.

22)   Travel. Travel young and work in another country. It doesn’t have to be France. Stage. Work abroad. You will learn things that won’t be clear to you until years later.

23)   Keep contact with the people you work with. Learn their last names.  Get to know them. You will all need each other at some point or other.

24)   Write. Record everything. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling – you can correct that later. Keep a ledger of what happens at the restaurant, your menu items,  your recipes, your problems, your achievements, your failures and your triumphs.  If you don’t need this to document an incident or your behavior, you may want to use it in a book (lots of authors don’t spell well, either, so don’t let that stop you). Failing that, you will find it fascinating reading later as will your progeny. Mostly, however, keep it for documentation.

25)   Kindness and graciousness have a great deal to do with the careers of the truly grand chefs. I can’t think of one I  know who doesn’t possess both qualities. If they don’t come naturally to you, work on them.Here’s the tip: You are never the most important person in the room. The most responsible, yes. The lynch pin, for sure, but from your perspective, the person you depend on to get things out, to get things done or your customer takes the top dog title.

26) Talent is only the beginning. It provides you the opportunity to be a great chef, but it doesn’t make you one. The rest is a mixture of knowledge, skill, character, commitment  and experience, which takes years to acquire.

27) Just because one kind of job is prestigious or popular doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Celebrity is far from being much let alone everything. For most of us there is or should be life beyond the kitchen and the food media. On the other hand, however, if your goal is a recognized and celebrated location, possibly your own, then you need to start by working in them.

28) Put dignity at the top of your goals. That’ s not pride. It’s the ability to deal with unpleasant situations with your chin up, not to lose face by “flipping out” at tough moments, to leave without baring your emotions if you must. Afford it to everyone in your kitchen.

29) Don’t ignore problems. Listen to your people but not continually (ie, don’t let whiners whine). Defuse or deal with their issues. If you do not, they become your issues.

30) Understand the difference between pride and arrogance. Know your value and insist on dealing and being dealt with accordingly, but don’t be dismissive of those you might think of less importance than you assume for yourself.

31) Take care of your brand. Don’t sell it early to projects that offer good money but will reduce its value later on. Don’t diminish it by behavior that plays into stereotypes. You are your brand. It is what you can sell until you retire. It is what will put you in the desired positions or keep you from them.

32) Manage your career by keeping the long view. Always think of how your decisions will impact the long term. There are few situations where you an sit back and take the easy way out in the food industry. If you go towards industrial food service, you will probably not be able to return to fine dining. Hotel chefs are rarely hired in restaurants. Five years in domestic service sends chefs back to the beginning of the restaurant queue.  These are generalizations, only, but generalizations are true for most people. Most of us are most people and not the exception.

 

Apr 292012
 

The most frequent dream job for an aspiring chef is working in a small to midsized restaurant owned by a visionary who cedes full control of the menu, concept and pricing, giving the chef full autonomy and the tools to gain the visibility that will lead to his own restaurant.

Sometimes it works..
When it does not, the greatest issue appears to be the question of the chefs’ autonomy. I love the quote from mostly Martha, “You are wrong. It’s your restaurant. It’s her kitchen,” even though it isn’t really accurate. The kitchen belongs to the restaurant and its expenses and practices draw from the bottom line. It, too belongs to the owner, which however by no means suggests that the chef cedes  responsibility or that the owner is free to override the chef in substantial decisions.

Actions by the chef – hiring an inappropriate person, ignoring labor laws or food safety standards, inadequate cost controls or low prioritizing of loss – come from the bottom line. Owners who call for new chefs complain that their current chef has hired friends without work visas or does not keep adequate time records because he does not consider them important. One chef who refused to note what he an apparently unimportant and trivial “sexual harassment” incident cost the restaurant $200,000 in damages.

Successful restaurateurs know enough to be cautious with menu autonomy, possibly the top item on any young chef’s wish list, so a lot of young chefs turn down promising positions for owners who keep control over their menus and concepts,  whether that means requiring a few well received items on the menu, or that all new dishes be approved before they are tried out at the beginning of the chef’s tenure.

“He keeps second guessing my purveyors,” says one chef, who doesn’t comprehend the owner’s desire to have a hand in the costs of the facility.

He has three sous chefs, sighs the plagued restaurateur. That’s one for twenty seats. Our food cost is great, but our labor cost is putting out of business.” “I have brought in great reviews,” says the chef, and raised the volume by 45%, not considering that labor or food costs may be resulting in lowering profits to an unacceptably thin or negative margin. Restaurants are not supposed to subsidize their guests.

“Visionary,” it has been remarked (often by me), “is a four letter word.” Grand ideas of new restaurant owners often collide head first with the economic realities and demographics of a location. There are of course those truly impressive first time owners who start on point and continue to run a successful restaurant for years with a strong vision and perfect chef interaction (I would mention Mark Pastore at Incanto here..one of the restaurant owners I most respect in the industry), but many face heart rendering challenges in their new ventures.

“This is not what I signed on to do,” sighs the new restaurant’s creative chef. They’ve changed the concept. They lied to me.” Well, actually they lied to themselves, following their dreams rather than the hard facts of who is willing to pay how much money for what kind of food on their plate. Once they figured it out, they told the chef to replace the basil scented vanilla bass with a burger or a steak, and he’s understandably ticked off. “This will ruin my career!” he moans. Actually it probably won’t but he has a point. Game changing is a bummer even when it is the only option.

Money in the restaurant business is a zero sum game. That would be simple, but the quest for kitchen/owner bliss is complicated by a number of factors including “culinary integrity”, prestige desires, ego on both sides and lack of communication on both sides of the kitchen door.  Often the chef sees additional value in press and recognition, which can only be achieved through more expensive food or a higher staffing quotient than the financials will bear. Owners appreciate the celebrity, but they still have to deal with budget questions. They also unreasonably expect to receive profit from their investments, as do their investors.

Chef’s with aspirations understandably tend to resent the consequences of these realities, which is somewhat like resenting rain.

Virgin restaurateurs, that is those with little or no previous restaurant experience, complicate the equation by lacking understanding of the boundaries between of the kitchen door. Many want to have a hand in everything. Others simply overstep their bounds. A dear friend was, for instance, known for demanding a hamburger in the middle or service. He went through a list of chefs before one slammed his fist on the table and said “No!”. Another, no longer a virgin, gives his generally very talented chefs full reign of the menu but makes up for the financial drain by shorting the dining room to the clear detriment of the kitchen. Good food needs to be delivered at the pre-ordained temperature without infuriating the diners.

First time owners and and some experienced restaurateurs, furthermore, tend to be more meddlesome than necessary. Stories abound of cooks fired for theft or other inexcusable behavior being hired back (thus undermining the chefs’ authority and necessitating his departure), of family members investors demanding special service on the busiest nights, of orders cancelled without the chef’s knowledge. When some lines are crossed,  irremediable barriers thrown up between employer and chef. Pity.

There should be a moral or an answer to all this. Instead there many which begin with decision making and end with communication.  And sometimes there is none. They will be addressed in the next post. In the meantime it would very interesting to hear your own experiences and solutions from either side of this, because you surely have plenty of them.

Please note that the verification for this site is a simple math question. If you can calculate food cost, you should be able to subtract five from six.  It should not stop you.

Feb 212012
 

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.

 

Feb 102012
 

I have been doing what I do, Food and Beverage Recruiting, for over 25 years. The business has been around for over 50 – I ceased counting at the half century mark – so from my perspective in the nosebleed seats of the great chef/manager game, I’ve picked up a few tips. Some people have gone as far as to call them wisdom, but in fact, they are just road dirt, like the mud that sticks to your fenders when you do a lot of cross country driving.

I get a lot of resumes. Most of them aren’t good. Too many of them are simply bad. The tips and the outtakes on this site are inspired by the bad ones. A number of them are heart rendering – the European trained chef who worked in some of the finest restaurants and somehow got himself recruited to Buckbutt Arkansas or the chef who worked his way through culinary school with two jobs, worked his way up with focus, then took a dream job at a restaurant which closed three weeks after they hired him.

Reading  the stories of the heroes, the solid professionals, the creeps and the unfortunates  has given me a lot of rules. I’ve written them before, but perhaps it’s time to move them here, little by little. Here a few in no particular order:

1)      Always consider the demographics of an area before accepting a job in a new location.

2)      Never try to talk yourself into or out of a job. Look at any reasonable position and weigh the advantages, possibilities, challenges and negatives objectively before making a decision.

3)      It’s not about you. It’s never about you, and don’t let the people you are working with tell you otherwise. It’s about the food, the state of the walk-in, the staff and the property.  Your talent, character and knowledge may be the deciding factor, but keep your perspective.

4)      Be excited about food, technique, people in the industry  and the people who follow it. Inspire yourself with travel, dining and reading. Without excitement chefs turn into kitchen managers.

5)      Until you own the kitchen – literally or figuratively – it is not your food (“my cuisine”). It’s my cuisine, as I am paying for it, and it’s the owner’s cuisine.  Your dishes are another matter.

6)      The great chefs have asked themselves along their paths, “what did I do right? What did I do wrong? What could I do better.?” Honest self-assessment is the basis of a great career.

7)      People who shout get fired. Gordon Ramsay gets away with it because a) it’s part of his act, b) he used to be a soccer star and c) he is married to a Spice Girl and has oodles of money independently of the restaurant industry. Until you have that together, shouting will only cause you to lose face and make the staff think less of you. Actually it doesn’t make Ramsay look good either.

8)      Never drink at your own bar. Regardless of the truth you are handing some Machiavellian creep a silver bullet. Once the word gets out that the chef/manager gets drunk at the bar, it’s nearly impossible to refute it. Drink next door or down the street.

9)      Distance is golden. You subordinates are not your friends, unless they were our friends before they were your subordinates. At least not at first. Give everyone you work with a great deal of respect and affection, if necessary, but keep some distance. The most common mistake made by first time chefs is not understanding that they were no longer playing with the other kids in the sandbox. Your primary loyalty shifts from your colleagues to your employer the moment you take a promotion.

10)   Changing things too fast in a new job is risky. Even when the management wants a drastic change, it’s a good idea to give it a couple of weeks while you assess the dining room traffic and the staff skills.

That’s just 10..stay tuned for more.   Please feel free to add your own road dirt to the collection. Our current security question is an arithmetic problem.

 

 

Apr 292011
 

Moving around – I want a chef’s job in _______________________ .

Judging from the number of cover letters we receive stating, “I will be moving to XXXX in June and will be seeking a chef’s job,” South Carolina is the new culinary hot spot. Judging from the number of resumes we receive from South Carolina chefs trying to find a job elsewhere, it isn’t.

Somehow I missed the memo or the Food Channel Show or the culinary article pronouncing that particular location the new Mecca. For those of  you who were on the distribution list,  however, I have news: Their predictions tend to be inaccurate.

Food writers, always thirsty for material, like to play follow the leader. At the moment one chef manages to establish himself with a positive national review or television piece in his homeland,   food writers eagerly begin a game of telegram (remember that from junior high school?) each going a bit further out on a limb to proclaim Arizona, Seattle, or Denver the new destination where food will be reborn.

Sorry. It ain’t gonna happen. Let’s do some history, a bit of it Ancient: Mark Miller’s Coyote Café put Santa Fe New Mexico on the Culinary map, inspiring droves of young chefs to travel to the Southwest, where there were neither jobs nor a sufficient appreciative public to support really interesting restaurants. Swift on the heels of the Southwest hysteria came Seattle and Portland, from whence we received many calls from desperate, rain drenched young chefs who couldn’t find the jobs lying on the streets indicated by the ever optimistic food trend predictors.  Seattle and Portland do have some fabulous restaurants, but not nearly the employment potential indicated by the media.

Texas, Arizona and Florida – West Florida in particular – were among the new culinary hot spots which cooled off after the next group came up. San Diego promised and offered a fair number of fairly good restaurants but many more family style chain spots.

Why? People. Demographics. Who eats in restaurants determines what restaurants succeed. If a location doesn’t have a great restaurant usually does not mean it is a void waiting to be filled, but that the population will not support a good restaurant.

California is a culinary miracle thanks to a combination of fabulous produce and a highly sophisticated young urban population with discretionary income. New York  is the incubation spot for the nation’s most adventurous young mating aged  economic and  intellectual elite with tiny kitchens and social appetites  that drive them to restaurants. California and New York are each the touch down spot for people from other continents. We have Hollywood. New York has Wall Street.  The New York Times and the publishing industry drive food and eating ahead of just about any other pleasure.  San Francisco did in fact have a resurgence in the eighties, but it was already a restaurant town with more or less staid cuisine until Jeremiah Tower and  Joyce Goldstein followed by their graduates from the Chez Panisse days kicked off a culinary revolution which brought people into fine dining with approachable and exciting foods.Chicago, the third obvious front line culinary destination lacks some of the international influences of the two coastal Mecca’s but has youth and money on it’s side and is the nation’s food trade hub.

What makes all of these towns work is a combination of money, singles including a considerable gay dining contingent, plenty of high end transient and business travelers,  intelligent  young adults  and sophistication. The country’s three main dining spots, furthermore, are the three most multi ethnic and multi cultural cities of the country. New Orleans, too,  falls into the big restaurant town category, while Las Vegas does a fair job of imitating restaurant towns, but without the same cutting edge daring.

For an area to burst out in restaurants all of the above are necessary. San Diego and  Florida have retirement communities and nice weather. Sedona and Santa Fe enjoy some tourists, albeit it not culinary, and people who believe in the powers of crystals. For tourists to drive a restaurant economy, they have to be the kind of tourists who go places for the food.

Places without the demographic prerequisites to spawn multiple fine dining restaurants may have one or two great ones, but they will not have a restaurant culture. A pioneer chef who settles Omaha or Denver with a restaurant worthy of national praise will do well there. Those who follow probably won’t. Going to

One or two great restaurants in a new spot can be an indication of a sufficient dining public and population change to support one or two great restaurants, but dining  demographics don’t change quickly. People want what they want. If they are currently eating fried fish or bisquits and gravy and are accustomed  to large amounts of reasonably priced food on their plates, they will not frequent any location offering anything else.

Chefs can  have all kinds of reasons for moving – family, spousal transfers at the top of the list – and if you have to go to Hawaii, there will be positions there. If, however, you have read that the streets of Oshkosh are paved with chef jobs and full of great eateries, be prepared to stand at the trough with way too many pigs for the available challenging openings. Demographic changes promote food and beverage expansion, and places once home to only TGI Friday’s and Olive Gardens are getting some good restaurants, but it takes many years for restaurant cities providing many great career opportunities for culinary professionals. Of course, you only need one job, and if one of these locations calls, why not?

Chef: There’s a moral in here somewhere. I will leave it to you to find it for yourself.

Mar 282011
 

Talking Turnstiles

Or making relatively intelligent and informed decisions.

Every week I get somewhere between five and twenty resumes from people who want the jobs we have in good restaurants. “We seek a chef experienced in high quality dining venues with four to five star ratings,” and to be sure a number of our applicants actually have this background for two or three years, but most will have continued on to the less stressful and demanding arenas of corporate chains, industrial food service or even retirement homes. A few have opened their own neighborhood restaurants, and one or two will have left the industry entirely for something with a nine to five schedule.

“I regret,” we respond, “that your background does not meet the criteria set by our client.”  I hate saying that. Over a quarter of a century, and I am still not hardened. Our client wants someone who has stuck with the four or five star environment, has built a strong career with substantial stays and is ready to move up or on to the next challenge.

“But,” says the applicant, “I worked for xxx and yyy, and I have the skills.”  And he did for a few months or years before he was seduced by the siren song of money, title or better hours. Since that he has not been held to our client’s standards ,  he has gathered and practiced different rhythms, different skills. He has left the a la carte world and the door slammed shut behind him.

Chef at some point made a choice – “I had to arrange my schedule for my girlfriend” (who is no longer around,  the pay was better, the hours more convenient, the stress lower, they were offered a title they could not achieve in a restaurant of the niveau they again aspire to. He had good reasons at the time, but now – “my kids are grown, so I can do what I really want to” – “I just divorced my wife, so I can get back into the field,” “I want to follow my passion before it is too late.”

Choices in this industry are frequently one way turnstiles – leaving a restaurant for a hotel, taking a position in a country club, working for a Silicon Valley or Manhattan executive dining facility are all terrific career choices, but once they are made, one path has been chosen and another rejected.  There will be precious few opportunities to double back and return to the earlier career. There are plenty of reasons for this thinking, some of them less just than others, but it sets one of the parameters for  career realization.

“What about,”  says the disappointed applicant, ”if I return as a sous chef and work my way back in?” Well, that’s actually worked in very few occasions, but those are generally situations in which the chef hiring already knows the candidate.  “We don’t want,” says one client, “people on the way down. We want to catch them as they rise.”  That’s what everyone wants for their subordinate positions.  Ageist? Hard to prove. Actually pretty logical. Who wants to risk his second in command constantly second guessing him.

Here’s the good news: You took that club job for a purpose, even if you are no longer a couple or they are grown up. The fact is that you have become pretty good at it over the years, having developed a skill set that the hot kid from Jean Georges doesn’t possess.  That makes you desirable. Why look back when you have opportunities to move forward to F&B Director, regional administrator or whatever the next step  in your career should be? You  know a lot. Find someone who will appreciate it and pay for it.

“You can’t go home”. Things have changed. You have changed.   Most people who have tried it know that they really didn’t want it anyway – they wanted their idealized version, and that doesn’t exist. The grass on the other side of the fence looks even greener when you are looking back over your shoulder.  We all forget the flies in the ointment we threw out a decade ago.

You need to think what you will miss before you undertake career changing actions, not after. I have a really promising candidate who wants me to get him into a day job. He’s 26. “My girlfriend wants me to spend more time with her.”  “Get another girlfriend,” I want to say. “This one doesn’t understand what relationships are and what you are.” I don’t, of course.  Instead: “You have a great restaurant career in front of you .  If you want to continue, you have to work nights. That’s when dinner is served. Do you really want to give that up?”

If I get a request for a day job, I’ll refer the man. My business is recruitment and placement, not auntie, I’ll do it, but over protests. He hasn’t had time to develop as the chef he clearly has the potential to be yet. “Explain to  your girlfriend, “ I say to him, “what your resentment may mean in fifteen years.” He doesn’t get the point. He’s twenty six. Love conquers all. Hopefully someone does.

Jan 262011
 

I need to know the kind of chef I am working with in order to make a good job match.  So do you.

Your career is best served by job selectivity: You look for and choose jobs that suit you best.  In order for this to work, you need to know what you are looking for. If I work closely with a chef, I take some time to get to know who I am working with. It’s always surprising to me, how little those people have thought about themselves.  True, some people just follow their star and end up in a fabulous situation they never dreamed of, but most successful culinary professionals took time to figure how they worked and who they are and what they needed to get where they wanted to be. You  need to get to know yourself.

First you determine what these might be by defining your interests and motivation. Among others those might be:

  • Naked ambition – desire to be “big”
  • Acquisition of skill and knowledge (technique, product, volume management, communication).
  • Money
  • Life style
  • Security and stability
  • An exciting and interesting environment
  • Resume equity – names to pave your path.
  • Professionalism
  • Location
  • An opportunity to work with a specific style
  • Visibility
  • Title
  • Training and advancement.
  • Exciting cuisine
  • Structured, highly systematized environment / possibility of creative input or autonomy
  • A learning opportunity
  • Culinary values such as seasonal cuisine or integrity of style

There are many more. Some are contradictory. You cannot, for instance, decide as a starting cook you want money and resume equity. The highest pay goes to the jobs with the least visibility, and some limit other choices.  You need to be realistic.

You need to give yourself a review. You are, in the end, the boss of you, and this is the time to use your supervisory  power over yourself. What do you do well? What aptitudes do you lack?  What skills do you need to build? If you have had jobs you didn’t like or have not worked out in a job try to determine how you, your current skill set and your general nature contributed to the situation. Forget fault. Look for reasons.

Where do your natural aptitudes lie? Some people are naturally highly organized and analytical. Others are spontaneous and intuitive.  Some are detail oriented and thrive with small, individual projects, while others have inborn oversight of large spaces and the ability to create sense of chaos. Some  have golden palates, while others can keep a kitchen running like a clock. What are your strong and weak points? Beware of categorizing yourself as what you want to be instead of what you are.

What you are not is even more important than what you are. The things you lack can either be learned (organization and communication are absolutely acquirable skill sets, and an analytic mind can create as impressive a menu as an inspired talent) or avoided.

Half of the art is to determine if and where your desires and your skills meet and to keep an open mind, so you can choose from as many appropriate paths as possible.  The other half is to figure out what will not work for you, so you don’t put your energy into a job that will give nothing in return.

When you are looking for career steps, look for something to provide a challenge you are sure you can meet, not what you want to be able to meet. At the same time seek out locations which will use and appreciate your combination of skills. A gifted saucier may be able to manage a sandwich arcade, but the title of Executive Manager will not keep him happy for long. A manager without strong financial skills may be able to coast along for a while as a GM for a location requiring them, but she would probably be happier and more successful in a position with growth and learning potential, where she does not have to reinvent the wheel and scramble to keep up .

An old bridge adage says, “Play from your longest and strongest suit”. It works in careers, but with a caveat. A position which does not add to what you know will not be satisfying for long. While you select restaurants for your probability of success, you want them to give you a future as well. Like a driver looking five cars ahead, your career choices should point to the job after next.  Always ask  yourself, “What do I get out of this besides rent and groceries?”

What does all this mean pratically for you?

  • You don’t broadcast your resume to anyone who is looking for someone. You are worth more than that.
  • You don’t interview as if you were in an oral exam. You take time to find how much of a match the spot is for you.
  • You research the operations you want to approach and take time to seek out businesses that can meet your specifications.
  • You work with  your recruiter to determine what is a good match, but always thinking critically.
  • You target your resume to the level of position and type of operation that will push you forward.
  • You put as much focus on your career as you do in buying  a new car.
  • You think beyond the paycheck and the title as you make decisions.
  • You analyze every job offer not only in respect to how much you want it but how well it fits  you.

A well built career is a work of Art. It takes thought and time and a stubborn streak. You have a right to one.

.