My youngest has had a path in the culinary field for the full decade she’s been out of college, and some during-college jobs too. She has four-year college degree and also a great culinary degree, has been a chef, a waiter, a bartender, an assistant manager and full General Manager at some good restaurants in the city.
This summer she left her job as a GM and took a job at a pop-up restaurant on the Long Island shore, an offshoot of a famous restaurant in the city, with the assurance from the head peeps that come fall she’d be offered a job back in the city as a higher-up in management. That she was but she put the brakes on, stopped to think about her life, as we all do, and wondered what really would come next.
She’s extraordinarily hard working (as are all my kids), she’s no snowflake, she is remarkably creative, she has a flair for design, is passionate about real estate and decided to say No to the job offer tendered above and stop for a bit to make the next move the right one. To think out ten years, to reach a goal.
Then, out of the blue comes an offer from the single best restaurant in the city, maybe in the USA, and on some lists, the best restaurant in the world. To be hired by this group would be a feather in ones cap that would open doors forever.
What’s the catch, you ask, because there’s always a catch! Yes, there’s a catch. It is this group requires all employees to start at the very bottom, no matter how much experience you come to the table with. It will mean polishing silver or being a grunt in some capacity for a while before she can even think about being a server…. a server! It might take months before getting bumped up and out, and maybe 18 months to being a captain or floor manager.
She’s made it perfectly clear that her long range plan is to work on the corporate side – she no longer wants to be a GM (talk about long hours and nasty people – she tells the story so well about one restaurant she worked at where there was no pasta on the menu but the mom who come in with her toddler wanted pasta and said to our daughter “just go out to the store and BUY me some pasta and cook it for me”. ). 🙂
The group understands her goals, wants her enough to reach out to her, so the conundrum becomes taking a job that will throw her back a decade, reduce her to being a grunt again (not that she feels she’s above grunt-work mind you) but with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow being in the ranks of the best of the best.
Or, finding a way to combine her passions – design, real estate, culinary, and management skills into one field where she’s the boss of her own company. But with no assurance of money and certainly no benefits, like health care or a 401k. The NYC restaurant group takes care of their employees handsomely.
She’ll have to say yes or no quickly. We’re of little help other than to ask her what her gut says (she has always made great choices for herself).
It’s a tough choice, one that will mean she’ll have to stay in the city for at least five more years – something in itself she wasn’t sure she wanted. She’s single but attached so there’s a discussion between the two of them what is right.
I vote she dive in for the grunt job at the best place. How do you vote for her?