Many people decide that a career change is the best option for them. If you want to change your career from being a chef, switching paths can allow you to pursue new opportunities. To do this successfully, it’s helpful to know what careers are relevant to people with experience as a chef. In this article, we explain why a chef may change careers, provide a list of several job options in different fields and discuss how to switch careers.
Why change careers as a chef?
Although working as a chef can be a fulfilling career opportunity for those with a passion for food, there are also many reasons you may choose to seek a new career after working as a chef. Some of the most common reasons for chef career changes include:
Managing stress: Working as a chef can be stressful sometimes, as chefs often manage multiple tickets while maintaining high food quality standards. Professional chefs may seek to change careers as a break from the demands of working as a chef.
Pursuing a new passion: Many chefs work in food service because of their passion for cooking, but it’s possible for you to develop new passions. Seeking a new work opportunity in a career you’re passionate about can help you maintain your motivation and find work you enjoy.
Advancement opportunities: A chef may decide to leave the industry when an advancement opportunity is available in another field. An advancement opportunity might also stay within the food service field, such as opening your own restaurant in a supervisory role.
Increased wages: Although chefs can earn high salaries, you may choose to leave the field for income-related reasons. Switching careers may provide the opportunity to earn a more consistent income or a higher salary.
8 chef career change options
If you’re looking for a new career opportunity as a chef, these jobs may allow you to transfer some of your skills and experience into a new field. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:
National average salary: $23,896 per year
Primary duties: A teacher educates a group of students in a classroom setting. A chef transitioning out of their cooking career may choose to seek employment at a culinary institute. This allows them to use their skills and experience to educate aspiring chefs and provide them with the abilities they need to succeed in their own careers.
National average salary: $31,887 per year
Primary duties: A farmer cultivates food resources by working on a plot of land. They may work with produce, livestock or both. Working as a farmer provides an opportunity for professionals with a passion for food to help in the generation of healthy foods and drinks.
National average salary: $38,061 per year
Primary duties: A journalist is responsible for investigating and writing stories about newsworthy events. Some journalists work as critics, providing reviews of products or services. As a chef, a career as a food critic or culinary reporter may allow you to transfer your expertise into a new passion.
National average salary: $41,668 per year
Primary duties: A nutritionist provides meal plans and other dietary advice for a client. When working with a client, they may provide a range of services, such as general health and wellness tips, personalized dietary programs and prepared meals. A nutritionist may work with clients who have specific dietary restrictions or goals, creating plans which cater to their unique needs.
5. Restaurant owner
National average salary: $56,783 per year
Primary duties: A restaurant owner starts a new restaurant or purchases an existing one. Often, restaurant owners are closely involved with daily operations within the restaurant or remain in a supervisory role, assessing performance results within the organization and making changes as needed. Transitioning from chef to owner allows culinary professionals to gain greater control over their careers.
6. Marketing specialist
National average salary: $58,382 per year
Primary duties: A marketing specialist creates promotional materials and campaigns for a company. These professionals develop plans to meet company goals, such as growing brand awareness or increasing sales. A chef may choose to apply their experience to a marketing specialist role in the food service industry.
7. Kitchen designer
National average salary: $57,310 per year
Primary duties: A kitchen designer is responsible for creating plans for new kitchens and kitchen renovations. Their designs consider regulations, ease of cleaning and workflow to provide a functional space for employees of a restaurant. Individuals with experience working in kitchens can use their knowledge to make effective designs.
8. Sales representative
National average salary: $64,815 per year
Primary duties: A sales representative meets with potential customers and clients to pitch them a product or service. They give sales pitches, send promotional emails and use other sales techniques. Expertise in a specific industry can be beneficial to sales professionals, as they can use their knowledge to make more compelling pitches.
How to change careers as a chef
If you’re currently working as a chef and considering changing careers, follow these steps:
1. Assess your skills
Analyzing the skills you already have is a valuable step when seeking a career change. Many chef skills apply to other industries, and they can be valuable to include on your resume. Skills like time management, attention to detail and communication are all important for a chef and have similar value in many other fields.
2. Consider your professional wants and needs
Making a career change is a major life choice, and it’s important to do so with careful consideration. Creating a list of your wants and needs in a new career can help you narrow your list of possibilities as you consider your options. Understanding what you’re looking for in a job provides you with a list of criteria for assessing career opportunities.
3. Find a new career
Using your list of what you’re seeking with a new career, consider your professional options. It may be helpful to create a short list of multiple careers, which you can then compare directly in order to determine which is the best option for you. You might also choose to pursue more than one new opportunity or pursue a part-time opportunity while maintaining your work as a chef.
4. Earn your qualifications
When changing careers, you may face new work requirements. Learning what a potential employer is likely to expect from a job candidate allows you to earn the credentials you need to succeed in the field. Earning a degree or certification may help you show a potential employer that you have the knowledge you need to excel in your new field.
5. Create a resume and apply
Creating a resume is an essential part of applying for a job. Since you might have less work experience in your new field than other candidates, it’s beneficial to use your resume to highlight areas where your experience as a chef can be useful. By focusing on these areas, you can show a potential employer that you’re a strong candidate.
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