As some of you may know – I made a drastic switch in profession earlier this year. Giving up my job in my dream company working with some of the the most amazing people wasn’t easy; entering the commercial kitchen with zero experience and less physical fitness than my younger peers wasn’t easy either. Nevertheless, it has been such an enriching experience so far I wouldn’t have done anything differently if I have to do this all over again.
During my basic cuisine studies, when the opportunity came for me to gain some experience in the commercial kitchen in a famous 5-star Hotel Chain in Syd – I grabbed it. 2 days a week on top of school, 8 hours a day (usually more), 1-hour bus ride away from home, 15 mins lunch break in between, zero pay and starting at the lowest level possible in the kitchen…well, I knew I was in for something quite different from the past.
Quite different is an understatement. It turned out so EXTREMELY different….I simply do not know how to begin writing about it. So I thought putting everything in a table may help -
|Working hours||Flexible – ranges from 8 to 16 hours||8 to 12 hours – Non-flexible & depending on business for that day|
|Work Nature||Desk bound:70%, On-the-go:30%||Standing: 100%|
|Position||Managerial Position||Cuisine Trainee|
|Remuneration||Approx Top 25% VS College Peers||Bottom 1% VS College Peers|
…just to name a few differences.
Coincidentally, my previous job was closely related to the hospitality industry – it is a bitter-sweet feeling when I see working professionals being welcomed through the lovely glass doors of the hotel while I had to enter from the employee entrance at the hind alley; or when I am rushed to prepare a fruit bowl for an important client of the hotel when I used to be at the receiving end. Why both bitter AND sweet? Because it is something I had the privilege to experience and which I gave up to pursue something close to heart.
And with regards to THAT something close to heart – have got awesome news to share! We received our results for last term a couple of weeks back and I am glad it turned out well I received a Merit Award for emerging top of my class – am so so blessed considering there are many students with much more experience and better skills than me!
My takeaway from my experiences thus far: At the end of the day – be it blue or white collared – follow your heart and it wouldn’t go that wrong.