Great chefs are always seeking out new learning, as this is the fastest way to expand knowledge and acquire a broader understanding of techniques, ingredients and ideas. Take all the learning opportunities that come your way when you’re looking for a promotion, from working in multiple roles through to spending time with more experienced chefs. The more you can learn and grow, the more appealing a prospect you will be for a promotion.
Kitchens function at optimum efficiency and performance when everyone fulfils their role to maximum potential and understands how to support others they share the space with. Getting into the habit of teamwork will provide a great foundation for a culinary career, not just in terms of working towards a promotion but also building a positive reputation and creating opportunities to learn and grow.
At every level in the kitchen, demonstrating initiative will make you stand out from the crowd. Even in the most junior positions you can mark yourself out as a potential candidate for promotion by looking for opportunities to do more or to go the extra mile. That could be something that makes life easier for your team, or a potential fix for an issue the kitchen has long suffered from. Seizing the initiative is a great habit to get into early if you’re planning to have a stellar career.
You don’t need to be in a leadership position to prove that you have the right qualities to be a leader, you can do this at any level. Leaders inspire those around them, take responsibility for issues and look for positive solutions that benefit the entire team. If you’re able to build a rapport with the rest of your team and become the person that they turn to when it comes to decision-making or problem solving then you will stand out as a natural leader no matter what position you currently hold.
Promotions are often built on experience so the more you have of it, the better. Take every opportunity that comes your way to acquire new experience in the kitchen, whether that’s trying out all the different positions and roles available or taking on a whole new set of responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to step up and challenge yourself with new experiences – this will not only help you grow but also highlight you as someone who is bold and eager to learn.
You can learn a lot from the more senior chefs that you work with – shadowing those in the positions above you will shed light on everything, from techniques through to management style. If you can, find a mentor in one of the more senior chefs, someone who will share their own experiences, shed light on what their role requires and give you a hint of what it takes to secure that promotion.
- Be creative, be bold and give input
Creativity is highly valued in the kitchen so don’t be afraid to express yours if you’re looking for a promotion. Be confident when it comes to testing your ideas and don’t be afraid to speak up and give input when it is asked for.
Whatever position you’re starting from, getting into these habits will help you to make progress up the ladder – and become a better chef in the process.
There is no set journey for moving up the hierarchy in the kitchen. It takes a combination of skill, hard work and talent to win that coveted promotion. However, you can help your career to move in the right direction by getting into good habits that will enable your skills and experience to develop with a promotion in mind.