Yeah, yeah… we’ve heard it all before. The guy at your chef jobs screaming,“if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!”
The hustle-grind-never-take-a-day-off toxic “hell’s kitchen” culture is so 90’s! But us? We like to chill. And spend time with family. And friends. And honestly, have time in the day to think outside of the kitchen!
We all got into this industry because of passion. The feeling when someone experiences an explosion of flavors that we created drives us. The fast-paced chaotic world in the back of house excites us. Blood, sweat and (probably) tears went into us refining our craft and creativity experimenting with the culinary arts.
With our passion, came dedication. We worked long, hard hours and sacrificed to pursue our dreams. But, one magical day… everything changed.
At College Chefs we service sororities and fraternities. So, we operate on the scholastic schedule. As a result, generally our team is working daytime hours 9-5, with weekends off, as well as paid holiday breaks and full benefits. An extremely unique gig within our industry.
Collectively, our culture is slowly acknowledging the importance of a holistic approach to wellbeing. Consequently, this approach recognizes the importance of mental health, social connections, physical wellness and wellbeing. We discovered that it actually IS possible to live a healthy balanced lifestyle and continue to do what we love. In fact, the ability to maintain a chef job, creating cool food and super fresh dishes and make it home on time for dinner is our ultimate dream.
Listen, if you’re into busting your ass working in fine dining restaurants- that’s cool! Respect! But for us, escaping the brutal stereotypes in pursuit of a lifestyle with more freedom was important. We’re a band of oddball chefs. The ones who choose to start a family, or get a dog, or spend holidays at home or just really value a full night’s sleep. To create the lifestyle that we’d always dreamed of while pursuing our culinary goals meant we had to think outside the box. Furthermore, we had to reimagine the industry standards and forge our own path.
Feeling burnt out or lost in the sauce? Read on for our tips to achieve a healthier work-life balance at your chef job.
First, it’s important to recognize how overworking is affecting you! According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Fatigue [can impact] your productivity and ability to think clearly. [...] Stress can worsen medical conditions and lead to poor health.”
Therefore, It’s important to check in to see if these consequences are affecting you. Burnout can sneak in and affect us in ways we don’t expect. For this reason, it’s important to take action to protect our wellbeing.
You don’t have to take our word for it. It’s proven that a more balanced lifestyle can improve your overall well-being.
The best advice that we can give is to be honest about what’s important to you! Maybe you’re feeling driven to get to the next level in your career. Perhaps it’s a priority that you’re there to see your daughter take her first steps or watch your son’s soccer game. But, maybe you just really need to take a breath after the craziness you’ve faced and that’s okay! Not all career paths look the same; no two chef jobs are exactly alike.
Recognize that once you’re clear on what YOU want and need and stop following the societal rulebook of what you “should” do, you have the power to create a lifestyle that satisfies your needs and ignites inspiration.