A friend of mine called the other day to tell me he had been promoted to Executive Chef of a major hotel company. I shared his good news and thought about the years we had worked together. I remembered the day I hired him as a line cook, his first real cooking job. He has worked hard to get where he is. He is intelligent and good with people. He was a quick study and I enjoyed sharing my experience and knowledge with him. I may have been his first mentor, but I wasn’t his last. Yet it got me to thinking about the importance of mentors. I hope I made a difference in his life and career by being by his side with my knowledge and encouragement. You too can make a difference in a young culinarian’s career by becoming a Mentor.
In need of a Mentor?
Looking for a boost in your job search or working life? Find yourself a mentor. A mentor is that one person who can guide you, help you, take you under his or her wing, and nurture your career quest. What separates a mentor from the average work contact is long-term commitment and a deep-seated investment in your future.
Decide what you need in a mentor — what skills you’d like to develop with your mentor’s assistance. Consider your goals in choosing a mentor. Think about what characteristics you’re looking for in a mentor. You may want to do a bit of research to find out what the prospective mentor is like. What is his or her cooking style? Your mentor can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, as well as help you develop skills for success and a long-range career plan.You can also work through career and workplace problems with your mentor’s assistance. A mentor can provide a fresh perspective — a new way of looking at a problem or issue. You can bounce ideas off your mentor. Look for a relationship in which the mentor is more coach than adviser — one in which the mentor facilitates your decision-making process by suggesting alternatives rather than telling you what to do. Ideally, your mentor will motivate you to do your best work. Want to be a Chef Mentor?