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chefjbs
03-09-2011, 09:48 PM
So i got a job offer today. Been through two interviews and a tasting. Then salary negotiations. They offered me a good amount to be the Executive Sous. But the problem is their benefits package compared to what i get now stinks. $1400 a month just in health insurance for the family plan vs my $500.


Since i'm doing corporate my hours are manageable. PLus 1 week vaca vs my 4 weeks(i know i kinda have it good). then there is the 401k. None vs some.


What should i do. I'm seeing more room for growth and opportunity for creativity with the new place, but I'm not single and i love seeing my family. Plus after th deductions it more of a lateral move monetarily. My wife says no matter what i decide she will support me.

Am i being complacent by considering not taking the position... or am i being realistic in wanting a life outside of a kitchen?

As chef and cooks that do you think?

SpikeC
03-09-2011, 10:05 PM
As a bench jeweler, when I had the job change thing come up I went with what I felt would be the most satisfying work environment, with the best opportunity for creative growth. All other considerations evolved afterwards and I ended up with more than was apparent initially.
As Joseph Campbell said, "follow your bliss". It worked for me.

chefjbs
03-09-2011, 10:17 PM
Thanks spike for the words.
I don't want to get stuck in the "comfortable zone." But then I do have a family to think of. If i was single it would be a no brainer.
As of now it feels like the present job situation would be most satisfying as a family man. Both jobs offer me the creative out put... each to their own extent.

The new job would be more satisfying as a chef. That is the my rock and hard place.

I used to take more risks when i was younger, but once i got married and had kid my priorities changed a little.

SpikeC
03-09-2011, 10:29 PM
The problem with the "follow your bliss" admonishment is that is does not really allow for all of the different forms of bliss. Being there for your family happens in a variety of different ways. When you look back on how you spent your life, what will you see? What sort of role model will you have been?

shankster
03-09-2011, 10:32 PM
I did the corporate chef thing a while back.The compensation was great,nice benefits,vacation time etc.But after 5 years I'd had enough.The more they give,the more they want(like most corporate).Too many bosses that stifled my creativity.Don't get me wrong I don't regret a thing.Don't do it just for the $$,do it cause you love it.

chefjbs
03-09-2011, 10:54 PM
you are right on the money with that one Shankster.

But my creativity is not being stifled as of now. The actually let me buy whatever equipment i need/want up to a certain limit of course. But like you said the more they give the more they want. I seems like they want a new menu for every freaking function we do. Like the 50 different menus (not menu items) that are in the system are not good enough or something. PLus they want a 2 week cycle on my dessert menus for the dining room. By the time i train the staff on how to do the desserts, i need to change it. hahah.

maybe i should go the Chef Colin route and open restaurant of my own again.

Any investors out there want to spend some money on a young chef that isn't too pretentious and knows his niche in the market??

i guess it was worth a try.

-Joe

shankster
03-09-2011, 11:19 PM
I hope you don't think I'm trying to dissuade you from going the corporate route,your experience might be way different from mine.My situation was different.I didn't have a family to support so it's easy for me to say 'don't do it for the money".
Like I said.i don't regret it for a minute.Met some great people and made a sh@tload of money.But at the end of the day I wasn't a happy camper.Best of luck with whatever choice you make.

Peter

chefjbs
03-10-2011, 12:30 AM
Peter and Spike.

Thank you both for different perspectives on the subject. I hope i make the right choice, whatever it may be. I think i need a tums... my stomach is turning just thinking about it.

sw2geeks
03-10-2011, 12:42 AM
Just me, but I would not take a job with just one week vacation. Sounds like more negotiating is needed???

Tristan
03-10-2011, 02:05 AM
I've asked similar before, but what does a typical executive chef earn? Ballpark?

Chef Niloc
03-10-2011, 02:36 AM
When I left my last job I lost my health plan & 401, kinda sucks. I can work without the 401 but I need to find a affordable health plan option.

chefjbs
03-10-2011, 07:11 AM
exactly. I'm losing out on the health care. Going into it with a not so great plan that cost a ton.

Chef Niloc
03-10-2011, 10:00 AM
I'm looking into finding a good personnel plane but have not found one yet, they all seem to be worse then my last ( which was not that good) and cost a ton of $$.
What I have always done is count my benefits from my last job as part of my salary. For example, Let's say at my last job I made 50k a year. the owners matched unto $200 a month for a 401k, that's 2400 a year. My benefits cost them $600 a month, that's $7200 a year. I got a Christmas bonus each year of $1000. So at my last job I made $60600
When negotiating salary I keep that # in my head. If I have a job but I'm looking for a new/ better one I would need at least 67k to take the job ( about 10% more then I was making). If I'm am out of work, well beggars can't be picky, I would take a job for 55k ( about a 10%) pay cut. It goes with out saying that I would keep looking for a new better paying job if I went this route.

If it would help you can pt me with real numbers and the type of places you are talking about and I can tell you if it's in line with what's being payed out there.
Example at my last job my sous got payed 65k a year plus benefits payed, no 401 k match. I feel that he was payed very well.
Colin

JohnnyChance
03-10-2011, 03:42 PM
Good health care plans are very hard to come by in this industry. Especially if I had kids, it would probably be my top priority. You would think for people who work such long hours under stressful and dangerous situations, healthcare would be a given.


What I have always done is count my benefits from my last job as part of my salary. For example, Let's say at my last job I made 50k a year. the owners matched unto $200 a month for a 401k, that's 2400 a year. My benefits cost them $600 a month, that's $7200 a year. I got a Christmas bonus each year of $1000. So at my last job I made $60600

Another thing to consider here, if you are going from a job with health benefits, to one with a higher salary but no health benefits, is not only what your plan cost your previous employer, but what a similar plan will cost you. it might have cost your employer $7200, but if you are paying out of pocket, it might cost you $10k+ for the same plan, especially if you have kids/s.o. on with you.

Maybe the best thing a chef can do is marry someone who works somewhere corporate and you can get on their plan, haha.

WildBoar
03-10-2011, 04:50 PM
Maybe the best thing a chef can do is marry someone who works somewhere corporate and you can get on their plan, haha.funny, yet sound advice. One of the two parents really needs to have a job where an affordable family plan is offered, as it's typically $1,200-$1,500/ month. Either that, or one needs a job with a high enough salary that the plan cost is peanuts :) For a single person with no kids, it's much easier to follow your heart.

Dave Martell
03-10-2011, 05:02 PM
Healthcare cost is outrageous and if you've got pre-existing conditions you're screwed.

chefjbs
03-10-2011, 11:00 PM
Healthcare cost is outrageous and if you've got pre-existing conditions you're screwed.

Dave,

you said it brother!

kalaeb
03-11-2011, 02:41 AM
Let me preface this by saying I am a corporate guy, ( burger flipper is my actual title). But I like playing the corporate "game" and seeing how far I can go. There are always ways to challenge yourself if you get bored. It may not always be strictly food oriented, but it is still there. That is why I have to cook at home.

In my experiance, the time/money equation will always be in your favor with a corporation. The next few years are not going to get easier, and the comfort of having things like insurance and retirement, especially for my son, far outweight and potential creative outlets.

I am very comfortable being a burger flipper and being able to provide for my family.

cnochef
03-11-2011, 08:32 AM
IMO your best bet is to keep your current job, think of your family and the future. You say that you already have a good salary, lifestyle, health benefits, 401K and vacation time. At this stage of life, I wouldn't advise taking a position with more stress and less benefits and vacation. Even though you job may not be the most satisfying, you've got a darn good one and I'd be thankful for that in this economy. You can always find more satisfaction somewhere in your job, I believe, or work to create it yourself! As for the concern over what kind of example this sets for your kids, it's very simple: Your job is but one element of a successful life. The health, safety and happiness of your family is even more important overall.

Citizen Snips
03-11-2011, 10:35 AM
IMO your best bet is to keep your current job, think of your family and the future. You say that you already have a good salary, lifestyle, health benefits, 401K and vacation time. At this stage of life, I wouldn't advise taking a position with more stress and less benefits and vacation. Even though you job may not be the most satisfying, you've got a darn good one and I'd be thankful for that in this economy. You can always find more satisfaction somewhere in your job, I believe, or work to create it yourself! As for the concern over what kind of example this sets for your kids, it's very simple: Your job is but one element of a successful life. The health, safety and happiness of your family is even more important overall.

+1

this is what a lot of younger people in their younger years dont have to worry about. just go work, stage and get experience. no 22 year old is gonna care about 401k and most likely doesn't have a family to worry about. if you do then benefits, vacation, and future savings become a lot more important. work is fun and all but i think a lot of great chefs have bad home lives because they forget that family comes first....always

Chef Niloc
03-11-2011, 02:38 PM
+1
i think a lot of great chefs have bad home lives because they forget that family comes first....always

You been talking to my wife?

chefjbs
03-11-2011, 03:48 PM
You been talking to my wife?

Haha! I remember a chef in France that killed himself because he got a bad review. He still retained his 3 Michelin Stars, but it wasn't a perfect review. Yeah you got it. I gave up being selfish when i got married. Well i tried giving it up... it's a hard habit to break.

BertMor
03-11-2011, 04:04 PM
Forget opening your own place. You will wind being married to the restaurant and not your wife. Or broke and not married.

I was in a similar place at one point. I was working in 5 star/Michelin starred type establishments. And I was poor. And I had no benefits. And I worked like a dog. And never saw family. I almost never had time for dates. But I was loving learning and cooking and being a slave.

But at one point I started to think of my future. Money became important So I made a choice.

This is just my perspective, but I think creativity is the least important aspect. The fact that they want so much, is just going to suck you dry, until you have no more ideas, and then you will start hating work. When you hate work you will wind up getting fired or leave on your own. And because they want so much you will have to work harder and give less time to your family

It seems that you have to balance the increased pay vs the loss of benefits. When you look at it, you are actually taking a pay cut. Personally, i would show them what you are getting now and negotiate from there. If they want you bad enough they will up their offer, if not, this might not be the place for you.

Chef Niloc
03-11-2011, 08:26 PM
Forget opening your own place. You will wind being married to the restaurant and not your wife. Or broke and not married.
.

Wow Bert you've been talking to my wife too!

Bryan G.
03-11-2011, 11:49 PM
I thought I replied to this, guess it didn't go through.

I basically echoed Bert's thoguhts. Creativeness is overated. Yea you definitely don't want to be manufacturing stuff like out of a plant... But if you aren't "young" anymore with family other things become priority. If you really want to be creative you work for yourself, but that can have it's downfalls too as mentioned.

Like I mentioned on another thread about being some people being stuck in the past old school, complacent comfortable, or cutting edge future ... To be really happy/successful I think you need a balance of the 3 ... Know what came before you and ALWAYS strive to be better and go where you weren't sure you could go, but know when not to move and hold the ground you're on. Know yourself at the same time and what you are capable of mentally and physically now and in the future and what you want to accomplish.
Using sports since it's widely known ... Take Jordan. He dominated with his penatration and physically abilities early in his career. Took time off and came back knowing his previous game was not the same but he could dominate in another way and still have a team built around him and carry them.

On what Brian talks about... I know the mass majority don't have any idea what one faces to be great at anything and the sacrifices one must make. If they did, and they could hack it, the great ones from the past/present would just be average.

Good luck Joe .... I would go with what Bert mentioned if you are really interested in the new job

-bryan