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Got To Go
The Rules Of Quitting A Job
career centergot to go
February 2003
There comes a time when a new job comes-a-callin', and this is when every chef shows their true professional colors - or lack of in some cases. It kills me to see a chef piss everyone off during their last couple of weeks of employment - because this is how they are remembered. All of their hard work, commitment and contributions are forgotten because they had an attack of "short-timers disease". With this in mind here are a few tips for you to follow when working out your notice.

Make sure your boss is the first one to hear that you are leaving, there is nothing more irritating (can I say hurtful?) than overhearing two waiters discussing the fact that one of your cooks is leaving.

Give plenty of notice. In North America two weeks is the norm and in many other countries one month. Try to give more than expected and most importantly see it through - don't even think about not showing up on your last day!

Give a written notice on the day that you verbally inform your boss. A well-written or typed document is the way to go - include a modest line or two mentioning the great learning experience that you enjoyed while being part of the [kitchen's] team.

Do not lie about why you are leaving or where you are going. It is kind of insulting when a cook says that they are leaving because, "my mother is really sick, I need to look after her," when the truth is that they are going to work at a restaurant down the road. Untruths will come back to haunt you. Just limit your comments if you are not comfortable being too open.

Don't walk around "dissing" the kitchen that you are about to leave. Telling everyone that the food is crap and the chef is an idiot will make you look totally unprofessional. On the same note when you start your new job do not bad mouth your old one. You will make yourself look stupid, your new coworkers will wonder why you worked there in the first place and your new boss will wonder what you will be saying about him (or her) in the future.

Work harder in the final few weeks than you did during the rest of your employment - set out to impress.

On your last day - go to work early, give it 100% this is how you will be remembered.

Do not get in to a fight at your leaving party. It is always very tempting to give your arch culinary nemesis a good slap once you have finished working with them. But it is a small world - you can never be certain that you won't end up working with this person in the future.

Stay in touch with your boss once you have changed kitchens. A Christmas card is a great tool to use for this.

Following these rules will help you establish a strong list of hospitality professionals to place on your resume (C.V) and a good support network for the future. Just remember - don't burn your bridges!
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