Greetings fellow "restaurantees" and "retsaurantetes". I want to through out kudos to one of our team members. In dealing with one of his/her many restaurant management candidates recently, I was hearing a conversation during which the advice we have all heard often in our careers was administered once again..."you may have to take 2 steps backward to take 1 step forward". How many times have we breathed those words in an attempt to help a candidate put their career in perspective.
After hearing these words in passing, I was caused to think about the reality of that when it comes to restaurant managers searching for that next career step. My point is that as a member of a top restaurant management recruiting team I perceive the restaurant industry to be a wide open pasture of opportunity right now, despite economic commentary, I understand the value of looking at ones career goals as a pathway leading to a goal. On that pathway, one will encounter twists, turns, straights and switchbacks. But that is life, and that is the career path that most of us have walked. I want to focus in on the subject of taking that financial step backwords...in order to better ones career.
Yes, I realize that no one in their right mind wants to have to take a step backwards in salary. But in some cases is it worth it? At Martin and Associates People Source, as a nationwide recruiting firm, it is our focus to help managers move their career forward. And we speak to talented restaurant managers everyday. Frankly despite being a talented in their field, some restaurant managers are simply stuck in a company with no career light at the end of the tunnel. In an effort to break free and to join a company that can actually offer them a future, they hang out the "help looking" sign and begin their search. After making their way successfully down the winding path that leads to a job offer, they are shocked to find that they are perceived as "not being worth what they thought" or at best they are not offered what they are currently making.
As a restaurant management recruiter, I finds myself often dispensing this restaurant management recruiting tip..."be ready to hear an offer for less money than you expected".
In most cases it has nothing to do with your talent. In most cases it simply comes down to the fact that companies are most often in control of the interview process. And more than ever in my career, I see companies being more and more conservative when it comes to watching their pennies and nickles. Also in this hiring economy, in many major markets restaurant management candidates can be at a disadvantage because of a candidate saturated market.
With all that being said, the willingness to take an offer of less money than expected or less than you are currently making may depend on a stronger opportunity for career advancement. When deciding to make a move to another concept, do your homework!
First of all, know why you want to leave your current position. What is your motivation? And by the way, there is nothing wrong with wanting to leave a company for more money. But whatever the reason, would you not agree that your next move should be a move forward? So, you should want to interview with companies that you know can offer to you what you consider to be an upward move. Right? Since you are an educated restaurant manager, then you know that you should do your homework on a company to make sure they can offer you what you desire. Then, whatever that means to you, weigh the future against the offer. The value of being able to move to that next career level "faster" may be greater than a couple of thousand dollars a year. Perhaps a better quality of life, or a shorter commute to work makes up for a week of vacation. Think about this too...your credentials may be strong but a lot of companies will also expect you to prove yourself for a short time before paying handing you a larger moneybag. But understand that companies know the value of proven talent and they will compensate justly. Don't feel like you are the only one who has or is going to experience this "shock" of the job search. Just be ready to match up the benefits of a new position with the salary offer. It's not that hard to do!
A a restaurant search firm, our team at Martin and Associates People Source serves the good of our clients and our candidates. If a new restaurant management position is in your future, we can help.