So you’ve done your three year apprenticeship, worked your way up from this to Commis Chef, to Demi Chef, to Chef de Partie, and so on. Now you’ve finally made it to the Executive Chef position. But…you’ve always wanted to take your trade overseas and get to see and do some amazing things with your career. Or maybe you’ve just finished your school-based hospitality traineeship and are just beginning your career. So where do you start?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
There are many ways to find work overseas. The best place to start is by getting good training and a job in an international chain. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a chef, receptionist or a waitress in the restaurant, the important thing is getting into the organisation. Once you’re there, there will be plenty of opportunities to come. Great places to start are chains like Hilton, Accor, Marriott and other well-known groups. These chains often post international job opportunities on their staff boards, in staff newsletters or even by monthly staff emails. Usually these job opportunities are offered to their own people before they advertise publically.
This doesn’t just apply to hotel chains. There are also casino groups and catering groups. A good example is Sodexo, who cater in kitchens all around the world, across industries from mining to hospitals.
Another good place to find opportunities is in your local or state newspaper. I myself found one of my best jobs in my local newspaper back in Brighton, England, for a position in the Caribbean as an Executive Chef. These days you might still find a unique opportunity in your local paper, or you can try job searching online.
If you have access to them, there are catering and other hospitality magazines that always have job advertisements from small hotels and restaurants, to major hotel groups.
If you’d rather spend more time travelling than being in a ‘base’ country, then consider cruise ships – which are all around the world and need a range of hospitality professionals. Usually the best opportunities are with cruise companies that have multiple ships – like P&O or Cunard. You can either write to these companies or keep a look out in catering magazines for job opportunities.
Another great option is the military, where you will get good training and also get to travel. Whether you work in the Army, Navy or Air Force, you will get to go to some very different places that you probably would not normally think of going to visit.
Some people would like to work for the rich and famous, from Hollywood stars to Lords and royalty. This is a very different type of work, as most times it involves very unusual hours and demands. Again, these jobs can been found in magazines or through agencies. Like most things in life, it also comes down to who you know as well some good old Lady Luck – being in the right place at the right time.
Sometimes applying to work for celebrities can be a ‘lucky draw’ in the sense that when you apply, the recruiter will probably not tell you who the celebrity is until they’re ready to offer you the job. But just working in different locations and certain businesses can also give you the opportunity to serve a huge range of celebrities, without being an individual’s personal chef. For example, over my hospitality career I had the honour of working with people like Maggie Beer, Queen Elizabeth, Ozzie Osbourne and the Rolling Stones, to Liverpool Football Club and Dawn French.
So what about if you would prefer to just grab a backpack and head off around the world, working as you go? Once you’ve landed in London (or another destination), seen the bright lights, met some friends and had the time of your life for a few weeks, your money will start to run out. Finding work on the ground is the next step. First things first – make sure your resume is up-to-date and has a few references. You can head to local job agencies, hit the internet sites and pound the streets knocking on doors. I’ve always found going door-to-door to be a good approach in the hospitality industry, as it shows how keen and confident you are.
I hope this has given you some great ideas to help you land your dream job.
Good luck and Bon Voyage! Enjoy your first job abroad and having the time of your life as you never know where the next adventure is going to take you…
— Article by John, Redmako Hospitality Business Consultant