Career Calling

May 28, 2014

A Career Lesson from Chef

 

I recently saw Jon Favreau’s movie Chef, which I really enjoyed. The movie tells the story of Carl Palmer, a talented chef who works in a restaurant where he is forced to cook the same menu night after night. When Carl receives a negative review from a prominent food blogger, he engages in a Twitter war and then a face to face confrontation that becomes a viral video.

 

Becoming a laughing stock and losing his job is really a gift to Carl. He is forced to decide what he wants to do, which is to cook his way. He opens a food truck that is wildly successful. In the process he also bonds with his young son. They come to know each other by working together, through the father teaching his son a craft and how to respect work.

 

So what is the career lesson from this movie? Follow your passion? Not exactly. I don’t like that phrasing because its too broad. It’s hard to understand or describe our passion. Instead, I like to focus on skills – what do you like to do? Carl finds happiness when he is able to use the skill he loves: cooking. That’s the ticket to career happiness: Know what you want to do and find a place where you can do it with a sense of freedom and respect.

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