Friday, June 17, 2011

My Brush with a Real Job in NY

When the Johnson & Wales Job Fair rolled around in March,  I was invited to have breakfast with some of the representatives from the companies that would be there as well as some of the other students.  It was here that I met 3 members of the Patina Restaurant Group.

This group owns restaurants in New York and in California.  Some of the better names that I was familiar with were Brasserie and The Roc Cafe.  There are a bunch more of course.  Upon sitting down with the three representatives, I immediately felt at ease.  We got along very well and and I loved the culture of their company, which I could feel through them.  They encouraged me to meet them at the Job Fair and schedule an interview, which I did.  It went great and I was very excited.  It was such a spur of the moment situation and I was feeling very capable.

I had never thought of beginning my non college life in a New York City restaurant. I had the idea that I would be accomplishing certain things now that I would not necessarily be able to do later like a random experience in a vegan restaurant or bakery, or working at Camp Warren one more time, or working on an organic farm for a season.  These are all things I really wanted to do and the direction I wanted to move toward, not an urban restaurant position.  With my eye on a more holistic future, running a wellness resort with a raw vegan restaurant, and having adventure excursions, I need to take steps in that direction.

I ended up getting the offer of assistant management in training for the Roc Cafe at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.  This was a really great opportunity, but something in the pit of my stomach told me that if I took it I would not be happy.  Though a great opportunity it would help me to stay off of the path I want to begin moving toward and this felt so strongly.  It has always been easy for me to fall into the typical path, and my parents would certainly have supported that because I probably would have succeeded in it, but it just is not the way I want to go.  I would love to live in NYC again, but doing something very different like working for a vegan catering company for example, or one of the famous vegan bakeries, or some other job or interest.

I still feel a bit guilty about turning down the job.  I really liked the people I spoke with and I did come to see Patina Restaurant Group in a highly respected light.  I also felt that certain people around me do not approve of this decision, but, behind the guilt, is a feeling that I was true to myself and that gives me the opportunity to pursue my stronger passions.

No comments: