A restaurant management candidate is often shocked to learn that community college only prepares them for entry level positions. The next ten years will define where you will go in your career. They will either be spent preparing you for a five-figure career, or spent hanging with your friends. You, and you alone will set your career path and determine your full earning potential.

If you want to be a manager it isn’t about what you can do, it is about who you are. More important, it is about who you reinvent yourself to be. No one is born the perfect manager. There is no such thing as a natural. Every natural has hundreds of hours of self-sacrifice, self-discipline, and self-reinventing. They sacrifice now, for benefits in the future.

Even Forbs and Business.com preach the importance of self reinventing for management candidates.

Robert Krzak, owner of www.Geckohospitality.com, ‘We need qualified candidates. There are many well educated, enthusiastic, and experienced candidates, but restaurant owners need candidates who have become managers.’

Being a restaurant manager isn’t about being able to complete a bunch of tasks. Restaurant management is a lifestyle. It is something you live. Play hard. Work hard. The continuing education, the intense highs, record keeping. A qualified candidate needs to enjoy the work.

The rewards match the effort. The median pay is higher than average. The opportunity for advancement is unlimited. The opportunity to work anywhere in the world is appealing.

You are a Brand

Write down in 250 words what you have to offer a business. What problems can you solve? Learning to brand yourself is a journey into self exploration. As a Transitional/Career coach I suggest that you journal this journey. You may change direction several times. Reinventing yourself is not a straight road. As you prepare for your future you will learn new things about yourself that will change who you are, and what you want.

When you can identify your brand in 250 words, and back it up with education and experience, then you have something to offer that human resources will identify and pay attention to.

Good Enough is not Good Enough

I’ve coached a lot of prospective managers who list a strength, let’s say organization. I ask them what they have done to improve their organization skills. Rarely do they mention that they have trained, or educated themselves. They are ‘naturals.’

The problem is that our perception of ourselves is limited to our knowledge of the subject. If you haven’t expanded your horizons then you don’t know the full extent of what ‘good’ is. If you don’t, then you are not qualified to identify organization as a strength. 

Marketing Your Brand

The first step is to set up a Linkedin account. Once you have done that, do not ‘friend’ everyone that requests. Linkedin isn’t about the size of your friend’s list. It is about knowing the right people. Linking to your past employers so that Human Resources can investigate your history, experience, and mindset.

Your #1 marketing tool is the people you associate with.

Next, write articles for Linkedin. Answer questions. Be active. This expands your resume and gives you an edge over the competition.