Jobs in Catering
If you can knock up a decent sausage, bacon and eggs or a cordon bleu meal for others, you yourself will never starve abroad. If you can't cook there are plenty of dirty pots and plates to wash or beers to serve.
Paid work will most likely only be found in developed countries. Tourist areas are often the best bet.
Either cooking, serving or cleaning up. Long hours are normal and the pace can be hectic at busy times. Staff that deal with the public will have to wear "a happy face" despite complaints or errors, while a restaurant kitchen can be a shock for newcomers.
An ability to cook to a desired quality or quantity, or both. Higher quality establishments will demand catering qualifications while a burger chain, for instance, will be less choosy in hiring staff. Plenty of hotel and catering schools are available to provide training. Appearance will also play a factor in landing a job, particularly those in the public eye, so smarten yourself up.
Pay can be good; plus tips.
Good cooks, serving staff and unskilled but hard workers will always be able find a job in Western Europe, North America or Australasia (work permits permitting). The very best will be able to work on private yachts, cruise ships and in exclusive resorts anywhere in the world.
The best approach is to directly ask the managers or owners of restaurants, cafes, hotels, clubs and bars. In the UK, pubs are a good place to look, especially if they serve food. Australian bar staff are almost compulsory in London. Try also catering vans, stalls at festivals or fast food chains.
A job as a chalet maid can be fixed up in advance for cordon bleu standard cooks in winter and skilled staff with their papers in order are also much in demand by agencies. Summer jobs may be found in advance with hotels or tour operators.
Persevere - you will find work - catering skills are very transferable and staff turnover is usually high.
The Good Cook's Guide to Working Abroad by Vacation Work is particularly useful, detailing training options in the UK and North America, specialised agencies, working for yourself, and catering options around the world. This book also gives good advice on catering work in ski resorts and at sports events, and provides a directory of major international employers.
The latest editions of these and other guides are available from amazon.co.uk
Image courtesy Hernán Piñera