28, single male, chef, moving to St. Thomas next week
Hello everyone, my name is Alex and I'm currently in the process of moving to St. Thomas from Florida next week for a chef job. I am a 28 year old single male and have traveled and cooked around the states and also in South America, including Miami, Vegas, LA, New Orleans, Yellowstone National Park, Death Valley national park, Utah, St. Louis, Destin Florida, and abroad in Peru. Sent my resume for a chef listing in St. Thomas about 2 months ago and just had a call back regarding the position early last week. Have been speaking with the owner of the restaurant on a daily basis and have nothing but good vibes about the position and restaurant. The only downside is that they do not help financially with relocation. The owners advice was to come down for a week, work a couple days on the restaurant to get a feel for everyone and spend some time on the Island which I totally understand. Problem is that it's very difficult for a chef to take a week off from work especially to moonlight at a potential job. So being the adventurous person I am, I decided to take a chance on this opportunity. Put in my 2 weeks notice at my current restaurant, and got a ticket to St. Thomas leaving on the 26th. I was just in the situation of either stay in florida or move to St. Thomas and unfortunately didn't have the option of being able to check out the island first. I have been in touch with available apartments for rent in St. Thomas and have probably enough money to move into a place, or at least enough to stay in a weekly rental until I get my check to have enough for deposit on the apartment. Not really sure what questions I'm asking or answers I'm looking for haha maybe just some general input from someone on the outside. Although I've moved all across the country and lived in South America I'm still relatively nervous about this move. Suppose it's fear of the unknown and especially since I'm well established and connected where I currently live and feel bad for leaving my current job. I know that if I didn't take this chance and go to St. Thomas that I'd regret it and always be wondering what if. But I guess I'm going to live the saying of "buy the ticket, take the ride". Either way I'm totally committed to it now since I left my job and have my ticket there! Definitely looking forward to my adventure ahead and all the experiences that come along with it!
Can you say which restaurant wants you to relocate without providing any expenses?
Hopefully, you'll be getting paid for the "work a couple days on the restaurant to get a feel for everyone" part. Are they helping you find living accommodations?
I hope they're being on the up and up with you as it's now the beginning of our off/slow season so there may not be many other places hiring during the slow summer months. However, Margaritaville is scheduled to open in August so that may be an option if they're not delayed. There are lots of restaraunts on STT
as well as at the resort hotels and you seem to have a broad resume.
Good luck to you.
Hope everything works out and you'll enjoy your time here.
Dont worry a bit. You're traveled and there is a TON of places you can cook here. Now, you'll make less and cost of living is more so best look into a second job IMO. Fwiw three of my friends are chefs here, one owns his own food truck and the others are in happening spots in red hook.
Personally I love the food here. Not everywhere but I have like one thing at each restaurant that I love.
It's almost unheard of that any business anywhere pays relocation expenses unless the prospective employee has been directly recruited. If you apply for a position outside your home area the general expectation is that you pay your own moving expenses except in very special circumstances.
anaeger05, no need at all to divulge the name of the restaurant but if you can say in which area of the island it's located, that might help guide you towards rentals in that area. Hope you realize and have made accommodation for the fact that you need your own vehicle here. Public transportation can't be relied upon, taxis are very expensive and, without your own wheels, you're going to be severely limited as to where you can live in relation to your job.
If you haven't already done so, get yourself a little better prepared by reading all the information available on the drop-down menus top of this page. And, if worse comes to worst, make sure you have enough set aside for a return ticket! Good luck!
Can he work there for a couple of days without the health card?
Something sounds fishy. They hired someone off island? How often does that happen?
Restaurant health checks are usually done once a year and only if he were incredibly unlucky enough to have the inspectors come around to do their annual walk-through in his first few days of working, the worst that would happen is that he'd not be able to work until he produced it. It only takes a day or two to get and this would be a most unlikely scenario.
There's nothing fishy at all about an off-islander being hired. Many, many chefs (and, as Alana noted) restaurant managers who apply for positions from off island are hired based on their resumé and supporting references.
Thanks for all the input! Working a couple days for free in a kitchen is totally normal and is called a "stage" or working interview. I do the same when I'm hiring new cooks, it's all about proving yourself. Although I don't have a VI health card yet I am Serve Safe certified for 5 years and applies to all 50 states. I do have a return ticket if for some reason things don't work out, so have definitely tried to cover all my bases before venturing down there. Will be in the south side of the island and have been looking everyday for places on Craigslist and the classifieds. So if anyone knows of something available I'd greatly appreciate the info!
Although I don't have a VI health card yet I am Serve Safe certified for 5 years and applies to all 50 states.
But we're not one of them so make that card a priority!
I'm a little surprised your prospective new employers can't put you up for at least a few days until you get your bearings. I would think they would at least give you some guidance and help seeking a place. Unless you rent a vehicle it's going to be tough going to see places as this isn't a walking island, and residences aren't set up as they are stateside in neat blocks. Good luck!
Man, I feel like I'm reading my story. I'm 28 and living in Miami. Before that I was traveling all throughout Central and South America. I'm an attorney right now but have been itching to get down to the islands for the past 2 years. I've been looking at St. john and St. Corix. I've actually never been down there but thinking about just making the jump later in the year.
Like you I'm nervous about finding work and place to stay but I've done without both and know I could hack it down there.
Best of luck and might catch you down there in a couple of months.