Most people, especially chefs, move around from job to job before they find a long-term career home, but not Talib Mohammed. To him, Seabrook, a senior living community in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, developed and managed by Erickson Senior Living, has always been his second home.
Like many culinary professionals, Mohammed started his career as a dishwasher. Little did he know that Seabrook provides tuition reimbursement for its employees to get their degrees and further their education. He took advantage of this program and attended culinary school at the Culinary Education Center of Monmouth County at Brookdale Community College.
"Seabrook worked with my schedule so I could continue working there while going to school. Once I graduated, I worked my way up within the system," Mohammed says.
Now 17 years later, Mohammed leads a team of culinary professionals as executive chef of the Princeton, one of three restaurants on campus.
And while he could have explored other career options within the culinary field, Mohammed says Seabrook's culture and its residents inspired him to be part of the community's leadership team.
"Everyone is so welcoming, the culture is nice, and it's just easy to come to work. Therefore, you enjoy what you're doing," he says.
He also had a clear career path. "The guidance I received from my managers helped me achieve my goal of becoming an executive chef," he says.
Now as executive chef, he's able to give career guidance to his team members.
"I think about all the people who have helped me along the way. I understand that it wasn't just me over 17 years; there were a lot of people who guided me throughout these years along my career path. I try to replicate the culture that I was raised in throughout my time here in this company," Mohammed says.
Dining Director Mary Beth Sheehan says that culture extends to each of the restaurants. "We have an extremely talented group of chefs. The chefs and managers collaborate weekly to ensure consistency in our program, and share menus and culinary trends and techniques," she says.
That is certainly true for Talib Mohammed. "I love the team," he says. "It's a great place to work. It's been really great for me."
For more information about career opportunities in senior living, please visit https://www.ericksonseniorliving.com/careers.