At a recent food conference, I was speaking to an audience about various food jobs and I asked everyone to look at the person seated on each side and in front and behind them. The point is: no one looks remotely like you (or me). We are all unique. We have unique experiences and abilities.
The culinary world is much like the audience I was speaking to: so vast, so all encompassing, that there is a career for everyone whether as an artist, entrepreneur, researcher, food historian or farmer.
Once we can clearly identify what path to take, it becomes much easier to take the first steps to reach our destination.
The goal is to incorporate the things we love with the things we love to do!
Strangely, deciding on a new career path is not as easy as it sounds because it involves serious self-analysis and a willingness to view opportunities through a telescope rather than a microscope.
In other words, just because you can cook, doesn’t mean you actually have to. Instead, you might prefer to be a financial analyst reporting on food companies, a food stylist, an event planner, a restaurant critic–even, a food folklorist who studies food recipes.
The competition for employment is escalating dramatically; one in five are expected to change jobs. Meanwhile more students and career changers are entering professional culinary schools and exploring their culinary options.
This means that it is helpful to read trade magazines and blogs to get a broad overview of new trends. For example, there seems to be a surging interest in selling specialty foods from a street cart. After all who doesn’t love rice pudding and creme brulee, spicy dumplings or hot chocolate or even, winning a venerable Vendy award?
But as you reach one goal, set a new one. You can never stop dreaming!