Have you always felt passionate about food?
Do you love to create and to share yourself through your cooking? With so much upheaval happening in the job market these days, many people are taking a second look at their lives and deciding what is truly important to them.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the last year, and it looks like many more will follow as the recession continues. For many of these people, the job loss has been devastating.
For others, though, it has been an opportunity to reevaluate their lives and to make new choices regarding their chosen occupations.
If you have found yourself questioning your career choice as a result of the economy, then this might be the time to really put some thought into what you want to do. Think of all those people working so hard in the financial district only to have it all come crashing down in the recession.
You can bet that many of them are now questioning whether or not they made the most fulfilling career choices for themselves.
While we certainly don’t want to make light of the incredibly difficult position that so many find themselves in, it does seem like a good idea to learn from the example that they have unwittingly set. Working for years in a job that is not personally satisfying, only to have it taken away, really makes one evaluate what is important before moving forward.
Do What You Enjoy Doing Most
So, if you’ve always dreamed of being a professional chef or baker, what has stopped you? There’s a good chance that it was job security. So often we find a job and end up sticking with it out of a sense of security, rather than making a change to do what we really want. If this recession has taught us anything, it’s that even those fall-back jobs are not secure.
In order to move into a job that is a better fit for your interests and abilities, it may be time to consider getting a degree in the culinary arts. There are hundreds of culinary schools across the U.S, and they can give you just the boost you need to make the leap into a new, fulfilling career.
Many of these schools even offer flexible schedules. This means that you have the chance to go to school to study what you’re passionate about while still maintaining your current “secure” job.
While the need to work and go to school at the same time can be a bit overwhelming, it can certainly help to calm fears about making a big job transition upon graduation from culinary arts school.
In addition to clinging to what we perceive to be a secure job, there are other obstacles that keep people from pursing dreams like attending culinary school. One of the biggest is money.
Education isn’t cheap, and the best chefs attend school in order to properly learn their craft. Finding the extra money needed to follow in their footsteps can seem almost impossible.
Finding Help Getting Into Culinary Institute, Baking School or Hospitality Management College
Fortunately, the goal of every school is to have students to teach. This means that they will work with you in every way they can to help you find ways to pay for your education.
Many people don’t even consider the fact that they can pay their tuition in installments, but the school you choose may very well be able to set you up on a payment plan rather than expect the full tuition amount in advance.
Each of these institutions will also have a financial aid department that can help you find ways to finance your culinary education. Most will be able to help you pursue federal funding in the form of grants and loans. In addition, they may have special scholarships for which you apply.
A little creative research may also turn up other resources. For example, it is possible that your current employer offers help with tuition or that a club or organization to which you belong has a scholarship program for people just like you.
The point of this all is to utilize the economic crisis in a personal way. It’s been proven that there are few guarantees when it comes to employment, so it’s up to each of us to make our own way.
For those interested in the culinary arts, this may be just the motivation that was needed to take a step away from what you always thought of as “secure” and toward what you will find fulfilling.
Read, Read and Read Some MoreOne of the best suggestions I have for anyone thinking of going to culinary school or just getting into the restaurant industry is to read everything you can get your hands on. Learn from professional chefs who have worked in the industry and those who have taught in culinary schools.
There are many great books available to get you started in your culinary education and I suggest you read as much as possible before making that big decision to make sure this is the right move for you. Below is just a sample of books you might be interested in checking out.
For a much more comprehensive list of books for aspiring culinary, baking and restaurant management students, I suggest checking out my post on books for future culinary students and chefs.