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Old 04-06-2008, 03:03 PM   #11
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I can't really offer any advice, but I'm in your position. I am about to graduate from engineering, and right now, the last thing I want to do is anything to do with my degree :-)

My plan is to go into restaurants and work (I've got a few lined up), and see if I like it as a career before making the jump and taking culinary school. I think it's a pretty good plan, since then I'm not tied down in school only to find I hate it...

Mike
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:26 PM   #12
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I would also recommend reading two books that I thought were pretty accurate in describing the intensity of the lifestyle ... Kitchen Confidential and Heat.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:29 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice and opinions!

I am used to working long, hard days. When I was working at the pizza restaurant I worked 18 hour days 6 days a week, between a deep fryer, a pizza oven, and a donair spit, with no fan. I'm aware of the fast, hard work and heat ;-) and for the most part, I don't mind it. I really have different career goals than most people I know... I've grown up on little money, and have come to accept the fact that I may not make much money at any career that I truly enjoy. I don't have visions of settling down in a quiet neighbourhood with 2.3 children... I want to experience everything everywhere! I've never been a person to stay in one place for a long time.

Thing is, I'm not really interested in anything else. Ok, I love working with horses but that's even less money and even more work! And more dangerous (even my goat stepped on my foot today and left a bruise... she's a bit on the heavy side!) And the other thing I enjoy is tourism - which is sort of the same industry. I've also looked at the Eco-Tourism program at the same college. I am big into the environment, nature, exploring, etc. I would rather be on the adventure side than the selling-tickets-and-packages side.

If I don't go back to school now, I'll most likely be in the same financial boat later in life. I don't really have enough experience to get a well paying job, and the one I am at now doesn't have a whole lot of room for advancement. There is some, but not the direction I want to take. Most of their advancement is into management, where I would rather be in the production side of things. I have a diploma in Administrative Assistance, and I know for a fact that I hate sitting at a desk for long periods. It's hard to explain, but if I'm not physically moving around and doing physical work, I get claustrophobic. It's even difficult for me to sit at the computer to type long messages! ;-)

I'm making an appointment with guidance this week and see what they suggest... maybe there is another career out there that is food related but not necessarily cooking? I'd love to learn! Although I am more than willing to move just about anywhere to get education (formal or informal), financially I can barely afford to move my car out of the driveway lol

I don't want to throw the culinary option out the window, but I'm at a loss :( It seems like half the people I talk to talk about the downsides to the industry, and the other half say to follow your dreams!

*sigh*

Keep the opinions and advice coming! Thanks again,

AK
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:25 PM   #14
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Yes:

Food stylist, sales rep, food journalist.........
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:45 PM   #15
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I don't think we're trying to discourage you, as we obviously all love food and/or cooking or we wouldn't be in this particular forum. Sage advice about the reality of what you choose isn't necessarily "the bad side" and I feel I was doing you a disservice to glorify what is hard darned work. Loving it is only half the battle, and very few people end up on TV.

I am impressed with your goals and work ethic, and think you will do fine if you follow your dreams with eyes wide open. Good luck! :)
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:19 PM   #16
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In the end, as with anything we do long term, cooking loses the allure the more we do it. Passion will carry you a long way, but in the end...it becomes a job.

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Old 04-06-2008, 10:29 PM   #17
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I really appreciate this thread. I've been kicking around going to culinary school once my kids are all in school. I love to cook, I can't get enough of it. I'm right now working 2 days a week baking at a bagel store. I love it, but I get really torn about being away from my family all weekend. They are really first for me, and I think if I were to get a "real" cooking job, I'd be miserable.
Best I just stick to my own kitchen and make my own hours!
Thanks again folks!
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crono760 View Post
I can't really offer any advice, but I'm in your position. I am about to graduate from engineering, and right now, the last thing I want to do is anything to do with my degree :-)

My plan is to go into restaurants and work (I've got a few lined up), and see if I like it as a career before making the jump and taking culinary school. I think it's a pretty good plan, since then I'm not tied down in school only to find I hate it...

Mike
Hang in there, crono, many graduates feel like you do---not just in engineering......if you can afford it take a short trip and blow off steam as you've picked a great field to major in .....the US economy sucks right now and you need a great job to make it out there for the next 4 years at least, maybe longer---I've been thru one major recession and it's not much fun budget wise---prices go up every week and it lasted several years......you just need some time off.....engineering is a tough major in college and you've come too far to just chuck it....you've heard from others how tough the cooking industry is......please gut it out.......my husband is an engineer and we've been thru the lows and highs of the oil industry and I know what I'm talking about
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:26 AM   #19
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Can I just point out that while the down side of the hospitality industry has been pointed out to you, there is a down side to just about any job you take in any industry. The key is to get a job where the plusses outnumber the negatives.

I have worked with Executives that do a good twelve hour day in the office and then take more work home with them, they fly around the country never getting to see their families and often aren't there for family do's. When you get near the top or to the top in your chosen profession, this is often what happens. Same in small businesses like the corner shop.

As someone said earlier, passion/enthusiasm keeps you afloat through the hardwork. Good luck choosing but just remember - there is only so much advice you can get. At some point you are going to have to go with your heart or your head. BUT you can change your mind. You aren't signing a contract with the devil!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:19 AM   #20
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You're so right, Bilby.......but, in the end you've got the economics to face. And if we're facing a recession like what is predicted in the US and I hope to god it's not so, you need to be ready.......I've been thru one and it's not much fun......prices go up weekly on everything.......I was teaching at the time and had to add 5% to everything that I had to order month to month NOT by the year........my DH and I cut our budget as much as we could....I don't want to be a doomsday sayer and who knows we may not go thru one but people need to be prepared just in case......
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