(Closed) How old were you when you realised your passion? Some advice needed…

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
1133 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I can’t offer too much advice, but I am in the same boat as you!  I am 27, 28 this year, and going back to school in September to become a teacher. I woke up one day and realized I hated my career field. I’ve only been at it for 2 years, but it has aged me 10 years I feel.

Personally I think you should go for it. I know it’s easier said then done, but at the end of the day, it’s only 9 months at max, and you can begin a career right away.  It seems as if it may be a more flexilble position as well if you have kids in the near future!

Post # 3
75 posts
Worker bee

Why do you need to have a formal education in patisserie at this point? I would continue your current role, start up a sideline patisserie business to test the waters and see how successful it would be, rather than chucking in your job and investing thousands into education. Have you done market research in your area? The baking/restaurant business is cutthroat and I’d hate to see you throw in your career and take on debt for something that’s not financially viable. If it turns out to be commercially viable that’s the point at which I would consider further education on a part-time basis.

If you’re planning on having a baby in the next 1-2 years, I would stay in your current job, purely for the maternity leave benefits (you’re in NZ, right?). Whilst on maternity leave you can keep your sideline business going and then decide if you want to transition into running the business full time when it comes time to go back to work.

Just my $0.02.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  beetobe2016.
Post # 4
4767 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

gonna have to echo PP.  Why not do the baking on the side?  I donno where you are from but that seems like a rip off course for the time vs money.  Some Community colleges offer it, which is much cheaper.  

Best is to learn is to get a job at a bakery.  Think of hours too, that’s what really put me off.  you have to start super early.  

When I interviewed at a bakery they said they never look at degrees, I didn’t have one casue they’ve seen too many people come out of culinary schools who couldn’t do simple piping.  

Post # 5
2318 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you need to do more soul-searching. It is one thing to enjoy baking But it is totally another to do it every day and make a career out of it. Have you ever worked at a bakery? most people passionate about their craft end up going out of business because they fail to treat it as a business. Do the research and if you have to be away find the best school and attend that one. make a business plan before you decide to see if your dreams are attainable. research!

Post # 6
1888 posts
Buzzing bee

I think it’s great that you want to leave a dead-end job to pursue your passion. However, as someone who has worked in the restaurant industry, I strongly suggest getting some work experience in a bakery before enrolling in such expensive courses. Working in food is not for everyone. I love cooking and baking for me and my Fiance, but when I did it professionally, I hated it. It’s a very low-paying field, with long hours (think 50-60 hour weeks) on your feet, often coming in early or leaving late, covered in food. It’s HARD, dirty work, with very little chance of ever making good money. I worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in a major city, and our head pastry chef made $60k. Most of her sous made around $12 per hour.

I don’t say this to discourage you! I worked with some incredibly talented bakers and pastry chefs who made art every day, and were definitely doing what they were meant to be doing. I just think food is sort of like teaching, where you have to have first-hand experience to know if it’s for you.

Post # 7
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I went to culinary school for pastry and am currently working in the field. I love my job, but it really is very hard on the body. I have carpal tunnel in both hands and am usually very stiff and have trouble walking when I’ve been sitting for more than a few minutes when I get home from work (or on my lunch). I also have low back pain (and upper back pain today, but that’s because some idiot put a 45 pound box of chocolate coins on the top shelf in the store room).

I’d honestly see if you could stage at a bakery near you just to see if you like it first. Staging is basically working for a few hours for free, so they likely wouldn’t have you do much more than prep work, but it might be worth it just to see if the atmosphere is better for you. I will say, though, that it really depends on the kitchen and your coworkers. In my current job, I’ve been at three kitchens. One was all right, the second I hated, and the one I’m at now is good so far (I’ve been there a month). Sometimes, it really does just come down to your coworkers and your chef.

Post # 8
1920 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Gorse Hill, Surrey, UK

Just do it. Last year I finally went on the dog grooming course I wanted to do since I was 18, and now at 28 I just landed myself an assistant stylst job and I love it! I cant wait to go to work, learn new skils and work with dogs, even though sometimes my back aches a bit, I’m covered in dog hair, my fingers are starting to crack from washing and drying and my arms can end up with multiple scratches lol. I worked in office type jobs since I left school and I wil never ever regret doing this, even if one day I end up back in an office as at least I have those skills to fall back on, but I gave my dream a shot. If you really love baking, just give it a go, you never know where it will take you and you might end up doing something you love. Even if you decide its not for you at least no one can say you didnt at least try it out, and I’m sure you can always go back to what you were doing but maybe in a slightly different context just to freshen things up. Good luck!

Post # 9
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

I will join ya’ll in that boat! I got engaged in December 2015 and I just turned 27 years old. The best decision ever was applying to school.  I made it just in time, sent in my applications a week and a half before the deadline date for college applications (Feb 1st, 2016). The application process involved a lot of painful soul searching, self doubt and vulnerability, that was the hardest hurdle.

I also started my degree in the arts when I was 17. I have been working in the performing arts for almost 15 years and now I am doing a triple salchow into allied health. The core of my passion stays the same, I like to look at it like my passion has evolved. 

For the past 5 years, I have been working in hospital, government and post secondary institutions, which gave me a really cool opportunity to immerse myself in these different environments. If you don’t attend patisserie school are there any other options you could look into? Are there any CC classes or programs near you that involve culinary arts, could you make one of your major focuses baking or the art of patisserie, while still reaching a goal for a broader certification in culinary arts? Are there any local bakeries/bakers that you could speak to in regards to avenues or options that you haven’t considered before? Ask how they got into the place that they are in now, everyone has a great story to tell.

We decided that the best first step for us, was for me to apply to schools and we would decide all the other variables and factors depending on those results.  Turns out, I got into my top pick program and I start September 2016 🙂 Can you sit down with your partner and figure out what your first step will be, and deal with the rest of the deck of cards as they fall into place? GL Bee!

Post # 10
1293 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I know what my passion is, but I’m not going to make a career out of it. Not because careers aren’t possible — I have a few friends making a go at it — but because turning my passion/intense hobby into a money-making endeavor changes the relationship with that activity. 

My passion is horses and riding. I have 2 friends at the moment who are making a decent job at being professional trainers and breeders. They enjoy what they do, but they say that where riding/horses used to be their “happy place” and their escape from life’s stresses…it’s now the source of their stresses. I don’t ever want that to happen to me, I always want horses to be my escape from life’s problems.

On top of that it’s unpredictable money, high risk (financially and physically), and the manual labour takes a huge toll on your body.

Obviously patisserie doesn’t have the physical danger element as riding a 1500 lb animal over large hurdles…but it does still have the unpredictable money and the long hours of labor. It also would mean approaching your hobby as a business, which can be a tough transition emotionally.

I wouldn’t pursue the  higher education until you have done some realistic research and job shadowing/informational interviews wiht people in the field to determine whether the investment is made up for in the long run. And what the jobs actually entail to see if you would actually enjoy the employment options down the road. If starting your own bakery/catering service (or whatever) is the goal (rather then working as a pastry chef in an established restaurant) then you’re better off spending your money on business courses.

Just stuff to think about. The talent to do the *craft* isn’t necessarily the difficult part…it’s turning that talent into a viable livelihood so investments are often better spent not on developing the skill but in the secondary skills necessary to make the craft profitable.

Post # 11
9527 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I was the opposite, found my career passion in my teens and went to an expensive undergrad. Career was less than desired for many reasons and killed my passion. I went back to grad school at 32 for something I like, not love, but is a more sound prospect. It has been tough to start over when at one point I was so happy, was successful enough in something I loved. 

sorry to be a buzzkill. They say that doing what you love you never work a day in your life, not exactly true. Hopefully your passion will be much more fulfilling and will be a smart ROI

Post # 12
624 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

Have you guys seen a TED talk “30 is not the new 20”? Google it.  It’s inspiring.

Post # 13
3305 posts
Sugar bee

I quit my job and decided to enrol at uni when I was almost 25. I’ve just finished 5 years of gruelling full time study and I can say I don’t regret my choice at all. I have the capacity to earn at least twice as much as I did at my previous job, and I’m going to enjoy what I do for 8hours a day 5 days a week and not have to deal with the Sunday night “fuck I have to get through another 38 hours of hell” mindset anymore.

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