- 7 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
Last fall, I left my office job to pursue a different career path in the culinary field. I was in school, and I wanted to take the leap to actually working in the new field while I was still in school, to make sure I really did want to be in that line of work.
Well, I found a job with a caterer, which was okay. It didn’t provide steady work or pay very well, and so I kept my eyes open for something else. When one of my instructors at school told me about a job opportunity for a pastry chef position at a nearby restaurant, I jumped on it. This place was one of the dream places I had in mind as a “maybe one day I’ll get to work there.” I didn’t really think they’d hire me with so little experience, but they did! And I thought I was living the dream when I got that job.
Now it’s five months later, and bees – I don’t like it there. There is some serious disfunction in that place, and I’ve learned that this field is not only physically demanding, but emotionally demanding as well. It’s so hard to constantly put yourself out there with the food you create and have the possibility of that food not selling well. You feel like a failure when this happens (or at least I do).
Even worse, I dread cooking now, and I never want to do it at home. This is especially troubling to me because cooking together is something that my Fiance and I have done since the beginning of our relationship. It’s our primary shared hobby, and the time we spend cooking together is so special to me. We’ve had some of our best conversations ever while preparing dinner and eating it. For some reason, it’s like our special time. Aside from that, baking is also something I’ve always done for stress relief, and it’s been a great hobby and an outlet for creativity for me ever since I was young. And now I have no enthusiasm for it all. So basically, I have no hobby now. Cooking or baking at home just reminds me of work, and I don’t want to do it.
Each day I dread going into work just a little more. Am I going to find that the special I created didn’t sell at all the night before? That my boss has sent me another email about how he didn’t like something I did, and he wants me to create desserts that look to me more like something you’d find at a diner than an upscale steakhouse? Am I going to have to deal with more two-faced behavior from the sous chef that doesn’t like another woman on her “turf”?
I can’t sort out whether I just don’t like my current job, or if I have not chosen the right career (yet again). I feel like the dream for most people is turning their hobby into a job, but for me, it’s kind of killed my hobby for me. I think I’m going to go back to my old line of work, but I want to at least finish out my degree, which means three more classes, an externship, and a pretty intensive certification practical exam. I can probably accomplish all of this in just one more semester (ugh, with the wedding smack dab in the middle of it!), but the idea of working at this place for another four months is exhausting to me.
Plus, I feel like a big fat failure for trying and not liking yet ANOTHER career path.
If you’ve made it this far in this big, rambling post, thank you for sticking with me! And if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.