Today on Reddit, user /u/ArtistCook is debating whether or not to leave the culinary industry. He goes on to explain: “Debating on leaving the culinary industry because I keep looking at the job choices and I’m not sure if I want to take any of them. My question is, how do I even start looking into another career? Because I believe I can do any other career I set my mind to, just not sure how to start looking. What should I think about when looking into careers? What questions should I be asking myself/others?”
(Photo Credit: bark/Flickr)
Let’s take a look at the situation.
The Culinary Industry
The culinary industry – it’s fast, it’s competitive, it’s delicious but it’s certainly and understandably not the right career for everyone. And if job prospects like executive chef are already giving you doubts, that definitely throws up a red flag that it might be time for a career change. Even though the culinary field might not be for you, culinary careers like chefs and head cooks tend to report high job meaning of 46 percent, according to a recent PayScale report.
How Do I Start Looking Into Another Career?
Switching careers brings on a new level of difficulty to the already annoying job hunt. Not only are you changing jobs, you’re essentially switching industries. With that said, here are a few tips you can use right now to get started on figuring out the career you really want to be in.
Use the PayScale Research Center to Study Job Descriptions
In the Research Center, you can enter any job title and get an instant snapshot of the skills needed for that particular job, popular employer salaries for those jobs, as well as common career paths which can help you put yourself in any career two or three years out.
Highlight Your Transferable Skills
When you are switching to a new industry, its important to showcase all of your important and most transferable skills. Make sure you keep those things at the top of your resume, and ensure that they are in a easily digestible format for anyone to understand. Use the rest of your resume to back up your qualifications. For someone in the culinary industry, perhaps your transferable skills may include things like multitasking and team management.
Highlight Non-Work Experience
Anything you have done outside of work can be used to pump up your potential for a new job. For example, volunteer work experience is a fantastic addition to any resume. Perhaps you volunteered to work a charity event as a cook, but were also asked to help set up the event and coordinate dishes. That sounds like event planning experience to me!
Don’t Diminish Yourself
You can be your own worst enemy when it comes to switching careers. Never tell yourself that you are unqualified for a job. Don’t do it in your resume, on an interview, or to your cat. Just don’t do it. Make sure to be honest about your past, but focus on the usable skills that you have right now.
What Should I Think About When Looking at Careers? What Should I Ask Myself/Others?
Choosing your career path also means choosing how you spend your life. It’s a huge decision, and you want to make sure you pick something that can bring you both emotional fulfillment and a secure salary. Think about your North Star – the thing you are the most passionate about. Is it writing? Is it helping people? Is it the freedom to be creative? Do you love solving problems? The next step is finding out who is going to pay you to do that. If you still aren’t sure what you want to do, internships are a fantastic way to get your foot in the door and explore what it’s like to work in any career.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have an unanswered career question? Comment below or join the conversation on Twitter!