Beyond the Kitchen: Alternatives for Your Food-Related Career

Woman wearing a green shirt and apron is icing a beautiful rustic cake. This article covers alternatives for your food related career.

If you love cooking and would like to make food your career but the long hours and low pay of a restaurant chef are unappealing, there are plenty of other food-based careers you could pursue.

Below are a few things you should consider and some great alternatives that will keep you in the culinary world without quite so much heat from the kitchen.

Your Work Environment

First, you should think about the environment that you want to work in. The wrong environment can create unnecessary stress and the side effects of stress can creep into all the other areas of your life if you are not careful.

If you’d still like to be directly involved with preparing food, you might consider becoming a private chef or caterer.

You could also write cookbooks. If you’re more interested in working with people, you might consider becoming a dietician, someone who advises others on nutrition.

Another possibility is working in the industry to help develop foods or find ways to increase food production.

If your interest is in growing food, you might consider running or managing a small farm. You might even become an artisan food producer.

You could also be a consultant in a number of different capacities.

Your Education

Not every career in food will require a college degree, but there are a few advantages to getting one. If you hope to run your own business, it can be helpful to have a business degree or at least to take some business courses.

You may want to be a private chef who specializes in healthy meals, and a nutrition-related degree can give you the expertise you need for this.

For some roles, such as becoming a dietician, a degree and additional certification are required. A bachelor’s degree can also help round out a culinary school education.

There are several different options that can help you finance a degree, including taking out student loans. You don’t have to start repaying these until after you graduate.

Exploring Career Possibilities

You may feel a little overwhelmed once you begin to realize just how many career options you have. You might be able to narrow down your choices by taking a few other things into account.

Where do you want to live?

If you dream of small-town life, you may find there is not a lot of demand for a personal chef. However, if you live in a medium to a large city, you may find more potential customers.

Similarly, however much you might love the artisan cheese at your local market. If you’re dedicated to high-rise life in a big city, running a farm or creating artisan food is probably not your destiny. 

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Beyond that, you should also consider whether you have the aptitude and the desire to run your own business or if you’d rather work for someone else.

There are food-related jobs in both industry and government. You can read up on some of your options online, and you could try to arrange informational interviews with people in jobs that interest you.

It’s also a good idea to try to get some hands-on experience if you can. If you have romantic dreams about running an organic farm, work, or volunteer on one.

It can help you get to grips with the reality of the work and decide if it still interests you.

Do you have any tips on alternatives for your food-related career?

Let me know, til then—cheers m’deres!

The name Nancy is shown as a signature.


Woman wearing a green shirt and apron is icing a beautiful rustic cake. This article covers alternatives for your food related career.

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