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Thread: Give me career ideas you guys

  1. #1
    78% me Array Eruca's Avatar
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    Default Give me career ideas you guys

    I'm in my late 20s, and all of my previous roles have been grunt work (office work and light physical labour). I have a general degree (Philosophy and Lit) that will not be directly applicable to any particular job, which I pursued because I had no idea what I wanted to do, or confidence that I could do anything in particular well. Due to personal crap, I've been depressed and anxious for most of my life, this being why I've been so aimless so far.

    Happily I feel like that period is coming to an end, so I am looking for a specific career/goal. I don't want to waste any further time on general/aimless jobs. I don't mind further education, as long as an actual job is waiting at the end of it. The same goes for trainee roles or even internship.

    strengths/preferences:

    perfectionist and naturally obsessive in areas I value
    naturally obsessive when being depended upon
    Calm and confident, apart from social anxiety issues (if that makes sense) which are likely to disappear as time goes by
    easy to get along with, I know how to win people over
    good at working in a team (people I know), good team communicator
    Can work in high pressure environments as long as they aren't too public (too many people + strenuous work = anxious)
    Can lead or work alone. Can work in teams or as underling as long as environment is professional.
    Am somewhere on the border between F and T. Leaning toward T. Am very N, but very much value the act of physical creation
    High energy
    Willful/stubborn (this is also a weakness :P)
    Greatly appreciate any work that provides plenty of space for skill advancement. Would thrive in a role that would provide prestige/opportunities for mastery.

    weaknesses/things to avoid

    can "do" customer service and communicate with strangers but capacity to do so is limited. Too much face-to-face with strangers or social (rather than professional) activity will leave me exhausted and unhappy.
    Am poor at very detail orientated work. (mental) For example, at University I found writing the bibliography at the end of my essays harder than writing the essays themselves, due to their needing to follow a very specific format/layout. Do not like an overly structured work environment.
    Listless when cannot understand importance of work I'm doing and/or feeling underused
    Average physical ability
    Anxiety issues that remain make first steps into new careers, if they are particularly high-stakes, difficult
    Avoid careers that require long investments of time into education

    Any suggestions would be valued, even if they don't fit some of the criteria. I realize I've put down too much to consider.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've considered being a chef as a good role that fulfills much of what I'm looking for. There is much room for advancement, the role is meaningful, one works in small and tightly knit teams for the most part, and obsession is actively encouraged. The role is detail orientated, but this detail isn't mental, and is more practical, which I find easier to value. I do very much enjoy cooking, and am good at it. However, my current experience level is pretty limited. For dumb reasons. At first I wasn't allowed to cook (when I was growing up), then I couldn't afford the ingredients for anything interesting (early 20s) then I was discouraged from cooking because I had to share a kitchen (social anxiety) and finally I rarely get to cook now because my dad's GF hates my showing up her cooking whenever I cook.

    When I do get to cook, however, I think I have natural talent. Is being a chef a valid, practical career choice? It seems so good surely everyone is going for it? And it seems too obvious. Like how every male teen wants to be a video-game designer.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array riva's Avatar
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    How about lecturing? It's something that you'd get better and better at with age and would come naturally to you as an INTP.
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    Emperor/Dictator Array kyuuei's Avatar
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    Cooking is fine. it isn't going to make you big bucks by any means, long hours, but it's fine. My brother sort of got shoved into it because he had no clue what to do with his life. It's fine. Cooking is always useful in life.

    You can start out small though... Working in cold cuts/a salad bar sort of setting, prepping easy stuff. You can go to cooking school. And for what it's worth, there's a nation wide shortage of cooks going on. So work is available. Particularly in larger cities. .. But.. There are opportunities for business in smaller cities too. Here in Asheville, we desperately need more ethnically diverse food. We have tons of white people food.. and ONE vietnamese restaurant. In Houston, where Vietnamese food is everywhere, we have sandwiches $3-4 each, and soup is $7-8 a bowl. Here in Asheville? $10 a sandwich, $9-12 a soup bowl. Yeah. Because there's no competition. Bubble tea is $5-6 a piece. It's insane. There's ONE Korean place... lots of sushi, but nothing really Japanese-centric otherwise. We have NO Chinese-style bakeries! all those lovely cheap pastries that are giant and filled with lots of different things!! They're everywhere in large cities with a Chinatown, but none here! A WHOLE market can be cornered here with that. Especially with these idiot posh assholes buying donuts for $5 a PIECE.


    What I'm saying is, the opportunities are there, but it is hard work, and school is expensive and not much financial help there either so either you work up the ranks the old fashioned way or go to school to prove you were taught the basics.

    If I were you and I wanted to be a chef, I'd try to get in at a bakery and learn baking. It's a good thing to start out with. I'd make sure I would like this before I went forward.
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  4. #4
    Dog Array Alaska's Avatar
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    If you are considering further education, the environment of a cooking school would solve your problem of having the space and encouragement to cook. I imagine having that space would be a joyful relief for you.

    My cousin went to cooking school and met her husband there, and they're able to raise a family with the resources from doing jobs related to their degrees.
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  5. #5
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Perhaps cooking school with some business classes in case you can't find a chef job you like - you could open your own restaurant? I know that last part is risky, but you sound like you really do want to study to be a chef. I don't personally know anything about that field of work.

    Edit: oh, I could add that catering is a career I bump up against because I sometimes freelance as a musician playing weddings and dinners. There is a lot of money in industries related to cooking and catering.
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    Junior Member Array SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    I suggest catering as well, because you can be your own boss and you just need to jump through a few hoops with the Health Dept. With your social anxiety issues, working with or around other people is a no-no. With catering, you are firmly in control of how much and when you work. Now, you'll have to interact with your clientele, but this is usually just to schedule what food they want, when/where their event will be held, and any other particulars, over the phone. Then of course, dropping off the food in person and then possibly coming by to collect any food platters after it's over.

    You'll have to market yourself, of course, which involves upfront costs such as printing out business cards and possibly creating a website. But as with anything entrepreneurial, you are in control of your success. If you're ambitious, you'll go to bridal expos and various networking events to market yourself, hand out business cards to people you meet, or see if some local businesses would be okay with you displaying your cards (usually coffeeshops do this; have a dedicated space for folks to display their business cards). You need to sweat confidence and ambition as a self-employed business owner. If you want to really appeal to the crowd you're trying to reach as potential clients, there will be the obligatory posturing; you'll want to wear all black, as this is standard in the gourmet food industry. Black heels, business slacks, and a high-quality black oxford or professional, well fitting top made of quality fabric, absolutely no stains or wrinkles.

    Since you are preparing food for people's consumption, you need to look clean and be clean. Shower every day so you always smell fresh on the job or to a potential client, and maintain excellent hygiene, brushing and flossing at least twice a day and wearing deodorant and scented body lotion. Hair should be pulled totally back, away from the face in an attractive style. If you have skin issues, make a dermatologist appt. and try to find a skin care routine that works for you and wear some sort of blemish-correcting makeup. It sucks, but people view acne or eczema as an indication of being lazy or dirty. You don't want to go overboard with the makeup though, as it looks tacky and unsanitary. Small jewelry is alright. Also be careful with the facial piercings. Nails must be clean and kept short at all times, buffed, and if you wear nail polish or get a gel manicure, in a tasteful color. This is where you might feel like you're sacrificing your individuality, but it's only temporary. When you aren't presenting yourself to your clients you are free to look however you want.

    All of this makes catering an ideal job choice for an introvert who enjoys preparing exquisite meals.
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