I was intrigued when Katie Whiting pitched the offer to write a guest post about turning your cooking hobby into a full time paying job. I often daydream about developing recipes all day long – spending the day chopping, dropping, roasting, sautéing, baking . . . sorry got carried away there for a minute!
My point is that I’ve wondered what living my dream would be like, and Katie gives some interesting food for thought about into turning your cooking hobby into a job that puts dinner on the table.
Let’s see what Katie has to say . . .
How to Turn Your Cooking Hobby Into a Career
When you have a favorite hobby, then it may be tempting to take that hobby and turn it into a
career doing what you love. With the advent of Food Network stars turning their home cooking
hobbies into lucrative careers and sharing them with the world, many people are taking note and
wondering if they, too, should transform their cooking pastimes into full-time professions.
The fact is, many people are both talented and qualified when it comes to turning their hobbies
into careers. However, there are some important points to consider before taking the plunge and giving up
your current day job.
1. Research your options. If you love your cooking hobby, you may be tempted to turn
it into your full time career. And who wouldn’t! But before you do, it’s best to explore
your options. Consider the possibilities for turning your cooking hobby into your career.
It could be that all the options for earning a living in the food industry are simply
unpalatable to you, and you prefer to keep it to your free time only.
2. Decide how this will affect your life. Ask yourself how this new “job” will transform
your life. Understand that working as a chef, a baker or even in your own catering
company is not going to be a walk in the park just because you enjoy cooking. A job
takes a different type of commitment, dedication and effort, even if it is something you
already enjoy. Don’t forget to also ask yourself if you will continue to enjoy cooking
after it has become your life.
3. Take an innovative approach. If you are set on going for your new career, you will
need to pitch your idea (or yourself) by making you, your product or your business plan
the best it can be. Even those lucky few who manage to get the gigs on the Food Network
still have something interesting and innovative to offer. So, whether you want to find a
home for your incredible apple pie, or you see yourself manning the kitchen in one of
your city’s best restaurants, figure out what it is you offer that is original and special. Tell
your audience why they need to choose you over the competition.
4. Create a plan. When you have a clear idea of how you can approach your hobby as
a means of gainful employment, then it is time to formulate a concrete plan. If this
involves starting your own business—a catering company or even your own restaurant—
then a business plan is in order. This helps you put your ideas on paper, structure your
marketing plan, and help attain the financial support you need.
5. Be prepared to relinquish the hobby. This may sound strange, but once you take on
your hobby as your full-time job, you give it up as your hobby. Very quickly the pastime
becomes your focus, and can almost certainly take more time than the average 9-5 hour
job demands. You may be able to find a new hobby, but chances are you will no longer
have the time.