Am I crazy?

15
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Joined Feb 14, 2007
I'll be 60 years old on the 20th of March, though you would probably mistake me for at least 10 years younger and I probably have at least another 10 good years of work in me.

I've been working full time as a line cook at a local pizza restaurant for the past 1 1/2 years, but I've been cooking since I was 11 or 12.

I'm considering going to either Western Culinary Institute or Oregon Culinary Institute (probably OCI) and making a formal career change.

So... is it too late for me? Anybody know how age conscious the industry is? My previous career was in the electronics industry as a software engineer and age is an unspoken factor on keeping or losing your job.
 
4,508
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
Your not crazy,

Last Thursday evening I gave the commencement address for my school. Two of the graduates, one AM,one PM are both 60 and career changers. One a teacher, and the other a business man.

I have a 55 year old who just finished her 15 months and is on her extern ship. I have a junior who is 57 and upon graduation will be opening his restaurant in Litchfield CT.

One common thread runs through all these students, great energy, strong passion and life experience.

I should add that our industry has changed a great deal from when I started, many more avenues to travel.

Go for it, if it's in your heart, and you posses stamina, it's yours
 
15
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Joined Feb 14, 2007
Thanks... That makes me feel a bit better. I know I've got the stamina (for a few more years, anyway) and it's something I wished I had gone for years ago.

Next thing is to start scheduling tours of the two schools.
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2006
Jerry-
You'd be surprised how many people entering the culinary industry are older and/or career changers- (I personally am the middle-aged career changer). Most of the students in my school are aged 30 and up. (the rest are 18-19) I think we bring some maturity and wisdom to the job, I have found that I am much calmer and less easly stressed than the younger students under pressure. I have even been asked to lead our lab when our instructor was out of town or had a meeting. Follow your heart! Good luck! :bounce:
 
15
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Joined Feb 14, 2007
Thanks Jayme... As it stands right now, I'll have to wait until after tax season to know how my finances stand, but OCI has a class starting every ten weeks and it will probably be sometime in May before I make my final decision. I'm going to attempt to schedule visits of the two local schools this coming week.
 
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