Career change???

Joined May 2, 2003
Well, like many of you, I have read the online journal of Logan Worley. It really helped me answer some questions that I had. His situation is somewhat similar to mine (career change), but of course, I am looking for further info.

I am in law school, but my heart has always been cooking, creating, and experimenting. My whole goal for my career has been to "NOT BE STUCK BEHIND A DESK ALL DARN DAY". (Of course 'darn' is not the original word of choice). Now, with a good cooking school opening up here in my area, I am facing a dilema of throwing caution into the wind and chaning paths.

The weird hours in cooking do not bother me...the working on holidays does not bother me...the only thing that makes me nervous is the money. I am 27 years old, married, and moving into our first house. My wife has a great job, but we would eventually like to have which point we will probably become a one income family--mine! And from what I hear, it takes about 10 years before you are making any real money as a cook.

So with that said, any feedback from the more experienced?

Joined May 26, 2001
Not only does it take a long, long time until you can make any real money as a cook, it also takes a long time until you get to be creative and experimental with cooking professionally.

Why did you start law school in the first place? Do you have any interest in the law, and in the skills you need to succeed at it? Let me make this suggestion: there are ways you can use both the legal skills and knowledge you are acquiring now, AND your interest in food, without abandoning the opportunity to make a living. Don't drop the thing in which you have already made a big investment, when you could use that as one element of a worklife that satisfies and provides what you need financially.

Life need not be either/or. In fact, IMO it should NOT be. Try to find a way to use all the knowledge, skills, and abilities you can develop. And keep in touch. :)
Joined Jan 5, 2001
Hello Rurias and welcome!

You're in a tough position indeed. Looks like you'll have to prioritize your objectives and choose betewen the house and family or the career switch in the short to medium term. Not only does it take a long time to make money in this business, but it almost never is as you planned or expected it, and it may not necessarily be the career that would make you happy.

I suggest trying it out part time. Get a feel for it, see how the industry is and if you get the same excitement you get from cooking at home. If you still love it, and can't get it out of your system, that's the time to talk to the spouse about making sacrifices.

It's not an easy switch, I can attest to that. But it's a wonderful career, and definitely worthy of consideration if you have the talent, verve and energy to do it.

Good luck with your decision and do stick around! Feel free to share your thoughts with us if you don't mind our feedback.

Joined Nov 20, 2000
Boy if you ask me, and hey, you did! My opinion would be to stay in Law School. For a couple of reasons. You can always go to Cooking school and if you are a lawyer you can most likely afford it. If you are a cook who wants to go to LAw school it's not as easy. The point being that the salary being an attorney will afford you will give you more financial freedom than a chef will in most cases.
Part of what I loved about being a chef was that to a certain extent there was always something different, but wait a darn minute there. What about cooking the same thing day in and day out, with the exception of specials. Not always as exciting as may have been hoped. Running a decorating line for a dessert company I would watch 10,000 Key Lime Pies go past me and I knew that next week and the week after that and the week after that it would be the same. I wasn't sitting behind a desk thank god, but there was more than one day that I wished I had. Now due to the health problems all this wrought I am back behind a desk and wishing I could manage both!
Again my point being that the "prestige" that comes with being an attorney can take you pretty far in cooking. You have a built in proven learning ability. How many wildly successful people do you see that you find out started as attornies. You could end up being an R&D Chef that ends up becoming President of the company. You could become a Patent Attorney that specializes in food manufacturing equipment. You could use your Law school knowledge to become a food writer on food history as it relates to food safety history, laws, etc.
I could go on and on, but I'll leave it alone and say to you keep cooking on the side, learn and in a few years take a break from the Law, stretch out your wings in a restaurant or two and do what you really want. That way you will have 2 careers to fall back on and take from what you need.
Either way I wish you the best of luck and if you become a Patent Attorney, call me I could use you!
Joined May 15, 2003
Just heed my warning as any Chef will tell you that its like the Godfather Quote.....

"Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in."

Stress can be very addicting......

I have tried to get out 3 times in my 20 yrs in the buisness but once it is in your blood.....
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