Do you consider yourself the ultimate "foodie?" Do culinary trends titillate you and is gourmet the only way? Why not consider cooking up a career in the food biz?
As much as you may love it, if you're thinking that cooking isn't your strong suit, don't give up on your future in food so fast. There are ways you can take your "foodie" flair and put it to more use than just dining out. Think about what a joy it would be to take your love of all things food-related and embark on a career journey that you'll savor just as much.
Here are some cool jobs centered around the food industry for the foodie in you to relish. Let your culinary-based talents take over in one of these exciting careers.
It's all about the presentation, and when looks matter, a food stylist is called upon. All those perfect pics in magazines, on websites, in menus, and in advertisements don't happen by chance. And think about cooking shows, films, and commercials. The food always looks almost too good to eat. A talented food stylist is the force behind food looking phenomenal for those close-up shots.
As per The Art Career Project, "Professional food stylists are artists with a culinary flair. The food stylist must use color, shape, texture and food compatibility to create an artistic plate; one which is as appetizing as it is beautiful. Food stylists work in various industries; for photographers, magazines, restaurants and catering companies. If you are an artistic foodie—this job's for you!"
According to Dantastic Food, "The job of a food stylist has changed as advancing technology has made food photography a digital art. In the old days of film, food would often sit for hours under hot lights while directors of photography fiddled with f-stops and depths of field. These days, digital cameras make the process easier and faster – but quality food stylists still face challenges most other artists don't even need to consider. It's also important for food stylists to understand the ins and outs of photography and videography."
Does this job sound like it's just your style? Working with food can be just as satisfying as eating it, but you'll need some ammo. As per Urban Roots, "Although it's not necessary, many food stylists have a culinary arts degree from a culinary institute or trade school. An associate's or bachelor's degree in culinary arts can also be helpful. Studying art, photography and/or business may also assist in becoming a food stylist. Working or interning under an accomplished food stylist is a good way to learn some tricks of the trade."
Styling has never been so scrumptious!
In today's blog-obsessed world, nearly any foodie may consider themselves to be a "food critic" by snapping amateur pics of their meals, posting them to social media, and offering their reviews of what they've just chowed down. While fun for the foodie and interesting for those friends who may follow them, it generally doesn't result in a full-blown career in the critic's corner.
A professional food critic must, "Attempt to capture the dining experience and relate (it) to readers, viewers or listeners. Their commentary includes descriptions of the food, including whether the food was cooked thoroughly and attractively presented, and, of course, whether it tastes good. They also frequently comment about service staff and the ambiance of a restaurant -- whether the atmosphere contributed to diners enjoying their meals. Serving size and price are also frequently included," as per Chron.
If you are truly interested in being heard by the masses and believe your food critiques are in-depth, relevant, and beneficial to the culinary world, becoming a food critic may just be your calling. But before you quit your day job and set out on a career that seems like a (literal) piece of cake, know that it is no easy task to make your mark on the industry.
As per Sokanu, "This is a popular and competitive career, and can be difficult to get a foot in the door." There is much more to it than going out to eat and scribbling your musings of the meal.
Sokanu lists the responsibilities of a food critic as:
- Evaluating restaurant standards and food quality
- Supplying original written copy to newspapers, magazines, travel guides and websites
- Maintaining time management skills
- Meeting publishing deadlines
- Occasionally supplying original photography, or securing usage of restaurant's photos
- Competently interviewing industry leaders and venue representatives
- Delivering a written summary in a clear, unbiased way
If you have the work ethic as well as the foodie fire to pursue a career as a food critic, Study.com suggests taking the following steps to increase your chance for success in this sought-after, food-lover's dream job.
"Candidates for the position must have excellent communication skills. Students can gain the necessary writing ability through a degree program in English, journalism, or communication. Aspiring food critics also might choose to enroll in a culinary program or take courses in the culinary arts to learn about food composition, chemistry, and cooking techniques. Some schools offer courses in food media or food reviewing," notes Study.com.
After learning as much as possible in school, putting knowledge into play will come from getting work experience. Study.com recommends writing for a magazine, newspaper, or online publication, or work as a freelance food writer. And like many other jobs, networking is key to becoming relevant and respected.
Critical thinking for a food fanatic!
Do you have the type of personality that makes you a "people person?" Can you take charge, make decisions, and juggle many balls in the air at once? Are you interested in the restaurant biz and want to make sure things run smoothly and efficiently under your watch? If this sounds like you, a career as a restaurant manager may be your calling.
As per Target Jobs, the main responsibilities of a restaurant manager are as follows:
- Recruiting, training and supervising staff
- Agreeing and managing budgets
- Planning menus
- Ensuring compliance with licensing, hygiene and health and safety legislation/guidelines
- Promoting and marketing the business
- Overseeing stock
- Ordering supplies
- Handling customer inquiries and complaints
- Taking reservations
- Greeting customers
- Problem solving
- Preparing staffing/sales reports
- Keeping financial records
- Assessing and improving profitability
- Setting targets
- Handling administration and paperwork
- Liaising with customers, employees, suppliers, licensing authorities and sales reps
- Making improvements to the running of the restaurant
This is no walk in the park, but for a go-getter with lots of energy, quick-thinking ability, composure under pressure, and a no-quit attitude, becoming a restaurant manager can be exciting and rewarding.
You will need to study business and hospitality in school, but hands-on experience is just as valuable. Some cashiers and bussers start from the most low-level restaurant jobs and work their way up the ladder. Success is what you make of it!
If you love the vibe of working in a restaurant, enjoy meeting new people and making them happy, become a food server. You will be in a food-based ambiance while putting your friendly personality to good use. Your knowledge and love for food can translate into making sure customers have an enjoyable experience at the restaurant, and along with the quality of food, the greater the service, the better the time patrons will have. And you'll see their delight in your (hopefully) hefty tip!
There are so many opportunities to become a food server, as every town has dining establishments. Bigger cities will naturally have more options, but even small towns have restaurants, bars, fast food joints, and diners.
As per Snagajob, "Food servers perform a variety of tasks, from preparing the food, stocking supplies, serving, charging people for their food, handling cash, credit cards, and a cash register, cleaning tables and counters, resetting tables, greeting customers and answering questions. Food servers work on their feet for long periods, and are experts at customer service."
People may think being a food server is a piece of cake (no pun intended), but as you can see, there are many important responsibilities involved. You'll need lots of stamina and patience, as well as a friendly demeanor to be good at this non-stop job. Check please!
Stay out of the kitchen if you "can't take the heat," but be part of the food industry in a creative way that's just as rewarding!
Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.
Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!
Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.
Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh
Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.
The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.
Make the Inside Warm and Cozy
In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.
When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.
Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.
Make Your Home Less Personal
Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.
It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.
Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.
Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.
Entering your 20s means you'll quickly need to learn how to navigate the world of personal finances, much of which you probably didn't learn in college or high school courses.
Without any previous lessons on finances, it can be challenging to know where to start. Follow this guide as we outline the financial decisions you'll need to make in your 20s.
Setting a Budget
The first step to being a fiscally responsible young adult is setting a budget. Your budget will determine many future financial decisions, from where you can live to what splurges you can make. Look at the expenses you currently owe every month and your projected income to determine how much you should be spending on bills, daily expenses, etc.
Getting rid of your debt as early as possible is a critical step for newly independent 20-year-olds. However, some may not be able to get rid of debt as soon as they hope. Once again, look at your budget, then decide if you'd like to put more toward tackling debt now or pay your loans as they come.
While you may be able to hold onto your parents' insurance until 26, you'll have to choose your own plans sooner or later. From health insurance to renter's and car insurance, you shouldn't skip an opportunity to cover yourself in the case of an accident. Find a provider and plan you're comfortable with, and get your coverage as soon as possible.
Saving for a Rainy Day
Navigating how to save is another critical financial decision you'll have to make in your 20s. Living paycheck to paycheck is not a sustainable course of action. Even putting a small portion of your wages into a savings account can make a big difference—especially if an emergency you didn't prepare for occurs.
Starting To Invest
Investing is a scary topic for young adults, but it's a great way to build wealth. Starting to invest as a young adult will set you up for success on your long-term financial plan. However, be sure to conduct research before jumping into the market to decide when, where, and how much you'd like to invest.
Your 20s are an optimal time to learn and grow. One area of life you'll undoubtedly learn a lot about is managing finances. Use this guide to help you get started on the path to becoming a fiscally responsible adult.
Tax deductions can be tricky to understand if you're new to the finance world.
One of the biggest sources of confusion is knowing what you can and can't deduct from your taxes. Deductions can be a massive financial boon for a lot of people, yet not everyone files for them correctly. This causes people to miss out on money that should be theirs. We'll go over some of the most common tax deductions that are overlooked, so you don't get shortchanged when Tax Day comes.
When you start regularly giving to charity, even if the donations are small, you'll want to start getting itemized receipts for your donations. These receipts will help you write off these charitable contributions on your taxes. You can even write off supplies that you bought for use in a charitable cause or any miles you drove on your car while in service to a charity. Make those donations to the Purple Heart Pickup with an open heart, but make sure you get your deduction on top of that.
Student Loan Interest Payments
Student loans take up a significant amount of a lot of people's money. If you're one of these people, make sure that you get a deduction on the amount of interest you paid off in the last year. What's important to remember is that even if you aren't someone's dependent, you can write off the money someone else gave you to pay for said student loans. If someone else helped you pay off part of your loan, don't think that means you can't still get a deduction on that sum.
Child and Dependent Care Credit
If you have a reimbursement account through your job that pays for child or dependent care, you might be forgiven for forgetting about this particular tax credit. However, you can use these funds for a tax credit if you file for them correctly. This is hugely important because this is an opportunity to receive a full tax credit, not just a deduction. You're losing money you could be directly receiving if you don't file for this credit.
Jury Pay Given to Your Employer
A lesser-known tax deduction that often gets overlooked is the money you can deduct from jury pay you gave to your employer. It may not be the most exciting thing to come out of jury duty, especially after handing over any money you receive to your employer, but you do get to deduct however much money your employer made you hand over after you finished jury duty.
Credit for Saving
While this credit is more for people that are working part-time or for those that have a retired spouse, you can get a tax credit for contributing to a 401(k) or another retirement savings plan. This is also a great incentive for those that are just starting out in their careers and need another reason to start saving for the future.