Career path: Dietitian or Bakery Owner?
posted by meringue to Work & Money (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm trying to decide whether or not it's worth it to go back to school and become a dietitian, or if I should concentrate on opening my own bakery.
I currently work as a baker, and have for about seven years. When I graduated from high school, I moved out, and to support myself I worked foodservice jobs while I attempted to go to university. After a couple of years of attending classes on and off, I decided that there was no point in continuing to study. I had been pursuing a BA in Geography with the intent of going on to study Urban Planning at the graduate level, but I felt that there were too many obstacles, no guarantee of a job at the end, and that I would be better off choosing a vocation that would pay me more than minimum wage.
So, I took a course in baking and was able to find better paying work, and while I enjoy baking, I have always been dissatisfied with my jobs. For the first month or so of a new job, it is challenging and interesting, and I think that I've found someplace that I can stay for a while and be happy doing it. Then it all becomes routine, boring, and I start to dread going to work. I always feel that I have to stay for at least a year though, partly because my resume is starting to get a little long, and partly because I feel guilty for leaving - I feel like I would be letting down my boss and my coworkers. I also have a mortgage and bills to pay, so I have to have another job lined up when I leave, and I have become increasingly picky about where I will even apply, let alone accept a job.
I know that it's time for a change, but I am unsure what direction to take. I think that I have it narrowed down to two options - Dietitian or Bakery Owner - but even then I have my doubts, and wonder if I should get away from anything to do with food. I have struggled with disordered eating much of my life, and while I feel that it is under control now, I did go through a serious eating disorder phase, and have also struggled with depression. On the one hand, part of me thinks that by working with food, it has become less of an obsession and that by becoming a dietitian I could help other people with food issues; on the other hand, I sometimes wonder whether any career associated with food is part of an unhealthy obsession.
Leaving aside the above issues, I have specific pros and cons about each career, and about the impact following either path will have on my personal life.
Bakery owner pros: I have experience and training as a baker, enjoy the hands-on nature and creativity, would allow me to be my own boss
Bakery owner cons: the hours can be detrimental to home/family/social life, a large investment of money and time, I would not be able to start it for several years because I would like to have children soon, wherever I start a bakery is the place I would be committing to live for several years.
Although the idea of having my own bakery is appealing for the freedom and control over product I would have, I worry about being tied down to one place. I have always wanted to travel but haven't been able to afford it, as my husband and I were focussed on buying a house and paying off old bills. We also want to have children soon, and that would preclude starting a bakery for several years. However, the idea of working as a baker until any potential children are in preschool is very disheartening.
Dietitian pros: can work for myself (I believe) or for someone else, interesting and challenging, my background both in foodservice & with eating issues could be an asset, I would be helping people and "making a difference", I prefer dealing with people one-on-one rather than working with the public, could take university classes part-time if I had children, professional status
Dietitian cons: many years of schooling, required one-year unpaid internship, salary seems low (as per dietitians.ca), requires me to retake highschool classes.
The schooling required to become a dietitian is one of the biggest things holding me back. Although I took sciences in high school, my marks were poor as I was dealing with depression & an eating disorder. I would have to retake the high school courses, which would add an extra year to my studies. I am also not especially scientifically inclined, although I checked the specific course requirements for the degree and believe that I could do it. Adding school to working part-time and having kids would be tough, but it would also give me a goal to work towards which is something I really crave.
Any advice/information about either career is appreciated, or feel free to tell me not to pursue either, just tell me why.