Jamie Oliver

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#1 Fri 02 May 14 11:23am

JAW

Member
Member since Sat 16 Jul 11

Career Advice!

Hi guys,

I studied photography and journalism at uni, where I was struck with the cooking bug. I decided food writing seemed a good direction to head in, so got relevant work experience at magazines, with freelancers etc.

When I finished my degree (summer 2012) I couldn't get any Journalism jobs, so I started photographing food, which thus far hasn't proved much easier in terms of employment.

I have now been offered a year's apprenticeship as a chef, which would mean giving up the photography (for the moment at least) and a messy CV (will this put future employers off?), but obviously I would gain knowledge and experience in the food world. The alternative would seem to be to get a low down job in a publishing/PR company and hopefully work my way up to a writing/picture desk position...

What should I do? Thoughts appreciated!

Last edited by JAW (Fri 02 May 14 11:24am)

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#2 Sat 03 May 14 11:11pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Career Advice!

Its hard to give advice as to what you should do , which you should choose , how your career might progress etc .

But I do think it would be a good idea if you should start a food blog of some sort because this would give you a good outlet for your food photography and also I'm sure you'd be very good at a blog because of your journalism experience.

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#3 Sun 04 May 14 12:16am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Career Advice!

It sounds like you are young enough that whichever you choose will be a great experience, and help you work out your future direction.
From what I understand, the apprentice chef work can be all the boring, gruelling bits, so it will depend very much on the place you are working, and the people you are working with.
The lowdown writing job: similar! Probably less physical.

I had a really messy cv, but when I finally hit my profession (teaching) all the odd bits and pieces meant I had such a wide range and perspective that it worked in my favour. Don't let worry about your cv hold you back.

Go with your heart!
Remember a good experience is a pleasure, and a bad experience gives you wonderful tales to tell for the rest of your life.

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#4 Sun 04 May 14 6:22am

beerforyorky

Forum champ
Occupation Retired
From Surin, N.E. Thailand
Member since Mon 29 Dec 08

Re: Career Advice!

My only advice (for what it's worth) is try and find a job that you enjoy doing. In my experience, if you enjoy it you will be good at it and get even more satisfaction.

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#5 Wed 07 May 14 4:06pm

JAW

Member
Member since Sat 16 Jul 11

Re: Career Advice!

Thanks for your advice people!

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#6 Wed 07 May 14 5:08pm

Abby M

Member
Occupation Community Manager
From Jamie Oliver HQ
Member since Sat 15 Mar 14

Re: Career Advice!

Some advice from Jamie...

1. If you're going to get a weekend job as a kid or a student, get one in a restaurant, pub, fishmongers, butchers or on a fruit and veg stall. All of these are really valid ways of learning about food. Then, as the years go by, try and move on to something different or to a more challenging restaurant.

2. Use the summer holidays to do a work placement in a really exciting hotel or restaurant. Whether it's for a week or a month, you'll get a real feel for the kitchen and the way a team works together. After this, you'll have a good idea whether you can handle the job, the hours, the money and the ups and downs that happen working in a high-level pressured kitchen. I've never heard of any head chef who's refused an enthusiastic stranger on the end of a phone the chance to come and do a work placement for free. It's quite common and charming for it to happen to any chef and you may find yourself with a good job offer at the end of it!

3. Having done those last two, you now have three options to consider, none of which are necessarily the right answer:
(a) Go straight into a professional job. Jump in at the deep end with possibly not enough skills but be bold enough to carry it off.
(b) Go to the best local catering college and do a two- or three-year course that focuses mainly on cooking but also gives you an insight into the science of cooking, French culinary language, the front-of-house, management and accounting sides of the business. That's what I did and I enjoyed it, but I did find that it lacked the real feel and vibe of the kitchen. I found working in restaurants over the holidays and on weekends gave me a really good balance.

(c) I've always thought arranging to do day release over two or three years at a good local college is a really good idea. It means you can get a full-time job, which challenges, inspires and pays you, and with your employer's support (and often this includes financial support), you can go to college one day a week.
To finish off, it really is down to you. There's nothing that you can't achieve with hard work, passion and real commitment for cooking. Read as many books as you can get your hands on and try to work in other countries if you can for authenticity. I used to save up and go out for a posh meal with my fellow chefs every five weeks for education. Do all this and you'll be laughing. I don't consider myself a don of cooking but I love what I do and I do it properly with passion and that will always shine through. So get stuck in, get cooking and good luck!

You can find information on the Fifteen training scheme, run by the Jamie Oliver Foundation here http://www.fifteen.net/

Good luck JAW!

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#7 Fri 16 May 14 11:34am

JAW

Member
Member since Sat 16 Jul 11

Re: Career Advice!

Thanks for that Abby M! Very much appreciated. I shall get cooking!

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#8 Fri 16 May 14 4:59pm

Thistledo

Member
Occupation Retired something or other
From English immigrant in S. Wales
Member since Fri 07 Dec 12

Re: Career Advice!

BUT Jaw, do keep all your options open, please.  Remain in touch with your photography and writing, etc.  You never know when you may need those skills.
Good luck to you. crossed

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#9 Wed 28 May 14 11:53am

xandyxeno

Member
Member since Wed 28 May 14

Re: Career Advice!

You didn't find any job in the journalism category, so better to module your career food photography. Just create your own food photography blog and get the response. Based upon the reviews you can proceed to begin your career in this field.


<a href="http://youthdirect.org.uk/">apprenticeship vacancy</a>
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#10 Wed 28 May 14 12:35pm

cannyfradock

Member
Occupation Builder (bricklayer/ stonemason)
From S.Wales.
Member since Sat 10 Oct 09

Re: Career Advice!

JAW

What a great bit of advice from Jamie/Abby M.

I still think that the comments from xandyxeno and Mummza are worth considering. Even if you go full time into working within the cooking industry.....but your passion is photography, and food photography, create a blog for yourself. A Wordpress blog is favored by many. A blog can be created and run in your spare time and there's lots of social media things you can do to promote your blog.

Terry

p.s.....you can also create your own blog here....click on the "Blogs" button in the l/h column and follow the instructions.

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