Career Advice for the Food-Obsessed

By Jen Murphy Posted December 04, 2008

Our multi-talented features department intern Kaitlyn Goalen will graduate from NYU this Spring, but she isn't fazed by the lousy job market. Here, she tells why there's hope for job hunters who have a passion for food:

In May, I’ll graduate from college, a fact as terrifying as it is exciting.  The task of joining the workforce looms, and my timing couldn’t be worse;  the job market is pretty dismal. But I recently got a boost of optimism after sitting down to speak with Irena Chalmers, author of the new book Food Jobs.  Though I don’t know if I’d be any good as a chewing-gum taster or a professional egg peeler (two examples in her book), I can certainly appreciate Chalmers’s underlying message: find a niche.  She details her own unlikely path, from teaching neurological anatomy to running a cooking school and selling kitchen equipment. Chalmers would write small pamphlets with recipes and instructions for the kitchen tools she sold, and this eventually led to a career writing single-subject cookbooks.  Any time a new tool came out, Chalmers viewed it as a book idea, from woks to microwaves. Despite her success, Chalmers has no plans to retire.  And after listening to her inspiring journey, I’ll never chew gum or peel eggs the same way again.

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