I Am Torn!! (Sorry Soooo Long)

Decorating By kkswmmr114 Updated 2 Sep 2008 , 8:33pm by step0nmi

kkswmmr114 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:09pm
post #1 of 28

So about 3 1/2 years ago I was a senior in high school and about three months from graduating. I was looking for a job and a friend that my mom works with said that a local (very small) bakery was looking for some help because their girl was leaving for college. I am staying home for college so that is not a factor for me. This lady, we will call her Linda, works part time in the bakery because the owner is her friend. I went into the bakery about 5 times to fill out an application and be persistent about how much I wanted to work there. At this time I was not into cake decorating but I have always liked baking so I thought that I could learn fast and it would be fun. It turns out the girl wasn't leaving or something or other and they didn't hire me. So I got another job and then another one, my current one. I am a Secondary English Education major and I graduate in May. My place of work is a tutoring service so I am basically working now in the field I will be working in when I graduate. About a year ago I really got into making cakes, with the help of this website, and I would say I am not too bad at the whole decorating thing, considering I have never had formal training or taken a class.

Okay, here is where it gets interesting. Yesterday at about 9:30 in the morning my mom calls me (I don't work on Sundays) from her work at the hospital and asks me if I can make a cake for a volunteer that came in today and it was his birthday the day before... by 12:00. I also have to run to the store. I finish the cake at 11:45 and I have it at the hospital by 12:00. At this point I am very happy with myself for finishing the cake and I think it looks pretty darn good. It would like for it to have been smoother and the frosting was melting as I was piping because my kitchen was so hot from the oven, but overall it looks acceptable.
So last night my mom come home from work and says that she has some interesting news for me. Linda, the lady that works part time at the bakery, hunted my mom down at work yesterday and basically told her that if I went into the bakery they would hire me on the spot. They are apparently in desperate need of a good decorator, they recently hired someone who said they could decorate and they can't so they need someone now.

I am very confused now. I don't really know now if what I want to do for the rest of my life is be a teacher. I love my job and I have worked very hard to prepare myself for my very near future. But now that I have discovered that I love cake decorating, I am wondering if that is where I really want to be. Quitting my current job and going to work for the bakery at this point would ruin everything I have worked for over the last 3 years. I have always told people who said I need to own my own bakery that doing it for a job would just make it not fun anymore. But now I am wondering if I am just lying to myself when I say that. I have always been so sure about what I want to do with my life, now I am completely confused!!

Anyone have any advice??

27 replies
PinkZiab Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:15pm
post #2 of 28

Is there any way to work part-time at the bakery for a while to see if that's really what you want? I mean yes even if you leave your current job, once you are done with school there's not reason you can't go back to your original career choice if baking doesn't work out. Could you possibly take a leave of absence for a couple months to try out the bakery? Not trying to confuse you more, just give some options.

kkswmmr114 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:20pm
post #3 of 28

I have thought of that. I am the only person at my current job that does what I do so when I am gone there is no one to cover for me. I have thought about just taking it as a second job, but I am also taking 12 hours with senior level courses. Two jobs and then school on top of that I think would be too hard... gosh I wish this had come up in the summer instead!! Then I could have taken the second job and been fine with it...

tonia3604 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:36pm
post #4 of 28

It wouldn't hurt to atleast go in and talk to Linda. If the bakery doesn't pay as well as your current job that may make the decision much easier for you.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:40pm
post #5 of 28

IMO you should stick to the course and finish what you've started. Working in a bakery is not all fun and games. It is a LOT of hard work and cranking out the cakes. Owning one is even more stressful. Not to say you shouldn't pursue this in the future but there will always be a need for cakes and you're so close to finishing what you are doing it would be a shame to not follow it through. Again, JMO.

julesn20716 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:42pm
post #6 of 28

I would definitely finish school seeing as you are "so close." Even if you take up the bakery job full time you may evenually want to return to teaching so it would be good to have your teaching credentials to fall back on. If you can work something out part time that gives you some time to sleep then that would be good - or can you cut back your hours at your current job and work both part time? Just thinking out loud here so it may not be practical.

kkswmmr114 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:48pm
post #7 of 28

Thank you all for responding. I appreciate that other people are thinking the same thing I am. Of course I am going to finish school. That isnt an option!! Lol... my mom would kill me. I guess I am just freaked out because I am second guessing what I thought I wanted to do with my future. I have never been one to second guess like that and now it is a very wierd feeling!! I will just have to think about it. Thanks again!!

DMCG Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:51pm
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by julesn20716

I would definitely finish school seeing as you are "so close." Even if you take up the bakery job full time you may evenually want to return to teaching so it would be good to have your teaching credentials to fall back on. If you can work something out part time that gives you some time to sleep then that would be good - or can you cut back your hours at your current job and work both part time? Just thinking out loud here so it may not be practical.




DITTO! thumbs_up.gif

There is always another cake decorating job somewhere!

omaida Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:51pm
post #9 of 28

Finish school, you have plenty of time to get into real cake decorating and if that ever fails you still have your degree to fall back on.
Best of luch to you

OhMyGanache Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:55pm
post #10 of 28

Cake decorators in a bakery are a bunch of divas in my opinion. I've worked with women in many settings - and it has NEVER been as bad as when I worked in a bakery - and it's so much worse if you are better/faster (or heck, even PRETTIER) than they are. (Sorry if that applies to any of you - just stating my experience)

This is why I cannot work with them and started my own business.

I would continue with the school/training and consider working part time at the bakery just to see how you really like it. Trust me - you might not.

lu9129 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:57pm
post #11 of 28

SCHOOL, SCHOOL, SCHOOL!

You can always do cakes on the side for family and friends.

Get established in you career and then you can make decisions then.

LU

this-mama-rocks Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:57pm
post #12 of 28

I would definitely finish school. Teachers are in very short supply, so you will have a great opportunity to choose where you want to work, whether it be in your hometown, or a different part of the country. Make a few free cakes for the other teachers & staff at your school, to build good will among your coworkers, get some practice, & get feedback. When you feel ready, do what you have to do to get licensed as a home bakery in your state, then start taking orders as your schedule allows. That way, you can be a full-time baker/decorator when school is out, and you have the job security from being a teacher.

You don't have to completely map out your life within the next 8 months - think of your career as a chapter book. Some chapters can be longer than others! HTH

mandi1613 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 3:08pm
post #13 of 28

kkswimmr114 I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN!!! i have been going to school for a while now with intent of becoming a nurse. i just recently (about 6 months ago) took up cake decorating and i love it. I never thought i could have a creative side to me at all. I really enjoy baking and cake decorating but i am afraid if i went to pastry school and made it my full time job that it would lose it's appeal. i wish i could give you an answer but i can't, so i would suggest finishing school (which i know you are) go to the bakery and tell them you can work for them part time but they have to work around your schedule. if they really want you they will work with you. God Bless.

Cakebelle Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 3:28pm
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by julesn20716

I would definitely finish school seeing as you are "so close." Even if you take up the bakery job full time you may evenually want to return to teaching so it would be good to have your teaching credentials to fall back on. If you can work something out part time that gives you some time to sleep then that would be good - or can you cut back your hours at your current job and work both part time? Just thinking out loud here so it may not be practical.





Absolutely! Finish School! nothing like good a education!

AZCakeGirl Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 3:35pm
post #15 of 28

I would stay with what you are doing for now since you have your plate full & are almost finished with school. Maybe do a cake on the side once in a while like you did for your mom. Once you are done with school & have more time available, you could apply at any bakery for part-time work around your teaching job & see how you like it.

As opposed to before when you didn't get the job.....remember you are more experienced now & there is actually a bakery telling you that they would hire you on the spot! This means that most likely, any bakery that has an opening would probably consider you for the position as long as you can show them your portfolio.

quilting2011 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 3:59pm
post #16 of 28

Finish your education; I work during the day as a CPA and just completed my bakery/pastry diploma on weekends at ICE in New york. I work with a friends at cake decorating store and just got hired to work on Saturdays and tuesday nights. My friends is a pastry chef that caters at weddings but also has a day job as RN on call.

Your education is important! You can teach and bake on weekends. I work fulltime, have triplets, and also completed my MBA last year.

Please complete your education.

moxey2000 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:15pm
post #17 of 28

No decision that you make is going to be perfect, but it also isn't 'written in stone'...meaning it isn't permanent. If you never try then you'll never know. I'm a "jump in with both feet" person, done it all my life, and it's taken me to some really interesting places.

Do your homework by going to the bakery, talking to whomever you need to, scope it out, find out the salary, how the job might fit into your schedule, etc. Then decide if you want it badly enough. You aren't throwing away 3 years of preparation by taking a detour! Life is full of choices and this is only the first of many for you. Best of luck to you!

tonedna Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:26pm
post #18 of 28

I would say talk to the owner..finish school.. YOu can do both. If she is not up to help you with finish school, then something is not right in her brain. YOU SHOULD FINISH SCHOOL!..If this is a passion for you, you can still do it on the side, or when you finish. But dont stop your schooling when you are so close to finish, after so many years of working hard. Is always something you will have to fall back into.
Edna

terrig007 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:29pm
post #19 of 28

My parents always told me that they can't take your degree away from you. I am also a teacher myself and taught for 17 years. However, at the birth of my disabled child I was no longer able to return to teaching (for a multitude of reasons trouble finding daycare for a special needs child being one of them) and got into taking cake classes. I probably won't return to the classroom but I do keep my certificates from GA & VA up. I would never not continue my education. You're a lot younger than me but once you have that degree, it's yours. I'm not sure if you're in your final year but if you are you have student teaching to look forward to which takes a lot of time. I would talk to Linda and see if she can accomodate you but there is always the summer (even though we're not off as much as people think) to work in her bakery. Remember, Tammy Wynette still kept up her hairdresser's certificates even though she was quite famous.

JP Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:32pm
post #20 of 28

It sounds as if you are intent on finishing your education, which should be your priority. Taking the bakery job, provided that the income is sufficient for what you need right now, will not derail your teaching aspirations! If the position works out for you, it would be a great opportunity to get your feet wet in the baking business and see if you would later like to pursue baking/decorating as a career. In the interim, your teaching will provide you with a steady income with which to fund your decorating and save some for a bakery of your own, if you decide that is the path you want to follow.

I love cooking and baking, but chose not to make it my career. I am an attorney and love having the income to buy the supplies I want to experiment with.

grama_j Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:35pm
post #21 of 28

Nothing to be "torn" about....... not at this stage of your life........
You started something, now finish it...... You say you LOVE your job and it corodinates with your schooling...... Teaching is your chosen profession..... decorating is your chosen HOBBY...... AFTER school and getting established in your PROFESSION, combine the two ! Take some classes for decorating, and teach it on the weekends or in the evenings.... Decorating is not going to pay you what teaching will, and you will NEVER get the bennefits you would get with your teaching job......

jennym0904 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:36pm
post #22 of 28

I would say finish school, as well. If you're a teacher that has most of june, july and aug you could start out doing cakes during the summer (busy wedding season). I am a teacher as well and would love to get into the business, but I want to make sure I am certain and make the switch. I will probably do it gradually and with a partner! good luck!

bitofsnshn Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 2:14am
post #23 of 28

never hurts to talk to her.

Worst case scenario finish school and if the bakery doesn't pan out you still have a career in education to fall back on.

quilting2011 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 2:54am
post #24 of 28

Best of luck. I have an accountant friend by day and nights works at an art gallery.

One of my classmates at the culinary school teaches is a reading specailist at a local elementary school and on weekends works as an assistant to a well known cake decorater in NY.

I have my accounting day job to fall back on. I love making cakes and pursuing it as a hobby. Currently, I work at a friends baking shop baking cakes, pastries and candies. It is a great learning experience for me.

I also work Tuesday nights helping my friend with her bakery.

We decided to specialize in vegan cakes and cupcakes.

Most of our clients are vegans.

annacakes Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 7:58pm
post #25 of 28

Hi! Definitely finish your degree.

Bakery work is hard. I did it just part-time for 2 years and learned firsthand just how hard it can be. I love, love to decorate cakes and learned a lot there but when it's Friday and there are 25 cakes to be done (and done nicely) the pressure is ON.

You will stand for hours at a time. You will need to decipher things like "a man cake - in man colors" and figure out how to do "a picture of the new house with a swimming pool in the back". Creative opportunities abound but there ARE only so many hours in a day so you need to meet the requirements but get all the work done too. More than once I saw my work mate cry under the pressure.

I still do lots of cakes and will go back into a bakery at some point (I'm currently a cake decorating instructor) but I'm glad I learned and experienced what I did. This job is not for everyone.

Once you have the degree, give the bakery job a shot and see what you think. It's not like you can't go back and forth between the two!

Anna

tracycakes Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 8:16pm
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by grama_j

Nothing to be "torn" about....... not at this stage of your life........
You started something, now finish it...... You say you LOVE your job and it corodinates with your schooling...... Teaching is your chosen profession..... decorating is your chosen HOBBY...... AFTER school and getting established in your PROFESSION, combine the two ! Take some classes for decorating, and teach it on the weekends or in the evenings.... Decorating is not going to pay you what teaching will, and you will NEVER get the bennefits you would get with your teaching job......




I agree with grama_j, finish your degree and let cake decorating be a hobby for now. There is nothing that says that later on, after more experience, you can pursue cake decorating more.

mpaigew Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 8:26pm
post #27 of 28

It has been my experience that when I am torn about a decision, then I should just stick with what I am currently doing. This is a life altering decision, so if you are wavering and unsure, then your probably know in your heart that you shouldn't do it.

I would finish school first...that is a lot of $ you will lose if you don't finish, and that piece of paper means a lot, even if it doesn't end up being your chosen field.

step0nmi Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 8:33pm
post #28 of 28

girl! you are not the only one with this dilemma! icon_lol.gif

you definitely know that you need to continue your education...obviously that is not an option.
what I can tell you is this...I am a full-time student as well, but I don't have another job...school IS my job. So you have to figure out what your primary job is (school) and then what you MOST want to do second...and IF you think you have time for 1 or two days a week then try then try adding the other thing in.

I definitely think that working in a bakery is going to be a different experience than you think...so if you want to get your feet wet you can always see what it is like before you move on with a certain career. But, don't think that if you move on to cake decorating that your degree was for nothing! I am having this same discussion with my husband. I want to take my cake decorating to the next level but not sure if I am in the right area to do this...so, I am a Communication Major and want to start on the Events Committee at school! My husband has NO idea why I would want to do this along with doing cakes because they just don't seem to match...but just because I am doing cakes NOW doesn't mean that I can't one day add in Events to my career. (which is what I want to do also and no one can tell me I can't do both) you really never can tell what may happen with your life...
maybe take the risk for a while and see where it takes you icon_wink.gif

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