I was asked a very interesting question today — How did you know what to do to get to where you are?
Well, I didn’t know. I knew what I liked — I liked to bake. I loved to read (at one point, my ambition was to be a librarian..) I liked to write.. but I had the awful habit of ripping up what was written and starting over because my handwriting looked really bad and I really hated having people read my work. But there wasn’t something I really loved… yet.
And so I was looking for a part-time job and I found this absolutely gorgeous shop that sold cake-decorating equipment — from sprinkles to cake stands and books. And I thought that it would be great if I could work in such a pretty place — I got a job there as a part-time cashier and its hard not to get interested in making pretty things when you’re surrounded by them. So I started to do more than read my favourite decorating books — I got moving. I picked up the courage to play with fondant, then figured out how to tolerate the taste (I only ever use Satin Ice) … And this was all “for fun”, until a couple of friends who had tried my baking decided that they wanted to pay me to customize a set of cupcakes for them. Thinking back, I thank you guys for being so kind with compliments, I cringe looking at the pictures now!!!
This was one of my first paid orders. (It was for a medical student, thus the morbidness… and the inaccuracy is laughable now!)
And so the key here, I think, is placing yourself in an environment that compels you to want to do better. You might say that this is what every wants, but its not easy to find the right environment. And how do you know that its the right one?
Maybe write down a list of things you like, love and hate. Pick the ones you like and use them to focus on the field you might want to get into. Write a list of definite NOs – e.g. I can’t sit still for a long period of time (I get restless), so I cross office jobs that require me to sit for like, the whole day out. Trial and error, be adventurous. Take a crazy job, take risks. Make sure the work that you do is fun and keeps you interested. And know that you don’t know, until you try.
The past 2.5 years have been nothing short of strange & amazing. (I’ve gotten some really strange requests), and I think I might have found something I really like doing. Its not easy work; some days I can easily spend 10 hours on a cake and still have to deal with school work and administrative work like invoicing, answering emails and editing pictures (to skip this step, I use instagram/phone apps). But at the end of the day, I look at the final product.. and its all worth it.
I thought that I should digress from the usual posts, hopefully to inspire you to do what you love.
This post is dedicated to the person who I’ve known like, my whole life — my travel buddy, the gossip queen who knows all my secrets, the weekly gym partner & the foodie who like me, loves salads. I hope this post inspires you and helps you figure out how to work without working & live without feeling like there’s too much time wasted (in a bad job).