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Becoming an Artisan Baker

I don’t really write much about my personal life on here. When I initially started this blog it was somewhere for me to document and share my recipes. I wanted other people to be able to access them because it’s something I get asked about a lot. However my life has changed signifianty since this blog started and I this is a great platform for me to share my experiences as I am now working full time in an artisan bakery.

leaving 9-5 behind

Before starting my new job I worked as a product developer for a food maufacturer. Moving from this role was a huge decision for me and I can’t keep track of the amount of times I googled ‘should I become a baker?’ In various shapes and forms.

In my head I had already made up my mind when I emailed all my local bakeries about jobs, but some of the people around me were concerned about what it would mean for my social life. I was trying to find more things I could add to my “pro” list other than ‘I’ll be doing what I love’ . Unsurprisingly nothing on the internet convinced me either way, there were tales of aching bones and unsociable hours and others of people living their dream and having an amazing work life balance. As I’m sure anyone would say, everyones life is different and only you can make the decision.

A few weeks after I send the initial emails about being a baking jobs, asking whether my skills would be up to scratch and basically begging for any sort of experience, I was offered two full time trainee baker roles! This took me by suprise because I was planning on having to do some extra training before becoming a full time baker and really made the possibility of baking full time a reality.

It was after this I started doubting what I should be doing. The pay cut was one thing to consider. Is the new job going to be worth the holidays and experiences I will miss out on? The hours was another concern. I would be working weekends (well Saturdays) and starting very early in the morning, when would I catch up with friends and spend time with my boyfriend?

I remember sitting down with my parents after I was offered the jobs to decide what to do. I just sat their and burst into tears. We were going through pros and cons of the job and other ways of getting bakery experience through courses or working at a bakery part time. At the time I didn’t understand why I was being so emotional and put it down to stress, but looking back on that time was what confirmed to me I was making the right choice. I realised the reason I was upset was because my dream was in touching distance and there was the possibility of it being taken away.

So I packed up my marketing job ready for the world of early starts and sourdough.

Becoming a Baker

I was naturally nervous about starting my new role. My friends and family were great and supportive of my new job. I worried about my colleagues expecting me to know everything straight away, making stupid mistakes and my new team not liking me. However after my first shift all those worries quickly vanished. The people I work with are all really friendly and helpful, encouraging me to go at my own pace when it comes to training.

I vividly remember finishing my first shift and saying “I can’t belive this is my job now”, it was as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was doing what I loved and getting paid for it! I felt like the luckiest person in the world.

I have no regrets about leaving my 9-5 role. However, starting at 4:30am does have an effect on my life. I can’t do much in the evenings but I meet friends for lunch or for dinner, I lose my Friday night but gain a two and a half day weekend. Also now wothout the stress and anxieties I had at my old job I am now more able to help friends and family and feel as though I actually have more quality time to spend with people because I put the effort in.

My advice for anyone who has a dream of moving away from a ‘normal’ office job is to just try it! The worst that could happen is that you realise it’s not for you. But you might just fall in love with it and regret not doing it sooner.

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