The top 4 characteristics of food people (and what they mean for your career), part 3 of 4.

This week, we're continuing our exploration of the four most common characteristics of the passionate food lovers who contact me for career help. Check out last week's post and the post from two weeks ago to catch up on the first half of this four part series. 

Of all the characteristics my clients and fellow food-lovers seem to share, the most common of all is a certain kind of wide-ranging, big idea-generating creativity.

We think strategically. We think in terms of possibility. Even for activists who don’t work in kitchens, for policy makers, and marketers, food and cooking usually serve as mediums for self–expression and as instruments of change. 

I think, when it comes down to it, almost all food people are creatives at heart. It took me a really long time to own the idea that I was "a creative" and to think of myself in those terms, but when I realized that creativity in my work was something I could not live without, my approach to my career changed completely. No matter how great the organization, I no longer considered jobs where doing creative work would not be an option for me. 

For some of us, being creative visionaries with big ideas may be part of what led us to want to work in food in the first place.

But when we find ourselves working in rather traditional work environments (9-5, office, desk, computer, cubicle), we can feel stifled and unsatisfied, even in a food job.

The thing is, while creativity is absolutely an asset, for the truly creative, it might also be the source of some serious frustration.  

When you’re constantly thinking up new ideas, curious about new topics, brainstorming, and daydreaming about what’s possible, routine, workaday work can feel like it will never be quite enough to satisfy you.

If you’re feeling unfulfilled, antsy, or bored with your current food job, unused creativity might be the culprit.

Ask yourself if your job provides you with the opportunity to flex your creative muscles. (BTW, flexing your creative muscles doesn’t have to mean cooking or design. It could mean marketing, brainstorming, or teaching children).

If you realize that your current position leaves something to be desired on the creativity front, see if you can find ways to incorporate a few new creative tasks into your role at work. If that's not possible, start a creative project outside of work. You could start a food blog, sell your desserts on the side, or create a supper club.

A creative project can be a great outlet for your many interests and new ideas, and the perfect testing ground for a business you’ve been dreaming up. Plus, you never know where it may lead.

Now you: I’m curious to know how you get to express your creativity at work? Do you find you have enough creative outlets? What are some ways you express your creativity outside of work?

Leave a comment below and share some ways that your creativity has impacted your jobs and your career choices. And if you liked this post, please share it! 

Wanna work with me 1:1? Head over here.

Emily Halpern