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How to Start a New Career in the Food Industry: Educate Yourself Part 1

Welcome to our newest series: How to Start a New Career in the Food Industry. For many people, breaking into the food industry can be an intimidating process. Whether you’re just starting out or transitioning to food as a second or third career, it’s hard to know where to start. What career opportunities exist in food? How do your skills translate to food? How do you get a job with no experience in the industry? How do you learn as much as possible as quickly as possible? I know this, because I’ve been through (err, am still going through) it.

Though I’ve always loved food and cooking, I never wanted to be a chef. There were no food studies programs when I went to college, so I never really thought of food as a viable career. I didn’t know what other types of food jobs existed, so I maintained food as a hobby while I pursued a different professional track in the theater. It wasn’t until almost a decade after I had graduated from college that I left my career in theater and restaurant work to pursue a career in food. I enrolled in a masters program in Food Studies at NYU and started an internship at a food justice non-profit. I worked hard to educate myself – voraciously reading as much as I could, launching a podcast and a food writing career.  Since graduating, I have worked on the Milan Expo, the first World’s Fair devoted to food, written for numerous food publications, worked with a travel startup and started a second podcast.

While I’m still on my journey to finding my perfect food career (my dream is to find a balance between writing and radio that somehow pays the bills), I’ve learned a ton along the way, which I will be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks in our newest series: How to Start a New Career in the Food Industry. This series is going to cover the basics of how to begin navigating a career in food and agriculture, whether you are interested in marketing, technology, design, operations, media, sales, science or policy.

The first step in pursuing a career in food is to get educated. Luckily, there are endless resources available in terms of books, podcasts, movies, websites, and symposiums. This first post will cover a few of the books, websites, and publications, podcasts and movies out there that can help you get your bearings in the food world. Check out part 2 with a list of conferences and events to attend plus organizations that can offer an important introduction to food policy, food culture and sustainability issues.

Are we missing anything? Share additional resources here.

Looking to launch a career in food? Check out exciting food tech, design, management, operations, development, and food science positions atFood+Tech Jobs.

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