So – it would appear that getting involved in office politics isn’t one of your strong points. When you thought rounding up a few of your colleagues to talk about the new boss over a lunchtime at the pub was a good idea, it turned out your new boss had already put their company credit card behind the bar to pay for all the drinks. Alas, your feeble attempt at ousting them resulted in you being the person that got ousted.
You will now have to spend your days trawling the free sheets looking for vacant positions – but wait! What about a career change? You hadn’t worked in your last industry before securing your first job in it so why not do the same thing again?
Have you considered becoming a Flavourist?
You’ll get to spend most of the day developing new flavours that cover up the fact that mechanically separated chicken probably contains very little chicken.
If wearing a white coat and smelling and tasting things whilst mixing chemicals together sounds like it could be a blast, here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:
1. Get a degree
Most flavourists or food scientists as they sometimes like to be known, will initially enter the profession by acquiring an undergraduate degree at an accredited University or college. Biology and/or Chemistry will need to be your subject of choice and the plan is that you should then progress on to a food specific course at post-graduate level. Please note that a food specific course doesn’t entail having a kebab every time you stumble home drunk from a boozy night out at the student union.
2. Have lots of curiosity
Your job as a flavourist will include lots of putting chemicals together that either aren’t usually put together, or have never been put together before so a keen creative curiosity is paramount. If you were the sort of kid that always got into trouble for eating your mother’s lipstick or other such things that overly-curious children do, a career as a flavourist might be just the ticket for you.
3. Be an enthusiast in the kitchen
Your skills as a flavourist will include an intuitive understanding of food composition and you’ll also be required to do a fair bit of cooking so it helps if you have at least some level of culinary expertise. Whilst your day-to-day existence will involve spending time in the lab cooking up different flavour varieties, the labs in question will all be equipped with the type of cooking equipment you’d expect to find in the average home like cookers, microwaves, blenders etc. (WARNING: This means that your life may involve washing a damn sight more dishes than the average joe as well so be prepared to don the marigolds).
4. A good understanding of food safety
Whilst the majority of your time as a food flavourist will be spent adding various chemicals to different foods to make them taste nice, you’ll need to have a keen understanding of which foods are safe for human consumption. As we’re sure you’ll appreciate, there’s no point in creating the tastiest meal ever made if the person eating it drops down dead a few minutes later – unless you’re a chef on death row of course!
5. Have a good sense of smell and taste
A good sense of smell and taste will be your most treasured attributes if you want to become a successful flavourist, so you should maybe consider cutting down on the cigarettes so you don’t require a vindaloo curry as the minimum flavour strength that registers with your palate.