This might seem like a weird place to vent a bit, but I'm going to give it a go. I feel stuck. I'm a 26 year old man who feels as though any opportunity has passed him by. I've been working steady as a painter for the last 5 years, all the while growing more and more passionate about baking. i bake as much as my schedule, and my budget, allows me to - and I love it. My question is what do I do? I went to almost every bakery in my hometown (Omaha,NE) and one of the managers (Wheatfields) actually said that I was too old to teach, the others either weren't interested or weren't hiring. I never felt more worthless in my life. Even though I knew the man at Wheatfields was wrong, it left me feeling very despondent, and extremely skeptical as to whether or not a career in baking was really for me. Maybe the cards were just dealt differently.
What's your advice? For those of you that are bakers out there, or who own bakeries, what are you looking for? Is a four-year degree what makes or breaks it? Is it passion? Is it trainability? Perception? Personality? I feel as though I'm trying as hard as I possibly can to really make a go at learning more and more about the art of bread, but I'm doing it alone. A no one will take a chance on me.
Again, this really does sound like a confessional, I apologize. I figure who better to ask than people who are as passionate about bread as I! Really, any advice at all would be appreciated. The main question, really, is would spending $20,000 on an education just to have a degree in baking be worth it?