I often get people asking me advice about going into the culinary industry. I think cooking has to be in the top-ten of the most-fantasized-about careers. A lot of people love to cook. Many of those people are freaking good at it. It's an easy jump to think, hell, why not get paid to do something you love? When contemplating a transition from amateur to professional, the question I encourage people to ask themselves is:
Do you love to cook for yourself, or do you love to cook for other people?
Basically, ask yourself, what part of it gets you off / floats your boat / brings you joy? Is it the part when you've finished creating something with your two hands and you stand back and admire your handiwork? Or is it the part when someone tells you how delicious, beautiful and memorable it was?
It's my experience that the people who survive, thrive and succeed in the culinary world aren't the ones who love to cook, it's the ones who love to serve. In the end, hospitality is all about service, the difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional does it for money. A hobbyist can make whatever they choose for their own pleasure and satisfaction, a professional needs to consider the needs of their customers, their guests.
For a person who loves to create, the culinary industry can feel stifling with its repetitive tasks, deference to the chef and the demands of commerce. Your passion, something you love can be transformed into a regular old J-O-B. On the other hand, there isn't a better gig for the person who loves the instant gratification of seeing their work consumed and enjoyed: you get to throw a party every single night.