The topic of job satisfaction is particularly topical in our house: my husband and I talk about it a lot. And along with it we discuss meritocracy, self-conscious beautiful women and sycophants of various sizes. Many times we talk about the changing jobs at 30 years of age or older. Actually, my husband is very young and has recently entered the working world while I changed jobs at the age of 30. So when I received a nice email yesterday with the subject line: "Does it make sense to become a Sommelier at 40?"I thought I would respond to Laura with an article on my wine blog. First of all, however, I would like to thank Laura and my husband who inspired me to do this.
In a few months I will be 36 years old and my life can be described, on the whole, as more than fulfilling. With the limits of the pandemic, that is. In fact, despite having a rather pantophobic nature and loving the quiet of the lake I really can't stand being indoors any longer. Here in Lombardy, then, the situation borders on the dramatic: we have had more days in the orange and red zones since March 2020 than normal days. Inevitably, too, this pandemic has hit the Ho.Re.Ca. sector particularly hard with consequences that will be difficult to predict in the long term. I say difficult because I do not want to be completely catastrophic: I remain deeply convinced that from ruins come the greatest beauties. There is no renewal without destruction.
For me, the Coronavirus is World War III. Of course, a war fought in a different way and against an invisible enemy... but if the dead in Italy during the Second World War averaged 200 per day, let us remember that even today more than 600 people died of Covid-19. I grew up with my grandparents and they told me about the hunger they experienced, and when I think of the Quiche Lorraine I had for dinner or the champagne by Jean-Philippe Trousset it is easy to think that the Coronavirus is much less serious. Indeed, after even Biden swore yesterday, we are all more reassured that there are no incoming bombings being hatched by a strange orange Captain Phenomenon. Never underestimate what we are experiencing: it is the first half of a revolution destined to change the world.
In the third quarter of 2020 605,000 jobs melted away like snow in the sun and the heaviest bill - for a change - was paid by women and young people with almost 460,000 fewer jobs. More than 40% of employees found themselves laid off while more than 700,000 freelancers stopped working almost completely. In contrast the home-work combination has been completely disrupted and - let me tell you - it's about time. I honestly find it absurd that offices still exist: they serve no purpose other than stealing time and money from both companies and workers. Smart working has become a kind of great social experiment with some workers fully satisfied, others who have adapted and still others who have been rather annoyed with this new workspace concept. So it can be said that this pandemic triggered the accelerator to a series of changes that were only a matter of time and I have not yet mentioned distance learning and social relations. It can be said that Covid-19 taught the value of the Internet to the most backward individuals and reinforced its use in regular users. Thanks to the internet, people worked, studied and communicated with their loved ones.
You may be wondering what this reflection has to do with becoming a Sommelier at 40. I am not here to give you infallible strategies on how to change jobs at 40but I want to reflect with you on a historical period that I find perfect for doing so. Think about it: for as many jobs have evaporated and as many positions have been burnt as many have been created. If you want to become a professional sommelier and work in a restaurant, perhaps now is not the best time. But if you want to become a Sommelier and work in digital - just like me - this is the magic moment. I therefore believe that Laura - and all the people like her who are wondering whether or not it makes sense to take the sommelier course with the aim of making it a profession - must start from this. Working in Smart Working as an employee or freelancer requires great responsibility and concentration. It's definitely not for everyone, but I think it can become the perfect method for a good portion. And with a small desk like mine, a computer and a printer you can really do anything!
For this, if you like the idea of becoming a digital sommelier, I advise you to seize a moment full of opportunities. For example, you can select your favourite wines and open your own online wine shop with an e-commerce with a low investment (from €2,800, contact me for a quote) and no warehouse: agree with wineries to drop ship with a minimum of one carton at a time. Wineries need new digital channels and now is definitely the perfect time to invest in this type of business.
If you are still not convinced, I'll tell you what convinced me to work in Smart Working about 9 years ago: the freedom to live wherever the hell I want! I live in a beautiful residence of second homes - for others - and first home - for me - on a beautiful little lake island. If you work in the digital world, you can live anywhere you want, from your favourite travel destination (all you need is an internet connection) to that beautiful little southern village of ten souls that you love so much and from which you fled because you thought it lacked opportunities! This also makes me imagine - but I don't know if I am too utopian - a redistribution of wealth: from big cities to any small town.
Finally, I believe that those who will benefit most from this revolution will be the young people. The crisis triggered by the Coronavirus acts like the yeast for classic method sparkling wine: at the beginning it takes everything away from you, but if you have time to wait it will give you back with interest everything it took away from you! Young people have technology in their blood and are used to using it. Provided they also understand how to exploit the great possibilities of social networks - which have brought previously unattainable personalities within everyone's reach - the possibility opens up for them to be part of large international companies without having to relocate, or rather just buy the top piece of their favourite suit.
So yes, it makes sense to become a sommelier at 40 and it also makes sense if you want to change jobs at the same time. Consider become a Digital Sommelier and find a way to generate value. You can practice in a thousand ways, look for solutions that are not obvious and throw yourself into this Digital Revolution! Italy is a disgrace from the point of view of employment for young people (only 50% of graduates between 25 and 29 years old have a job) and women, (where it is even second to last in Europe). This new scenario I am sure will give all good young men and women a chance to find their career path. And it is precisely their familiarity with computers and especially smartphones that will make them particularly attractive to forward-looking companies.
The Coronavirus will design a new concept of meritocracybroader, capable of not only limiting itself to the qualification, but where skills will go hand in hand with vision and adaptability to those new digital professions - as well as the digitisation of traditional professions - that now more than ever are absolutely necessary.
And what do you think? Scroll down the page and write it in a comment!
PS How about starting by discovering the Best Lombardy wines awarded by AIS Lombardy's ViniPlus?