Career Outlook

Meg Yonson

Meg Yonson

Recipe Developer and Project Manager

How did you get your job?

I'm currently working as a Project Manager in the food and charity space and I do freelance recipe development. I've received mostly all my jobs through word of mouth, and I rely on this for future work.

What’s a typical working day like?

Every day is really different, as I work on a project basis. In the last few months I’ve creating an Immunity eBook with the great people over at Cobram (for their new olive leaf extract), created a Cookbook for Koala, shot outdoor recipe content with We Are Explorers and created the perfect skillet to use at home (which will launch soon with Solid Teknics).

Some days are super creative, some days are admin-heavy behind the computer. I enjoy both!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The flexibility. Being able to work from home a few days a week is pure heaven (particularly in Sydney's summer!). And I love working on different projects, it keeps my work life interesting, I'm constantly meeting new people and learning new skills.

What are the challenges?

My whole week can be a bunch of challenges, I feel I'm constantly problem solving. But I love it! It pushes me and means I'm constantly learning. Some challenges I face constantly are working for myself (invoicing and tax isn't the funnest activity), plus managing my time appropriately for different jobs.

How relevant is your degree in Nutrition?

In a world of excess health and wellness advice, having the qualification of being a Nutritionist is paramount. I'm often contacted for freelance recipe opportunities because I am a nutritionist and it adds credibility to the content I'm creating or the project I'm managing. For example, I've created recipe cards for a protein powder company, meal plans for online health programs, and recipes for healthy cookbooks, for the brand to say a "qualified Nutritionist" created them is a unique selling point for them to use.

How has your career developed and what are your career ambitions?

When I began working in food, I was an editorial intern, then I started creating recipes at home and posting them on Instagram and over time taught myself how to cook, style and take photos, then I started writing recipes at work and my role progressed to managing the recipe creation process. Now I project manage food projects. This usually this involves me working closely with a company to confirm a brief before we get started. I'll do research and look out for trends. Then I'll either brief in talent to help produce the food content, or I'll develop and test the recipes myself. I'll hire a photographer, studio and stylist, work on the food shoot and then get all files ready to hand over to the client. To get these projects I rely heavily on word of mouth, usually from people who I've worked for, or with in the past to recommend me. It's SUPER important to maintain friends and connections in the industry. Opportunities are always out there, but not always advertised, so I find it super important to have a good reputation in the industry you end up in.

What are your top tips for others wanting to do what you're doing?

A few things, firstly, one of my teachers at Endeavour once said to me: "You'll never find the job you want on Seek". And I've always remembered that! It's important to reach out to companies you like and mould the job you have to suit you. And secondly: Just start! If you want to be a writer, recipe developer, whatever, just start! Start cooking, start taking photos and learn how to style through practice, reach out to people in the industry and just create some momentum. If you do nothing, nothing will happen.