Piece of Cake
Piece of Cake
Taking your career from dull to delicious is much like adding frosting to a cake. Sure, you could just sift and stir something up and bake it. It might pass a taste test, but it would not really amaze your taste buds. Just add some extra frosting and your career can be as delightful as a piece of cake.

These thoughts came to me when the domestic diva within me emerged and insisted that I made my very special “Deep Dark Mocha Torte.” This sinfully delicious creation requires that the best ingredients be skillfully measured, stirred and baked to perfection.

As I contemplated the lovely chocolate cake layers cooling on my kitchen counter, I thought how much they were like my paralegal career – doesn’t everyone’s thinking work like this? No?

Okay, it may seem a little weird, but let me explain.

Those scrumptious chocolate cakes, you see, would have been quite tasty just as they were. They were “perfect” as far as they went, but with the addition of a rich and creamy frosting, they would exceed mere perfection and become the heart of something greater than the sum of its parts.

My career has much in common with that cake. I have gathered the best ingredients (planning, determination, discipline, hope, education, hard work, and a great job), but without the “frosting,” it would be like those bare cake layers – pretty good, but somewhat plain and boring. Instead of settling for a “sift-and-stir” career, I decided to add some “frosting” to make my paralegal career spectacular.

No matter what career you are in, you can take some special steps to concoct the frosting for your career.

Certification – Getting additional certification can help set you apart from others in the same line of work. It also gives you additional credibility.

Association Membership – If there is a state or local association for your particular career you should join. Becoming a member creates opportunities for networking and continuing education. Taking an active role in the association and participating affords you the opportunity to forge the future of your chosen profession.

Networking – Connections and friendships you build will forever serve you in your career as well as providing a personal comfort.

Continuing Education – The key is to never stop learning. Seek knowledge in other fields as well as in your own profession.

Writing – Contribute your knowledge and expertise to your state and national publications.

Mentoring – Helping others who are getting started in the profession or who may have met a bump in the road will add a layer of frosting that is as sweet to you as to others.

The recurring theme here is altruism. It is putting the concepts of karma and the Golden Rule to work to make the most delicious “cake” you can out of your career. Almost everyone around you will take notice. And, from time to time, you can relax and relish a slice of what you have done for yourself as well as others.

Here is the recipe:

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rum or water
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso coffee granules

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons milk

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine)
1/3 cup whipping cream

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325ºF for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottoms only of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with shortening (do not use cooking spray); lightly flour. Make and cool cakes as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch round pans.
2. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, stir granulated sugar, rum and coffee granules until coffee is dissolved. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Cool completely.
3. In medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients on low speed just until blended, adding enough milk for spreading consistency; set aside.
4. In 1-quart saucepan, heat all ganache ingredients over low heat, stirring frequently, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
5. Cut each cake layer horizontally to make 2 layers. (To cut, mark side of cake with toothpicks and cut with long, thin knife.) Brush about 1 tablespoon of the rum mixture over cut side of each layer; let stand 1 minute to soak into cake. Fill each layer with about 2/3 cup filling. Spread ganache over side and top of torte. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Follow High Altitude cake mix directions on box for 8- or 9-inch pans.

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