Unusual careers / jobs to consider

making the right career choice
making the right career choice | Source

When we are nearing the end of our school days we are usually given ideas by our teachers for careers we might want to consider. All too often these ideas are dull and uninspiring, the usual 'run of the mill' suggestions like secretaries, bankers, chefs, the forces etc. This article aims to offer some more unusual and inspiring alternatives for teenagers deciding what they want to do when they leave school.

When I was about 15 years old I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career, yet now was the time I had to choose which subjects to take in order to achieve my future career.

Like most schools we had a Careers Teacher, and although mine was very nice, he did what I suspect most careers teachers do, and simply recommended all the normal run of the mill jobs that apparently keep the world turning, e.g. secretary, lawyer, shop assistant, banking, chef, the army etc.

At the time, not knowing any better, and because I come from an island where Finance is the main industry, I opted to aim for a job in a bank where I hoped ultimately I would get an excellent salary and be stimulated by my work.

Little did I know just how awful working in a bank would turn out to be for me, and after suffering all the bitchiness aimed at me for a month, I quit, and then went through a succession of other jobs trying to find one which would suit me. In many ways I am still looking, and I am now in my forties. It is too late for me to really consider all the years of study, exams and training required for me to undertake the kind of career I really wished I had chosen when I was at the age I needed to make this life changing decision, but didn't think of, or have suggested to me, those kinds of careers at the time.

Now I am no expert on what qualifications are needed for many of the potentially exciting, alternative careers I am about to suggest youngsters consider when they are deciding how they want to earn their living in the future, but I hope by planting some more original ideas in their heads, they can then go and do the research themselves, or can ask their own careers teachers to find out this information for them. At least this may give them some more interesting options than the standard careers usually suggested by parents and teachers. I only wish someone had suggested these to me at the time, as many of the following careers I am pretty certain I would have loved far more than the various tedious jobs I have ended doing over the years since I left school.

Alternative Careers To Consider.

  • Wildlife Cameraman, advantages are you will get to travel the world and see numerous animals in their native habitats, plus getting paid to film them and ultimately see the results of your efforts being broadcast on television.
  • Forensic Scientist, advantages being the challenge and excitement this job has to offer, the possibility of helping to solve murder or child abuse cases etc and the satisfaction you will get when you do.
  • Criminal Profiler, much the same advantages as above, and you only have to watch an episode of such programmes as 'Forensic Detectives', 'Couples Who Kill' etc., to see how interesting this career could truly be. Analysing the way a criminal thinks, who his next victim is likely to be, what sort of background he came from etc.
  • Gamekeeper, a chance to spend loads of time in the great outdoors, watching wildlife and enjoying the scenery. You may have to shoot a few deer etc if they start to get over prolific, or are wounded, but if you can handle this, then the positive side is there won't be a boss breathing down your neck and you can take your dog to work with you. The majority of the time you will simply be keeping an eye out for poachers and walking around the relevant estate, or perhaps feeding the game birds ready for the next season.
  • Gardener, if you are anything like me the idea of spending hour after hour planting seeds, weeding and being outdoors, this career is very appealing, especially if you set up your own business and offer your services to people who can't manage their own gardens, such as the elderly, or the wealthy businessmen and women. The rates you can charge are fairly high, and over here in Guernsey the average hourly rate is about £17.
  • Tree Surgeon, providing you don't mind heights this is a very lucrative job to get into, and people will pay highly for your services after you have had the correct training. Another chance to spend your life in the countryside, or at least outdoors.
  • Long Distance Lorry Driver, yes you will be away from home for weeks at a time, but the money is good, you will see a large part of the country or even other countries. You can travel with your dog, there is no boss looking over your shoulder, and you have a nice comfy bunk built above the cab to sleep in.
  • Smallholder, this can be a lovely job to do from home if you have the land to fulfil your dream. I doubt you would get rich in this choice of career, but you can make a good living from growing and selling organic vegetables, fresh eggs and even meat if your standards and conditions pass the appropriate environmental health regulations.
  • Interpreter, this career can earn you a lot of money, especially if you can speak several languages. Your options are endless, as you can work in the tourist industry, in finance, for the government etc. You will most likely get to do lots of travelling to all the countries that speak the languages you are fluent in.
  • Pilot, another career where you will get to travel, whether or not you fly passenger jets, or ultimately end up being a private pilot for a company jet or a millionaire's private aircraft. You could even consider becoming a helicopter pilot as the list of potential positions you could achieve with this skill is extensive.
  • Farrier, (if you are a horse lover, then this could be the career for you, as the money is good, you can be your own boss and get to spend time with the animals you love so much).
  • Saddler, (much as above, plus you get the chance to have your own business, visit horses to fit their saddles and you get to work with the gorgeous smell of real leather).

Some of the Many Jobs I Have Done in my Life

Over the years I have virtually lost count of the different jobs I have tried, but few of them were really what I wanted to be doing. A wise man once said, 'If you wouldn't go back into your job in the event you won the lottery, you are in the wrong job'. I think this is true, and if we truly loved our jobs we would carry on doing them even if we were rich. Too many of us drag ourselves in work each day, longing for the weekend, and simply working to pay the bills. Perhaps if we had made different choices before leaving school, we would now be in jobs that we actually enjoyed doing.

Some of the many jobs I have tried are as follows:

  • Banking (Yuck)
  • Veterinary Nurse (good fun, but lousy hours and pay, plus you end up being on call much of the time and too much of the job is spent cleaning).
  • Dental Nurse (much the same as above but without the fun).
  • Reproduction Furniture Saleswoman (definite 'yikes' and very boring).
  • Travel Agent (hated it, only good thing I got out of it was learning the phonetic alphabet).
  • Retail Shop Assistant (very boring, lousy pay).
  • Sales Representative (horrendous hours, mostly commission based pay with little chance of making a decent stress free living).
  • Petrol Station Cashier (not quite as bad as it sounds, but the hours were unsociable and the money not great).
  • Rat Breeder (this was okay for a while and I had over 2000 rats in my section. What I didn't like was the fact the company sold them on to companies for medical research, and the fact we had to shower in every morning and lunchtime so that we didn't take germs into the units. Not fun when the outer area where we changed was essentially a freezing cold shed, and once inside the unit we had to wear paper knickers, suits and hats. Money wasn't that much either).
  • Bus Driver (long unsociable hours, rude passengers, low money, not to be recommended).
  • Taxi Driver (as above, but slightly better behaved passengers and higher income).
  • Esso Franchise Holder (don't do it, I lost a fortune doing this due to the ludicrous nature of the Esso contract. The only people who make money out of Esso sites are Esso themselves. The hours were long, the staff were largely pilfering all of the time, or worse, stealing cash. More often than not someone would call in sick half an hour before their shift and you would end up having to cover the shift yourself as no-one else wanted to come in at such short notice).
  • Garden Centre Employee (even though I love gardening I hated this job, as it was more like a retail outlet than there being much growing involved. The majority of the plants were delivered on trucks ready grown, which was no fun for a gardener like myself. Money was not too good either).
  • Self Employed Market Gardener (Great job for enjoyment, but not a great money spinner unless you have enough land to grow crops, bedding plants etc on a large scale and have buyers lined up for them already).
  • Purchase Ledger Clerk (I did enjoy this, but only because it was low stress job and I had a good team of workmates who had a great sense of humour. The money was okay all things considered).
  • Mortgage Advisor H.S.B.C. Bank (A bad mistake, most of my colleagues were all way too shockable for my outrageous sense of humour, job was indescribably boring, the training was virtually non-existent and other staff were meant to teach you as they went along with doing their own job which was virtually an impossible task).
  • Running a Coarse Fishing Lake (problem with this is that although it is a very lovely pastime, there is virtually no money to be made in coarse fishing on Guernsey, and essentially it is more of a hobby than a job).
  • Keeping Chickens something I am currently doing and finding successful and very rewarding, although less fun when it comes to tending to them in the pouring rain and wind in the depths of winter.

I hope this article has given you a few ideas of possible other options to consider when choosing a career, especially those of you who are at this stage in their lives. There are so many other fascinating and exciting careers than the ones you will tend to be guided towards by well-meaning adults.

Just remember a story I was once told about a girl who was asked by her careers teacher what she wanted to do when she left school, and her answer was 'I want to be a spy'. Now that is original thinking!!!

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Comments 6 comments

Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 2 years ago from London

I like it. Sometimes it's good to think out of the box. You have done a lot of varied jobs in your time, and that gives you lots of great material for hubs!

I'm sure Guernsey is a lovely place to live. I've been to Jersey but would love to visit Guernsey one day.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, and Interesting.

When I was a young man working as a library clerk, I was encouraged to go to library school because of the high demand for librarians. By the time I finished an 11 month course for a Master of Library Science degree, a recession had cut budgets and there was a glut of librarians. Since then the demand has probably gone up and down. I did find a position but was not comfortable, since I like the simple routines of clerking more than being a manager and supervisor of clerks. I ended up working for myself as a used books dealer.

The market for particular jobs and careers is constantly changing, and whole careers may be an option one year and obsolete the next year. Why hire a secretary to take dictation when you can use speech recognition software?

I recommend having a general sense of what sorts of work you like and don't like. Indoors or outdoors? Like to work with printed words? Like to talk? Like numbers? Like providing hands-on care? Like to be your own boss? To be in charge? To have a competent and nice boss and friendly co-workers? Do you have a knack for leadership? For engineering? For selling? An acquaintance recently asked his company to shift him from being a store manager to being a traveling salesperson, because that better fits his aptitude. If you have a sense of what sort of "peg" you are -- round, square, triangular, whatever (what is your enneagram personality type; your Myers-Briggs personality type; your aptitude) -- you'll have a sense of what "holes" (jobs and careers) suit you. With that awareness, you can be flexible, and if a job you loved goes out of demand, you can find another that is much different yet also well suited to you.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Moon Daisy , you would love Guernsey (it is less commercialised than Jersey) it is really beautiful.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

B. Leekley , you have made some great points in your comment, and I hope that the readers of this hub also read the comments to take those points on board.


almorr 2 years ago

I thought I had got through many jobs before I settled down on the job I had lasting 20 years, that job was a postman. When I left school at 15 my first job was a copy boy in the Glasgow Evening Times, all I can remember about that was sub- editors shouting BOY all the time at me and running around mad all the time, I remember the pay was good although I had to give it to my mother evety Friday

After I left the newspaper I had a few various jobs in offices including one which I ordered materials for ships coming up the River Clyde and also jobs in a chemical works and am asbestos factory.

Inside work did not suit me so I applied for a job in the Royal Mail, got that and was with the Royal Mail for 20 years

I hope you do not mind me telling you my CV Cindy, as I am a regular reader of your wonderful articles.

Regards

Alan


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Alan,

No problem at all with you telling me your CV, it may even give another reader ideas. We actually have a very good friend who is a postman and has been for many years too. Of course he works for the Guernsey Post Office which is not a part of the Royal Mail.

Regards

Cindy

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