We all have notions about what’s involved in all kinds of jobs. What comes to mind when you think of a janitor, or a farmer? Though some jobs might not seem very rewarding or impressive, they’re actually more so than you might think – so how about challenging your preconceptions and maybe considering some career paths that had never crossed your mind before?
Here are some jobs that you’d probably enjoy more than you’d think. (All of this is from a UK perspective, and what’s involved in a role may be different between countries.)
There’s a persistent idea out there that flight attendants basically just push a trolley up and down cramped cabins, plane and simple. But there’s more to this job than many people imagine. If you can land this highly competitive position (there’s about 100 applicants for each position), you get the great benefit of seeing the world as you regularly stay one or two nights at each global destination. The pay is first class too – much more than wait staff on the ground can expect.
Flight attendants are also given more leeway in dealing with a rude customer than a server in a restaurant. The position is one of some authority – they’re qualified to save your life after all – so the usual turbulence experienced in customer service is not nearly so much of a problem.
Lift (or elevator) repair is fantastic on so many levels. You might not expect it, but installers and mechanics in the UK can expect to earn £50,000 per year. Even better, the pay and benefits are on the rise.
Lift repair has its ups and downs, however. Mechanics work in dark, cramped spaces and there’s the usual danger involved when working with electricity and heights. But you can learn on the job, or become an apprentice, and despite the fact you don’t need to study, there’s currently a shortage of workers in this field.
Not everyone dreams of driving trains when they grow up, but those who choose it are on track for a great range of benefits. The hours and pay are generous, and who wouldn’t want to have a sit down with a cup of tea and see the glorious countryside as they work? We’d be chuffed with that.
The selection process is tough however, and so is the training, so to speak. Few who apply make it to the driver’s seat. You need to have nerves of steel and have no problem working alone.
Think about it – what is there not to love about walking dogs for a living? OK, you have to be handy with the pooper scooper, and you’ll probably paws for thought if you’re a cat lover instead. But this isn’t a ruff job at all if you want to get fit, spend time with (probably) the best animal there is, and don’t mind getting rained on now and again. Dog walkers often charge £10-£15 per (part) hour – walk 4 dogs at a time and you’re making £60 per hour so you should have no bones to pick with the salary, especially on a part time basis.
Depending on how much of a bookworm you are, the prospect of being a librarian may fill you with dread or joy. You can take it as read that certain types of people would not thrive in this role, but if it’s right for you, you’ll find it highly rewarding to help people learn and discover.
The immediate future for many public libraries in the UK is uncertain at the moment, but working in an academic or medical library offers a lot of comfort in a more stimulating and modern setting than you might imagine.
If you don’t mind heights, you can expect to rise to the top in a career as a window washer. Though it’s harder than many people expect, those who love what they do know that they’re getting plenty of fresh air, wonderful views, and best of all, they’re left to get on with it rather than being pestered all day.
The exact rate depends on what kind of work you’re doing; do you have a bucket and ladder, or are you hanging from a rope outside a skyscraper in gale force winds? Either way, you can stand to make a decent wage for manual work that doesn’t require any education. That’s not to say there’s no skill involved, of course, but the good news almost anyone can get on the ladder.
All this proves that it’s best to find out a little about a job before you rule it out for good, and be ready to have your ideas challenged. You might just find a niche that nobody else has exploited. After all, the money is often better in careers that nobody really wants to do. What’s the best unexpected factor of your job?
(P.S. Excuse the puns!)
Author: Paul Breton is Marketing Executive with online recruitment specialists Blue Octopus Recruitment in Otley, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.