Do you have an exceptional tongue? Enjoy diving in small ponds in search of errant golf balls? Or perhaps you’ve been living on the fringes of the law as a computer hacker and are ready to come clean while still retaining your skills? If these and other oddball job descriptions strike a spark, you may be a perfect fit for one of the increasing number of surprisingly well-paying careers (would you believe $100k+ for an airplane repossessor?) now offered in today’s diverse job market.
The keys to finding such unusual jobs as a flavorist (see tongue above) a pet-sitter, or even a cotton-gin operator is to first discover your passion, and to then research ways to convert that passion into a career.
Each year, for example, the MacArthur Foundation awards $500,000 grants to upwards of thirty people engaged in a remarkably diverse number of professions. In 2010 this included the following individuals:
A Rhode Island stone carver/calligrapher who does all of his carvings by hand.
A Caltech professor who studies how jellyfish swim.
A Minnesota professor studies bee pathogens.
A talented violinist who teaches under-privileged children how to play string instruments
A Native American who is attempting to revive the Native American language of Wampanoag.
Within virtually every field of endeavor can be found one or more unique careers. Here’s a short sample of other unique jobs:
Retailers are relying more and more on customer feedback to determine store layouts, product mixes, etc. This can become a lucrative career for someone who has mastered the fine-art of shopping.
Carbon Management Consultant
With increasing emphasis being placed on carbon-neutral or carbon friendly industry, this is considered one of the fastest-growing career paths both now and in the future.
Although it sounds like an oxymoron, companies have a huge need to have their internal systems tested for security. Think of it as a way to use your computer skills for something besides changing your grade in that college science class you never quite made it to.
For some, this is the job of their dreams. Generally working with a sizable budget, you get to buy all sorts of great clothes and toys, while getting paid to do it.
Food companies invest enormous amounts of capital in creating and producing new food products. But if they don’t taste good to customers, all that effort goes to waste. Flavorists get paid to taste and evaluate new products Getting paid to eat? Might want to ask if the position includes a personal trainer.
Additional jobs include such unique titles as forensic dentistry, drug testing, being a futurist (predicting future trends), a Christmas tree contractor, or crash-test dummy (just kidding on the last one).
These and thousands of other unique jobs are being filled right now; difficult economy notwithstanding. Start with a web search using key words for your dream job. You just never know when the next golf ball diver job will come up at the local country club.