Planning Your Future – Why Not Consider These 5 Unusual Careers?

Are you a member of the Peter Pan generation? There is a fascinating article in the Mail Online about that in particular section of our society aged between 25 and 40 who have somehow avoided all the adult responsibilities so readily accepted by their parents’ generation. Talking about his research on the subject, Professor Frank Furedi at the University of Kent says: ‘Our society is full of lost boys and girls hanging out at the edge of adulthood,’ adding, ‘Another word sometimes used to describe these people is “adultescent” — generally defined as someone who refuses to settle down and make commitments, and who would rather go on partying into middle age.’

But perhaps one of the reasons you have not followed the traditional career path has been a distinct lack of employment opportunities that really appeal to you, ones that would challenge you and allow you to look forward to going to work rather than dreading it. Of course, there are a number of careers that wouldn’t immediately spring to mind, but they are genuine careers all the same. Here are five of the most unusual:

1. Ranger on the Farne Islands

Lying off the coast of Northumberland, the Farne Ferne Islands represent one of Britain’s oldest wildlife reserves. In January this year, the National Trust were advertising for a ranger to live on the island. Main responsibilities were to count the puffins and the seals, which is far more exciting than counting sheep and you’re less likely to fall asleep too! Salary won’t make you rich, but £17,000 a year and accommodation provided for free means you should be able to save a fair bit as there are no shops on the island….

2. Wingwalker

If you like the open air and have a good head for heights, there are often vacancies available for wingwalkers, and those vacancies aren’t as a result of someone having an unfortunate accident! It’s a great opportunity to see more of the world and Breitling are always keen to meet potential new recruits. Expect to earn about £18,000.

3. Embalmer

As sad as it may sound, death and taxes are two certain things in life, and so this is a job where there will never be any shortfall of clients. Perhaps less popular in the UK, embalming is popular in the USA. Embalming is the process of preserving human bodies through the use of chemicals, ideally allowing the deceased to still look good when they are on ‘display’ prior to the funeral or cremation. In the States, an embalmer can expect to earn around $50,000.

4. Body part model

Not all of us have the looks of a catwalk model or a face that would grace the cover of Vogue. However, there are those of us who have particularly beautiful hands, feet, ears or nose, and there are plenty of opportunities for those who have photogenic body parts. The pay’s not bad either, as you can expect to earn up to £750 a day!

5. Dog food taster

Yes, believe it or not, pet food manufacturers don’t rely on dogs to let them know what food tastes best. Instead humans have to first smell and then eat the dog food to assess its desirability. At £20,000, that’s a salary not to be sniffed at!

Of course, there are many other careers that are less well known, but are a little more traditional and down to earth. While we all know of the existence of florists behind the scenes there are those who specialise in florist supplies, without whom florists would struggle to operate. This is the same with so many businesses we see in the high street. The shop window is literally that, and a great deal more goes on behind the scenes than first meets the eye. Each of them representing a new career opportunity. So, if you are looking for a career path to follow, look beyond the usual and you’ll discover a whole new world of unusual opportunities.

Jessica Wicks

Jessica is an Edinburgh University graduate specialising in business and lifestyle based writing. She is currently broadening her knowledge whilst traveling and preparing to complete her master’s in Creative, Digital and Professional Writing.

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