Unusual Careers

Office worker doing headstand in chair
If you're tired of conventional work life, you may be ready for an unusual career.

Unusual careers can be just what you need to revitalize your tired work life.

A Sampling of Unusual Careers

If you're looking for a unique way to spend your working hours, consider one of the following careers:

  • Pet acupuncturist - If you believe in the benefits of alternative medical therapies and love animals, this could be a great way to combine those interests.
  • Team mascot or theme park character - Only energetic and enthusiastic people need apply.
  • Funeral director - The position may seem a bit macabre, but you can serve an important role in an emotional time.
  • Hotdogger - This is the official title for someone who drives the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. While you may not get to enjoy such a distinctive ride, there are also other interesting jobs promoting products and brands across the country.
  • Professional smellers - If you have a discerning nose, you can put it to use testing new perfume formulas, sniffing armpits to evaluate the effectiveness of a new deodorant or finding spoiled food.

Additional Ideas

There are more unusual careers available than you would expect. The following resources can help you find out more about potential non-traditional job options.

  • A 2004 Phoenix Business Journal article profiled local workers with unique job titles. Some of the featured positions included "reptile repairer" and "tea maitre d'."
  • If you'd like to learn more about an assortment of unusual careers, the two-books series, Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations and Odder Jobs by Nancy Rica Schiff presents an overview of dozens of strange occupations, including photos of jobholders in action.

Tips for Finding That Odd Job

  • Investigate your options - Some people don't look for jobs outside of the norm simply because they don't realize the opportunities that exist.
  • Learn more about the specific field - The best way to find out more about an unusual career is to speak directly with someone currently holding that position. While this can be helpful in any field, it's especially important for jobs outside the mainstream. Most people have some concept of what a teacher or a doctor does on a daily basis, but it can be difficult to get an impression of an average workday when you can't draw on published material or popular cultural images.
  • Consider what you enjoy doing in your spare time - Some unique jobs come from hobbies-turned-profitable businesses. If you're specifically seeking out unusual careers, you're probably lacking enthusiasm for your current position. What better way to rediscover your potential for excitement than with a job that draws on existing interests?
  • Go to where the action is - Just like you have to travel to Hollywood or New York to make it as an actor, you may have to work for a very specific company or live in a certain climate to perform a particular job. If you are willing to relocate to one of these hot spots you will have a greater chance of finding a job.
  • Rethink your resume - If you're applying for a job that seems off-the-wall, you're likely not coming to the application process with extensive experience in the field. A functional resume can highlight job skills and accomplishments over past work titles.
  • Put a new spin on a traditional career - An everyday job can become an unusual career by performing it under unique circumstances. Nursing could hardly be called out of the ordinary, but it gets a new twist when you become the on-site nurse at an amusement park or on a cruise ship.
  • Use specialized job searches - When you're looking for unconventional employment, the local help wanted section of the newspaper just won't cut it. The Quintessential Careers job search engine offers a comprehensive list of sites offering cool, unusual and seasonal job postings. A recruiting agency may also be able to place you in a unique position.
  • Be realistic - Make sure you can separate the fantasy from the reality. Even the most unusual careers have negative aspects. By entering the field with realistic expectations, you will be better able to enjoy your unique work experience.
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