When you were growing up, chances are you wanted to have either a fairly bog-standard job – such as a fire-fighter or nurse – or you were slightly more ‘out there’ and wanted to be a racing car driver or astronaut. Chances are, however, that life may well not have led you in any of the directions your five-year-old self envisioned you heading in. Hopefully, you’ve got the role of your dreams, but if you fancy a job change, we’ve got a few unconventional career choices that you might want to look up …
- Taking Care of Pandas
Now come on, surely everyone dreams of getting paid to cuddle those gorgeous black and white bears? Every so often, one lucky person gets to join the team at the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Sichuan province and receives around $32,000 for the role, including free meals, transport and accommodation.
What does the job entail? Spending all day every day with the pandas and helping with conservation efforts to protect them. When the post becomes available again, you’ll actually just need to demonstrate your love for pandas and be over 22 years of age – but you’ll presumably face competition from a number of others!
- Professional Poker Player
Becoming a poker player is by no means the easiest job choice, as it takes a huge amount of time, effort and hard work – not to mention luck – to get to number one earner Antonio Esfandiari’s net worth of $23.4 million.888poker’s Place in the Pack quiz provides an understanding of the composure and personality type required to play professionally.
Are you steady and reliable, aka The Rock: confident of your strategy and sticking to it regardless of the circumstances? Do you hunt down the weakest players on the table and bring them down like the loose and agressive Maniac? Whatever your style, if you want it enough and you’re willing to invest the time and effort, you can go pro.
- Island Caretaker
Tourism Queensland launched a highly successful campaign a few years ago to find someone to fill the position of the “best job in the world”. One very lucky candidate was given a six-month contract as caretaker of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. The dreamy, picture-perfect reef is made up of a group of 900 islands stretching more than 2,300km, making it the world’s biggest coral reef.
There were a huge 35,000 applicants for the post from 200 countries worldwide. One lucky Brit, 34-year-old charity events organiser Ben Southall, won the role and enjoyed a rather epic six months Down Under.
- Water Slide Tester
Openings for this role seem to be few and far between, but the last time the job was advertised, a British college student was selected from 2,000 applicants to ride and rate water slides at First Choice’s SplashWorld resorts.
From Turkey and Gran Canaria to the Dominican Republic, adrenaline junkie Seb Smith got to spend his entire summer vacation ranking the slippery surfaces at the holiday complexes. Everything from the size of the splash to how much the slides get the heart racing were rated to help vacationers decide just where to go for their perfect break. Sounds like a fun job!
If these have put you in the mood for a change of job, it’s worth keeping your eye out for the weird and wonderful vacancies on offer in your local area or further afield. Your dream role could well be out there, even if you didn’t think it was possible. Think about it: how many children do you think really thought growing up that they’d be a professional, multi-millionaire poker player one day?