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A bunch of cool jobs you can probably, maybe get (and some you probably, maybe can’t)
Everyone wants to work in their dream job. “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life,” said Confucius. There are plenty of great jobs out there but there are only a few jobs that take greatness to a total different level – where working is actually more like playing and sometimes you have to pinch yourself when you realize someone’s actually paying you for doing what you love. Here are some cool jobs and some cool places that for many would make working a dream come true:
Personal shopper – This is the perfect job for those who love shopping, of course, and who are good at helping clients score the best deals, offering advice and assisting them with that arduous horrible task of spending money on fun stuff. In this career, you can work for a company like The Bay or Holt Renfrew where you assist the patrons of the store, you can also offer independent services where you have regular gigs such as buying clothes, gifts or flowers for your busy clients’ loved ones. The Top 10 cool jobs you can actually get article says, “To excel at this job you need to be outgoing, have excellent taste and be willing to hustle, especially if your salary is based on commission.” (The article also suggests looking for job opportunities at Holt Renfrew.)
Set designer – Do you have a vision? A creative flair? A thing for performance and entertainment? Could you be behind the person behind the scenes of movies, commercials and music videos? Set designer may just fit the bill. According to the Career Planner site, as a set designer you might do the following:
- Read the script to determine location, props and construction
- Research period pieces, costumes and locations
- Develop a budget
- Find furniture, lamps, etc. for the decorative appearance of the set
- Prepare and present drawings, detailed illustrations and sketches
- Assign staff to help with the sketches
- Assist with construction and examine the finished set to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the camera, movement, etc.
Check out some of the fantastic sets designed by Canadians at Associated Designers Canada site.
Art therapist – Continuing with our creative streak here, another job utilizing an artistic mind is that of an art therapist. Art therapists help clients deal with psychological issues (art therapy is especially popular with the parents of young children who are more likely to express themselves via drawing or painting than talking). An art therapist may also work with people with brain injuries as well as people suffering from psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Every art therapist has to have a background in psychology and he/she uses art therapy techniques based on a belief that the process of making art is inherently therapeutic. Art therapists use a number of psychological approaches that are based on their educational background and that may include the psychodynamic approach, cognitive-behavioural therapy and other schools of thought. Check out the Ontario Art Therapy Association for more information on this career.
Being a tattoo artist is certainly one of those jobs that seems creative and fun, dangerous, glamorous and all rock’n’roll. And it can be, but it is also a job where the artist has to work really hard to make it, has to be able to establish good relationships with clients and has to be impeccably clean (you know, needles and all that). We’ve written about tattoo artists before, and, to summarize, if this is your dream job: don’t go to tattoo school, apprentice under a reputable artist and read other tattoo artists’ bios for inspirations. An apprenticeship may last one to four years and you will work for free (or very low pay). In this Talent Egg article, Michael John Longo, a Toronto tattoo artist, talks about some of the interesting learning milestones: “The outline test takes the longest and is the most difficult to learn, as you will need to pass calligraphy, Chinese characters and tribal. You are encouraged to practise at home on pig skin and, once you’ve passed your tests, you are a fully qualified tattoo artist.” For more on what it’s like to work as a tattoo artist, check out Steve Saez’s video.
Firefighter – And now for a totally different flavour, we’ll look at two careers of the unquestionable heroes of most little boys (and some girls). Sadly, naturally, once we grow up most of us realize that there’s more to being a firefighter than just wearing a cool uniform and riding around in a cool red truck with sirens blaring on. To work as a firefighter you need specific educational requirements (post-secondary and firefighter training courses), but that’s only a fraction of what is expected of you. The Recruit Firefighter site lists a number of surprising requirements needed to get a job as a firefighter, such as an ability to use sign language, swimming (a life-saving certificate is preferred) and being active in one’s community. Read our interview with a firefighter to get more insight into this exciting and truly dangerous (take that, tattoo artist!) career.
Flying through the sky in a swanky uniform – who doesn’t want to be a pilot? Well, probably those with a fear of flying, but for many this is as glamorous a career as any. The training to be a pilot is quite extensive but there are a lot of opportunities for those who choose this as a vocation — from serving regular airlines, being a bush pilot to operating private jets to rescuing and evacuating injured people. To work as a pilot you need to graduate from a certified flying or aviation school program. You also need a licence — either a commercial pilot's licence or an air transport pilot’s licence as well as any other licences that will allow you to fly specific types of aircraft such as a helicopter. Go to the I Want to Work in Space article on poss.ca to find out more.
Since we’re still in the air, let’s talk about flight attendants. This is the perfect job for those interested in travel and adventure as well as customer service. How do I become a Flight Attendant in Canada? talks about how the hiring criteria for flight attendants differ depending on which air operator you want to work for. Furthermore, “The Canadian Aviation Regulations require every large air operator that has passenger carrying authority to establish and maintain a flight attendant training program, which is approved by Transport Canada.” Once you get a job with an air operator you will have to pass the training program required by the company hiring you — in other words, even if you go to school to become a flight attendant, you will still have to pass the training required by your specific employer. Please note that you don’t necessarily need to go to school to become a flight attendant — what you do need is be of age, be medically fit, speak more than one language, have completed high school, be self-reliant, team-oriented, etc.
Finally, sometimes it’s not about what you do but where you work. For those who love to travel but can’t really do the flying thing, an alternative could be working on a cruise ship. There are dozens of job options working on the water so you might actually work in the following capacity:
- Entertainment jobs such as host and hostesses, DJs, shore excursion staff. These are also great jobs for those who love to (and can) sing, play instruments, dance — if you have a talent that others enjoy watching, you never know, you might just find that perfect fit on the deck.
- Service and hospitality jobs on a ship are just like service and hospitality jobs anywhere, except that at the end of your work day, you’re in the Bahamas. Cruise ships look for servers, cabin stewardesses, cooks, gift shop assistants, and so on.
- Personal care jobs are for those employed within aesthetic services (spa, hair salon) but also medical staff, massage therapists and fitness instructors.
- Deck and engine room jobs are for people in charge of running the ship.
And last but not least, Google has been rumoured for years to be the coolest place ever to work at. As for what it takes to be a Google employee, things get a little mysterious — unless you know what a noogler is. It seems that the bottom line is that they want people who think creatively and who have interesting backgrounds, such as the guy hired for “the HR technology department who had coordinated the efforts of 10,000 volunteers during the BP oil cleanup.” On the Toronto Google jobs page actual position openings are listed, from customer service positions to sales to marketing. Oh, and if you ever do decide to interview at Google, be prepared to answer questions such as: “How would you weigh your head?” or “You’re in a car with a helium balloon tied to the floor. When you accelerate, what happens to the balloon?”
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