We all remember the jobs most commonly sought after in childhood (astronaut, pop star, doctor) — but fast forward 25 years or so, and the job market has expanded so much, there are roles around now that we couldn't have ever imagined would be available back then. Thanks to the internet, though, we get to hear all about some of these super-weird jobs that actually exist: The users of Reddit have just educated and entertained us with a thread on the AskReddit forum about professions many of us had no idea were a thing. And just FYI, a little digging has confirmed that these jobs aren't made up — and furthemore, some of them pay quite handsomely, too.
The traditional nine-to-five isn't exactly everyone's cup of proverbial tea; paper-pushing, staring into a screen all day, and sending out email after email can get a little tedious, right? And with May 2016 having been the worst month for job creation since 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's no wonder more people are utilizing their talents and finding more creative ways to make a living. The economy is unpredictable, and it's often young Millennials who are hit the hardest, even though most of us are working more hours than ever before (the average work week in the United States was 47 hours in 2014). If the labor market is diversifying, then we need to adapt with it in order to survive.
That said, I'm not sure if many of us would be ready to quit our day jobs just yet, if these unusual careers found on Reddit are anything to go by; like most careers these days, you need a lot of specialized skills to carry them off. But nothing worth having is easy, I guess, and taking on one of these roles could be a welcome change to the traditional working method we've become used to.
Check out some of the most interesting positions below, and head on over to AskReddit for more.
1. Staff Sniffer At NASA
NASA has employed the same chief smeller for over 40 years. George Aldrich is a professional nose and sniffs everything that goes into space to ensure that astronauts aren't stuck millions of miles from home with a putrid smell in air that can't be recycled. Check out the video of his role below.
2. Slot Machine Music Composer
Digital music is big business. Those catchy, high-pitched jingles you hear in casinos and slot machines have been carefully crafted by musicians and engineers to sound fun and enticing (thus getting you to spend more money, of course.) One sound engingeer, Ben Long told Create Digital Music that most slot machine jingles are also, creepily, all written in the same key: "The funny thing about casinos is that every slot machine plays their jingles in the key of C. The result is a hypnotizing cacophony that keeps the players hooked. I have actually played live gigs at casinos before and been instructed to keep every song in the key of C. This is surreal, much like playing alongside a choir of robots!" Totally weird.
3. Internet Order Tracker
In today's tech-savvy world, I'm not actually surprised there's a whole job dedicated to preventing online retail fraud, but it must seriously deplete your trust in the human race.
4. Food Stylist
As many Reddit users noted, food porn pictures can be a little misleading; food stylists are employed to make the food appear as appetising as possible and often use inedible components such as dye and cotton wool to amp up the food for posters and advertisements.
5. Organ Delivery Person
Otherwise known as a "medical courier," one job advertisement in Texas is currently paying $1,500 a week for up to 60 hours of driving. Sounds a teensy bit high pressure, though...
6. Court Expert Witness
You know those people drafted into court cases as an expert for something really obscure? Well, they're paid handsomely for their opinions, but of course, they're also very skilled. According to Liz Ryan, an employment law expert witness, writing in Forbes: "You could become an expert witness, too, if you’re a subject matter expert with a body of knowledge in a particular area. ... You’ll be paid for the time you spend reading and integrating the materials you receive from the attorney who hires you. You’ll be paid for your testimony at a deposition or in court."
7. Alpaca Shaver
You can get a job shaving alpacas or managing alpaca ranches on Ranch Network, in case you're interested.
8. Hand Angel
Taiwanese NGO Hand Angel is an organization promoting the sexual rights of disabled people; they give hand jobs to those unable to perform the task themselves. The group was started by a man who lost his legs to polio, and has continued to operate in Taiwan with the help of volunteers, despite intense criticism.
9. Underwater Lumberjack
Sometimes a lot of land can become submerged underwater due to human construction, error or a natural disaster. According to Tree Hugger, underwater landscapes containing trees and forests can stay preserved for years; thus, underwater lumberjacks are often needed to harvest the wood. Most people who do this often have experience as a dry lumberjack, too.
10. Foley Artist
Foley artists are the ones who are responsible for the unusual sound effects you hear in films and TV shows. They get their name from Jack Donovan Foley, who was one of the first developers of many innovative sound effect techniques in cinema. Face-slapping, rain falling, glass smashing, etc. — these are all sounds that need to be added to the film post-production (and are usually created without actually performing the action itself).
11. Professional Video Gamer
So you've probably heard of those people who make a living out of testing video games, but some people are paid just to game online for the entertainment of others. YouTube video gamers make a tidy living, racking up millions of views from others who get a kick out of watching them score points.
Images: Giphy (3)