by Elizabeth Black
Have you ever wanted an unusual career? Something off the beaten track that sounded fascinating and fun to do?
Be ready for odd hours, eccentric co-workers, possibly low wages, and a great, fun time. Are you not sure where to start looking for your dream odd job? You may want to start with CareerBuilder.com
CareerBuilder.com asked more than 2,450 workers what kinds of unusual careers they had held. Responses included actor for haunted house, fingerprint analyzer, jelly doughnut filler, karate instructor, zoo artificial inseminator, and lifeguard at a nude beach.
The best way to begin your new, odd career is to find someone who already works in that field. I made my way into stage crew work by volunteering at local community theatre troupes to handle lighting. I met more people in the field, and eventually made my way to a scene shop and the local stagehands unions.
One possible online search engine for "cool, unique, and seasonal jobs" is Quint Careers:
Plug in the information you need to find an odd job. You will be asked to post your resume. Craigslist is another source for odd and unusual jobs.
Here are some more tips on how to find and keep an unusual and fun career:
Know The Career. Do Your Homework – Learn as much as you can about your chosen career. You can find plenty of valuable information on the Internet. Read books about your chosen career. Find out who are the movers and shakers in that field, and try to contact them. Sometimes contact information may be found on the Internet.
Network! – Keep in contact with the people you meet in the field. Learn who is best known in your field in your area, and contact those people. Ask them for tips about getting started in your chosen unusual career.
Look To The Hidden Job Market – Most jobs are not advertised. You will have to do a little legwork of your own to find them. Do you want to do professional stage lighting? Contact a college theatre department, and take a stage lighting class. Call local community theatre troupes, and talk to the people in charge of lighting. Call the local stagehands union, and find out what steps you need to take to break into the field.
Be Reliable And Diligent – So you finally broke into your field, and you landed a job. It may be part-time and unpaid, but your foot is in the door. Now the real work starts. You are now on a trial basis. You have to be reliable and dependable. Do what is asked of you. Be on time for work every day, and do not become a clock-watcher. Learn the ropes. You will likely learn that your "dream" job is not as glossy as you had imagined. Most jobs, even the glamorous ones, are hard work.
Dress The Part – Don't show up for work as a court reporter dressed in a Lords Of Acid t-shirt and ripped jeans. Don't show up at a stage show without the proper tools to do your lighting job. Use common sense when it comes to dressing the part. If you aren't sure what to wear, contact the people you have already met in the field.
Be Enthusiastic – Tell your boss that you like the job, and that you wish for it to be made full time and for pay if you are working seasonal, low or no pay, or part-time. If you get an employee discount, don't use it too much. You don't want to look as if you are working only to take advantage of the discount.
Good luck on your search for your new, unusual career!