Making Career out of Weird
Samantha Hess wakes up every morning and prepares for her day just like everyone else. She gets dressed and heads to work as you do to get to school. She meets her client, takes them in her arms, and proceeds to cuddle… and that is where your path might diverge from hers. Samantha is a professional cuddler located in Portland, Oregon. Your knee-jerk reaction might be to take that as a joke, but she makes up to $80 per providing cuddle-based services.
Normal 9-to-5 careers are the ones we are most familiar with, but they are far from the only option. Since humans evolved and developed civilization, they have been offering services to each other in order to create a community and survive. Any career is ultimately in existence because it services other people and provides them with something they want. With this mental framework, it is easy to see how many potential unconventional careers there are out there.
This approach creates seemingly endless opportunities for entrepreneurs. Jen Glantz co-founded her own company called Bridesmaid for Hire. She offers exactly the service you are imagining: bridesmaids and personal assistants for a bride’s big day. The company makes up to $2 000 per wedding, making the endeavour more than just a fun little diversion. Once again, as silly as it sounds, these jobs are fulfilling needs. Cuddling has a positive mental and physical effect for people who are lonely or ill. A bride may not have as many bridesmaids as she would like or need, and the extra help can turn a disastrous wedding into one that will be remembered for decades to come.
Take the Mueller family, who live in a beautiful and luxurious home. That is, until they are forced out. The Muellers are paid to take up residence in luxury homes that are up for sale. Upon being sold, they are sent to another home to live in that is also being sold. Their nomadic lifestyle means they have to be prepared to move with very short notice, but it also provides them with high-quality living quarters. Families are hired to temporarily reside in homes on the market because studies have shown that houses sell better when they appear lived in. As strange as it sounds, these families make it easier for real estate agents to do their job, and help homeowners make the most out of the stressful selling and buying experience.
These are just a few examples of many. In a world of ever-changing technology and increasing complexity, it can be harder and harder to find traditional employment. By stepping back and looking at careers for what they are and how they originated, you can focus on services instead. What skills do you have to offer that ultimately fulfill the needs and wants of other people? Embracing the weird may be what it takes to build a successful and satisfying career.
Benna, Steven. 12 weird jobs you’ll be surprised to know exist. http://www.businessinsider.com/weird-jobs-youll-be-surprised-to-know-exist-2015-7
Murano, Grace. 11 Odd Jobs. http://www.oddee.com/item_99026.aspx