Career Woman

These 5 non-traditional jobs could prepare you for your ‘real’ career


You’re not sure what you want to do with your life. Nor do you know where to look for ideas.

Join the club. It’s more common than ever for college graduates, and even those who’ve been in the workforce for years or decades, to look askance at the opportunities before them and wonder: Is that all there is?

The answer, in short, is no — that’s not all there is. Not if you’re willing to think (and look) outside the box, that is. The “usual suspect” careers pushed by parents and happily pursued by your more ambitious peers might not resonate with your interests, but other opportunities might.

With that in mind, why not consider these non-traditional jobs? The right fit could set you up for a long, fruitful career you never saw coming.

  1. Fashion design

Two words: creative friction. In the real world, the fashion industry isn’t quite as depicted on “America’s Next Top Model” or “Project Runway,” but that’s not to say it’s not defined by big personalities. What better way to harden your hide for what comes next?

  1. Film production

The film industry is dynamic, hard-charging, and always seems to find a way to bring talented people to the brink of failure. Perhaps that’s why it produces so many luminaries, too. For every Lifetime Achievement Award winner, there’s someone like Majestic Steel USA president and CEO Todd Leebow, who brought what he learned in film production to his transformative tenure atop one of the United States’ leading steel service centers.

  1. Radio/TV production

While many film production professionals cross over to TV, and vice versa, the small screen is distinct enough from the big screen to warrant its own space. Ditto for audio production, which these days includes radio and podcasts.

  1. Fitness instruction

Fitness instructors are an entrepreneurial bunch. Whether you’re into yoga or Pilates or strength training or martial arts, nothing prepares you for the vicissitudes of business like building and managing a client list entirely on the strength of your own skills and reputation. It’s humbling, empowering, and terrifying all at once.

  1. Pet care

Can a job devoted to the needs of furry, four-legged companions really prepare you for a people-powered career? Actually, yes — for much the same reason fitness instructors tend to find success after they hang up their weights and straps. Building a pet care business from the ground up is a game of inches, and a dirty one at that.

Passion or predictability? You don’t have to settle

You’ve probably heard that careers involve compromise. If you want to rise through the corporate ranks or achieve prominence in your field or earn enough to afford the lifestyle you’ve always craved, you may need to settle for a job you don’t really love — or an entire career.

Is this really the case, though? Or can you have both: a successful career that ticks all your lifestyle boxes while igniting your passion day in and day out?

If you’re willing to work a little harder to see it through, you can absolutely have both, and maybe sooner than you had any reason to believe. Perhaps your journey begins with one of these out-of-the-box jobs; you won’t know until you try.

About Janine Lucas'

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