7 Happy Jobs That Don't Suck
Michelle Reid, Guest Blogger
We all want to be happy when it comes to our professional careers, but it’s tough when most of us have full-time jobs that we regard with utter disdain. Some jobs require you to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (especially if you’re a salaried employee). Others are just plain stressful and not worth the headache. And better yet, a lot of us work in the customer service industry, where the customer is always right!
In today’s TrendFlip, we’re going to explore seven “alternative” jobs that can supplement or even replace your current train wreck of a career. Some of them enjoy the freedom of freelancing, and most of them don’t require any fancy college degrees!
7. Cruise Ship Entertainer
Why entertain the boring land dwellers when you can perform your act on the high seas in front of lively crowds? Cruise ship entertainers are in high demand and often get hired for stand-up comedy, musical performances, magic shows, and other functions. If the cruise line sees fit, many of them are hired on permanently and perform on multiple cruises, while others are contracted for one cruise at a time. Some cruise lines hire audience-specific entertainers, meaning people who know how to get into the psyche of singles or retired couples - so if you’re thinking about performing on a cruise ship, make sure you brush up on your “Baby Boomer” jokes!
Working on a cruise ship is fulfilling in more ways than one. Not only do you get to travel, you get to meet wonderful people from all different backgrounds and ages. And, since you’re doing the entertaining, you won’t deal with customer service headaches like the saints who work in the booking department. By working for weeks at a time with the same crew, you’ll get to develop a solid bond with your co-workers while you’re away from home...and that bond becomes more important if you’re single with no immediate family.
All-in-all, it’s not a bad way to earn a paycheck!
6. Niche Photographer
We had to include the word “niche” here because, like it or not, there are some photography gigs that will make you pull your hair out (balding wedding photographers, we’re looking at you!).
However, in the day and age of the picture-rich Internet, there’s always a need for a photographer in other specific areas.
Here are just a few of the possibilities:
Real Estate Photographer — The obvious benefit of being a real estate photographer is that you don’t have to pose anyone (unless you’re taking stock pictures of people buying their first home). You can work your own hours, set up everything how you want, and be your own boss. It may get a little lonely at times, so the person who takes on this particular niche should be able to function without the need for a team.
Product Photographer — Much like a real estate photographer, this could involve working solo. Or, you could work in a more permanent position at a company that releases new products regularly. Whatever the case may be, your lighting and placement skills must be exceptional in order to capture the perfect photo. Most of these pictures will be used in marketing or advertising, so you want to make sure you capture the product in a way that makes it come to life for the average consumer.
Model Photographer — The market is probably a little oversaturated for modeling photography, but if you can get in now and make a name for yourself, chances are, you’ll create a happy career that lasts for as long as you want. Not only that, you’ll get to indulge in new experiences daily by traveling to exotic locations around the world!
Now, that sounds fun and all, but if you aren’t up to the task of handling “rock star” divas on a weekly basis, this job probably isn’t for you. Make sure you’re a patient “people person” before you take a crack at it!
5. Card Game Designer
If you aren’t in the loop, then you may not know just how many customizable card games there are in the marketplace today. What is a customizable card game? For starters, it has nothing to do with the 52-card decks you find at grandma’s house. Customizable Card Games (CCGs) and Living Card Games (LCGs) are strategy games that are played at a competitive level by people of all ages. Some card games have been around for over twenty years, while others are being pushed into the market as you’re reading this. A good portion of the cards are collectible as well as playable (some of the cards in Magic: The Gathering fetch over $40,000!).
Here are just a few examples of popular card games being played by people of all backgrounds from around the world:
- Magic: The Gathering
- Star Wars
- Android: Netrunner
- Star Realms
So, what do these games have to do with a happy job that doesn’t suck?
All card games are produced and distributed by various companies around the globe. And each of those companies has a department of skilled designers, which includes graphic artists, gameplay technicians, playtesters, continuity experts, and writers.
Along with great gameplay, every card game needs its own story. And as a designer, you’ll create characters and worlds that are linked to popular established stories (like Star Wars), or you can create your own (with the right company). Needless to say, you’ll have a fulfilling career as a card game designer, especially when you get to create your own characters and worlds!
4. Freelance Writer
It’s no secret that Google continuously updates its search algorithm to reward websites that contain engaging and informative content. And what’s the reward? Websites with interesting content get ranked higher in search results. That means more ad revenue for the companies hosting the websites. And more ad revenue means more hiring. And more hiring means more demand for skilled freelance writers.
As a freelance writer, your job is to provide content that covers various subjects from across the spectrum. And just like the niche photographer above, it’s best to find a narrow category to write about and start specializing in it.
Here are some of the most popular categories:
Technical Writer — Every product purchased by consumers needs instructions on how to assemble and use it. If you’re one of those special people who can tell your grandparents how to perform a search in Google step-by-step, using regular, non-technical words, you might just have the skills needed for this job.
Recipe Writer — More and more people are turning to the Internet to find recipes for their favorite dishes. You’ll still see cookbooks at your local bookstore, but recipes for just about any taste can now be found online. If you love to cook and don’t mind sharing your family recipes, this is a position you should seriously consider. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, and you’ll love seeing your recipes shared across all of your social media campaigns.
Professional Reviewer — If you’re someone people can count on to give recommendations on certain products or services, this job is right up your alley! A lot of the content you’ll find on the web these days comes in the form of reviews. Most of it is consumer-driven, but a lot of the top reviews are written by paid professionals. And those writers are paid by the companies who want to advertise their product without being “salesy”.
3. Video Game Tester
Unless you live under a rock, you know just how massively popular the video game industry is. And that popularity is only going to grow, especially with virtual reality headsets headed our way in the very near future. Because of its growth, the video game industry needs quality control and testing for every game released. This means testers for every spectrum - from home systems like the PlayStation 4, PC games, mobile games, virtual reality games, and beyond.
Although entry-level pay might not be great, you’ll be immersed in worlds beyond imagination, seeking out glitches, inconsistencies, compatibility issues, infinite loops and much more. Generally speaking, a video game tester can be employed full-time at a large company (which means the pay will also be a little better), or you can be paid by working remotely from home. Either way, the satisfaction you’ll get from playing video games for money makes this a job that doesn’t suck.
2. Professional Tutoring
If you have a passion for teaching, but don’t want the stress of setting up weekly curriculums, working overtime, dealing with helicopter moms, babysitting, and grading homework, tutoring might be just the thing for you!
As a professional tutor, you can specialize in a subject you’re familiar with. The individual (or group of students) you mentor on a weekly basis will get the specialized training they need to succeed! And because of advances in live streaming video technology, you can use your webcam or even your mobile phone to teach your students from the comfort of home.
However, the best part of tutoring is the satisfaction you get when you see one of your students succeed because of your mentorship. The sense of fulfillment and accomplishment is reason alone to add this job near the top of our list!
1. Logo Designer
If you’re artistic, love conceptual thinking and have an eye for design, one of the more specialized areas in graphic design is creating logos. Logos are the first thing a customer sees when dealing with any given product or company, so it’s a no-brainer that startups are looking for talented logo designers who can work with them in creating an iconic brand. And because of crowd-funded sites like Kickstarter, you’ll see that there’s no shortage of people looking to release new products or start a new company.
And it’s not just startups. A lot of companies like to refresh their brand every so often. They look for something that’s modern and fresh, and they don’t necessarily use the same designers to accomplish this task. Just take a look at brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi to see how their logos evolved over the years.
If you can draw a logo on paper, but don’t think you have the skills for software like Adobe Illustrator, think again! There are tons of tutorials and resources you can find online, and the vast majority of them are free. Logo designers can work remotely and at the office, freelance or salaried.
Thank you for reading! We hope you enjoyed the list!