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5 Careers You Wish You Had

5 Careers You Wish You Had

If you spend 40 hours a week in a cubicle, completing mindless tasks assigned to you by five different bosses, chances are you’ve found yourself lost in a daydream in which you had a more exciting and well-paying career.

While the jobs on this list aren’t without their drawbacks, they definitely will appeal to those who have found themselves wasting their lives in the seemingly meaningless rat race of modern society. But, before you stand up from your desk and tell your boss you’re quitting to become a world-famous ice cream taster, sit back down and realize the reason these jobs are so lucrative is because not everyone is cut out for them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t aim high, right?

1. Pro Video Gamer

Every seven-year-old boy’s dream is to get paid to play video games for a living. What used to be a silly and naive entry in a first grader’s journal is now more realistic than ever. But being good enough at playing video games to make a living from it isn’t as easy as you might think.

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Sure, you might have been the best Mortal Kombat player in your neighborhood growing up, but to win international competitions you have to be the best in the entire world. Sure, anyone can start up a YouTube or Twitch account and stream their gameplay, but only those with the perfect combination of skills, entertainment value, and marketing savvy will end up making millions. Maybe it’s best that gaming strictly remains a hobby.

2. Instagram Model

It’s never been easier for prospective models to put their name and face out there for others to notice — but this is a double-edged sword. Because it’s so easy for hopeful models to put themselves out there, it’s much more difficult to stand out in the crowd. However, for those that do make it, they make it big.

Some of the most popular Instagram models get paid thousands for taking a picture of themselves in a natural setting wearing a designer’s t-shirt and jeans. Not only do they get paid well, but since the pictures are potentially seen by millions, the models often are able to draw more traffic to their blog or other product, allowing them to start their own business in turn. Not a bad way to get a following!

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3. Ice Cream Taster

Another one of those cute little pipe dreams we’ve all had as children, ice cream tasters do exist in the real world. But they aren’t just some jolly fat guys sitting on thrones while workers bring them gallons of the sweet stuff to shovel into their mouths.

Ice cream tasters need to have a strong background in food science, usually equating to some type of chemistry degree. They have to be able to pinpoint exactly what tastes great about a specific ice cream, and what could be improved. If you’ve ever read a review of a wine or craft beer talking about “hints” and “notes,” thinking your review would simply be “It’s great!” or “It’s terrible!”, you already know how difficult such a task is.

However, for their troubles, some of the most critically acclaimed ice cream tasters can make around $100,000 a year. Not bad for being the first to taste Ben & Jerry’s newest quirky flavor!

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4. Pro Golf Caddy

Okay, so maybe your childhood dreams of becoming a professional athlete fell by the wayside. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get close to the action as an assistant!

A caddy is a pro golfer’s right-hand man. They’re there to do everything they can to make sure the pro can focus on making the best shot possible, including carrying bags, predicting lies, and performing menial tasks like cleaning balls and club heads. While caddies aren’t guaranteed a big payday, they could end up making 10% of their pro’s purse if they go on to win. Not a bad deal for following someone around for a few hours while they hit a ball into a hole.

5. Pro Poker Player

Many of you have most likely entertained the thought of buying a ticket to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and dreamed of turning $10,000 into a couple million.

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While it definitely is possible to go from rags to riches if you “run good” during a big tournament, it’s not likely that you, out of the thousands of entrants, will end up winning it all. However, it definitely is possible to make a living playing poker, online or in person; but it requires much more skill and knowledge than luck.

If you understand the math behind the odds, and are good at reading other people, you could potentially make enough money to quit your day job and focus on crushing the felt a few days a week, while having the rest of your time to do whatever you’d like. Just don’t sit down next to Phil Ivey, or your entire bankroll could go down the drain in a couple hours.

Featured photo credit: Play Among Friends Paf / Paf Poker Challenge via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

But do you know what motivates your people?

It’s simple:

  • Is their work stimulating?
  • Does it challenge them?
  • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
  • Do you encourage creativity?
  • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
  • Do you praise them?
  • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
  • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
  • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

  • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
  • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
  • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
  • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

6. Monitor Their Workload

Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

  • Red means they’re fully loaded.
  • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
  • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

The Bottom Line

A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

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Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

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