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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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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

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