Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One 8 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Ever Stop Loving You 8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart 14 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Trending in Career Advice

1 Clueless On Your Career? Sabbatical vs. Career Break 2 9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career 3 10 Essential Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself This Year 4 10 Job Search Tools Every Jobseekers Need To Know About 5 If You Have This Key Behavior, You’ll Be More Successful Than 90% Of People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

Advertising

Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

Advertising

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

Advertising

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

Advertising

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

Read Next