Unusual Jobs

by Johnny Carlton

Copyright 2012 Johnny Giesbrecht

Johnny Carlton is a writer of suspense thrillers available as e-books at www.amazon.com

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.”  I don’t know how true that is, but I think that at least a lot of men and women go through periods of their lives during which they’re discontent with the work that they find themselves doing.

If you’re one of these, if you feel there’s not enough spark in your job description, maybe you should check out some of the more unusual jobs that are actually available, generally speaking.

I remember hearing an alleged true story about a juvenile delinquent, who, in going through rehabilitation, took no interest in any of the job training programs being offered–until someone came up with a workshop on cutting and polishing gems.  He dived into that with a passion, and, so far as I know, showed every sign of launching himself on a productive, lucrative, and enjoyable career.

Following is my little list of types of employment that are somewhat off the beaten track:

English Teacher in a Foreign Country

A good friend of mine did this and found it to be a great adventure, partly because the country he was sent to wasn’t a bed of roses.

Wilderness Guide

Here’s a good one if it’s adventure you’re after, and if you’re young enough to put up with the physical challenge.  You can take a training course in guiding white-water rafters, etc., etc., and find yourself staring down grizzly bears in the great outdoors.  I have a relative who had gotten into this kind of work and liked it.

Cruise Ship Worker

If you want something a little glossier, try to get on as a worker on a luxury cruise ship.  I know of someone who did this and ended up marrying one of the dancers performing in the ship’s showroom.  What kind of work did he do?  Does it matter?


Still thinking of ships, maybe you’d like the challenge of working on the docks loading and unloading ships.  You’ll rub elbows with some interesting types.  I know because I’ve tried that one.

Ballroom Dance Instructor

If those old Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers movies turn your crank, take training with Arthur Murray Dance Studios and become an instructor.  It won’t put you on stage or in the movies, but you’ll be a star on any normal dance floor.  I tried this one too, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Security Guard

You want something more macho?  Try being a security guard.  I did, in Los Angeles, and guarded some interesting places:  Capital Records, various motion picture studios (you get to see big stars close up), and the Emmy Awards show.  At that location I alerted the police to a thief who was then arrested.

Forest Fire Lookout

I have a relative who did this lonely but important work for quite some time and liked it very much.  Besides being able to view the world from the top of a tower, she messed around with studying wildlife and growing her own garden in the wilds.

I could go on and on with this: Crop Duster; Bush Pilot; Ranch Hand (I did that); Ranch Hand On A Guest Ranch (I did that and liked it); Stuntman (I did that and didn’t like it); Actor (I enjoyed that a lot); Photographer (my wife does that); and Skyscraper Window Washer (I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-story swab).

So, you’re wondering, did Johnny Carlton ever find work he really liked and could stick with?  Yes, finally.  I’m happy writing suspense thrillers and this column.

But I am looking forward to trying a few other things.



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