Five alternative jobs that might surprise you
For many of us, going to work is a pretty standard suit-and-tie, nine-to-five affair (or perhaps these days a pyjamas-and-slippers, Zoom-to-Zoom affair). We are accustomed to the routine meetings, e-mail threads and morning mug of tea. But there are some who chose a different path in life, whose career took a strange turn. People whose answer to the classic “so what do you do?” small talk at networking events might make you spit out your complimentary bubbly. Here are five jobs you may not know existed that would stand out on any CV.
As you might imagine, milking a snake comes with a few more risks than milking a cow. Of course, in this case, it’s not dairy products being extracted, but rather venom from some of the world’s deadliest species, including rattlesnakes and cobras. No big deal. Despite its risks, the job remains enticing in countries like Australia because the venom, which is often sent to laboratories and hospitals for use in life-saving antivenoms, can fetch a pretty price.
Ash portrait artist
When it comes to knowing what to do with the remains of your loved ones, turning them into a portrait might be the last thing you would think of. But if you don’t like looking at an urn on the mantlepiece and you’re also not into the traditional idea of scattering ashes, there’s always the option of commissioning a professional to transform them into a piece of art. These artists can create the likeness of the deceased, or even use the ashes to create jewellery or glass sculptures.
Dog food taster
Before you turn your nose up, remember that someone’s got to do it, and it turns out dogs don’t give very articulate feedback. Though it might not be our first choice of job, these heroes are willing to put culinary etiquette aside in order to ensure our pets get only the best products. After all, if it’s good enough for a human palate, it’s surely good enough for our less-than-picky, tail-wagging friends.
Cannabis coffeeshop barista
While admittedly no legitimate businesses are serving up hash brownies here in the UK, in the Netherlands and Spain the substance has been decriminalised, meaning there are jobs in the legal cannabis industry. If you’ve been to Amsterdam you’ll have encountered many “coffee shops”, but don’t be fooled: these aren’t just your regular café. These licensed joints will serve up your cappuccino alongside a legal high on the condition that the substance is not advertised and is being consumed in small amounts for personal recreational use.
Believe it or not, there are people who are paid to mourn at funerals. The idea of hiring someone who doesn’t know the deceased in order to grieve them might seem bizarre, but in fact it is intended as a way of comforting the family. The job originates from Egyptian, Chinese, Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures, and it’s still practised even to this day in parts of Asia.
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