See it to believe it: discover some of the strangest and best-paid jobs.
Surely you were told at school that if you wanted to be happy and not have to understand what it meant to “make ends meet on your wages”, then you’d have to work hard to become an excellent businessman, lawyer or doctor. They weren’t wrong – but the good news is that they weren’t completely right either! There’s life beyond those careers – and it’s surprising too! There are some jobs that respond to a cry for help from a demanding labour market and others that arise spontaneously because of some whim in technological progress or the changing economy. They all share in common that they are different and well-paid! Had you heard of any of these?
Jobs that you’ll find hard to believe exist
1. Happiness Director. Companies have decided to invest in contentment and, therefore, we are coming across more and more Happiness Directors in HR Depts. Their mission could not be more obvious: motivating you to be happy at work. If you’re happy, the company accounts are too! Celia Pronto, Director of Marketing & e-Commerce for the Ford Retail Group has seen for herself that “Happy workers equal satisfied clients and profits for the company”. That’s a good reason to invest in it, don’t you think?
It’s not easy to manage people’s job satisfaction or control the health of the work environment but this is a role that is growing rapidly – due to the need to capture and retain talent – and demands (or provides you with) the option of experimenting and innovating. Companies such as Mobivery, Open English and the Colombian, Andres Carne de Res, all have this position on their staff already – with a profile in coaching and earning the same as a HR Manager.
2. Genetics Consultant. The availability of genetic data for a disease is fundamental for developing therapies, establishing new treatments or advising on family-planning matters. Amongst other things, the consultant is responsible for reviewing medical records, analysing and recommending genetic studies, and informing patients about risks based on their particular genetics. And besides being an avant-garde job, it’s well paid: at around $55,000 a year.
3. Professional ice-cream taster. If only all the experience already accumulated counted…
We’d all be super senior staff! It’s really usually a technical profile that is required: someone who, besides appreciating the quality of the ice-cream, knows how to diagnose areas for improvement. But some companies only require a trained tongue and the capacity to assess visual aspect, aroma, body and texture. And you can be paid up to $4,500 a month! (For the more specialist profile, of course).
4. Funeral planner. If we have someone to plan weddings, there’s all the more reason to have someone to plan burials. But, of course, more tact and skill than usual are called for (and paid for too) as you have to be able to guarantee a seamless transition to eternity. This professional profile is very common in the United States, where symbolic acts and big celebrations in honour of the dead are deeply rooted. The annual salary is on a par with the situation: around $80,000.
5. Mystery Shopper. It’s a job and a tool used internally by companies to assess the service being offered to clients and to detect the competition’s business strategies. The sectors that use the figure of the Mystery Shopper are mostly banking, tourism and the motor industry. Suddenly a person interested in acquiring a product, receiving advice on a pension plan or testing the clerk’s patience comes into the bank. The Mystery Shopper may have just sprung into action! Depending on the complexity of the objective in question or the knowledge required to pull it off, salary varies from $5 to $100 per visit.
6. Dog-food taster. You have to have the stomach, taste buds, sense of smell and critical capacity to taste food for pets. The last part is important – because if it wasn’t for that detail, this job would be done by a furry friend!
7. Professional sniffer. Smelling detergents and other chemical products is work. Literally. We consumers have a complex mechanism that is activated the moment we buy a product – and scent is a determining factor. It gets complicated when you have to smell armpits… Well, how did you think the effect of a deodorant was tested?
8. Human bed-warmer. You’ll find it difficult to believe – but it’s not a joke. There are upmarket hotels in colder regions that offer this service for warming up your bed and sheets. The bed-warmer is a worker who gets into the guest’s bed wearing a thermal suit – before he/she arrives. It’s considered a luxury service and the job doesn’t really require much physical or mental effort!
We hope we’ve been able to broaden your professional horizons if that’s what you were looking for and if not, at least, surprise you. If you know of any other unusual jobs, share them with us… We’re looking forward to reading about them!