You’re familiar with the conversation already, it goes something like this, “What are you going to do with your life then?” It usually comes from a concerned relative or a snooty colleague. To many people their life is mapped out from start to finish by their parents or societal norms.
Go to school, get a degree, work 60 hours a week, suck up to your boss and get the promotion you’ve yearned for when you’re in your late 40s. It’s a well-trodden path and any attempt to deviate it often causes sneers from those close to you.
But there’s nothing wrong with ignoring the well-trodden path that everyone else seems to be on. You can be happy, successful and fulfilled with a career that’s off the beaten track. If veering off the beaten track sounds tempting then read on to find out our list of unconventional careers.
Becoming a… Poker Dealer
People always say, “do what you love.” 99% of the time they don’t mean that in a literal sense, they mean it in a rambling sort of way. If you love football they don’t mean you should actually pursue a career in the sport, they mean that you should get a job that allows you to enjoy football at the weekends…
It’s the same with poker, you may well love it but you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone recommending you make a living from the card game. To be fair, there’s a valid reason for that – it’s incredibly tough trying to make real money from poker.
If you don’t reckon you’ve got what it takes to be a professional poker player, why not become a poker dealer? It’s a great way to ensure that you’re actually working with something that you love and the money’s not bad either.
Average poker dealers in Las Vegas can expect to make around $100,000 a year from a combination of basic salary and tips. Being a poker dealer comes with other benefits as well, your working hours will be flexible and if you excel, you’ll be able to travel and take part in some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments.
Becoming a… Social Media Manager
10 years ago you would have been shouted at by your parents and teachers if you’d even countenanced making a living from social media. The various platforms were seen as the plaything of teens and young adults.
Nowadays social media is a thriving industry with the field growing at an average of 9% a year. In fact last year in America alone there were just under 250,000 social media manager roles advertised.
Being a social media manager is all about knowing how the various social media platforms operate and how to get the most of them. If your tweets, Insta posts and Facebook shares are getting high levels of engagement you may just have a hidden talent for social media that could benefit your career and a willing company.
The entry level annual pay for a social media manager in America is $50,000 but that figure almost doubles after a few years’ experience within the industry. Unlike most professions you can’t go out and study to become a social media manager.
The best way to get a foot in the door in the industry is by building your own social media brand. Use your personal accounts as a portfolio to highlight your social sorcery and demonstrate what you can bring to potential hirers.
Becoming a… Sommelier
Wine is a lot simpler than certain people would like you to think. A very basic understanding of plant production, a better than average memory and a knack to describe what you’re tasting can take you a LONG way in the wine trade, and the money isn’t half bad either.
Most sommeliers have either a WSET Level 2 or WSET Level 3 qualification.The former is incredibly easy to ascertain whilst the latter is a little trickier but eminently achievable. Once you’ve attained either of these qualifications you can start working as a sommelier in pretty much any high-end restaurant.
If you make the right contacts you’ll be able to travel the world, drink some of the best wines to have ever been produced and earn between 42 to 100 grand a year. Within a couple of months you’ll even be able to convince people that you’re an ‘expert’ whilst remaining pretentiously aloof at all times!
Becoming a… Travel Blogger
There’s nothing better than travelling to a far-flung country and immersing yourself in a foreign culture. Just imagine if you could make money from doing it… Well fear not, you can! Although it will take an incredible amount of dedication and effort, it will be super rewarding in the long-run.
First things first, you’ll have to set up your own blog page which thankfully, is super easy nowadays. Once you’ve done that you’ll need to use all the tricks of the trade that you picked up in your brief spell as a social media manager.
Market the hell out of your blog and aim to reach at least 1,000 a week with your regular posts. Once you’ve done that get your spinning globe out and pick a country on the map to travel to.
Chronicle all of your experiences abroad on your blog and watch your audience figures rise and rise. Even if you simply use Google Ads as a way to monetize your blog, you should be able to make enough money to part-fund your travels.
If you’re smart about things though you could seek out your own partnerships with specific brands and start affiliate marketing. As your blog rises in popularity you’ll be able to avail of free nights at hotels and free experiences at tourist destinations, just so you can tell your readers all about how amazing it was!