The weird and wonderful world(s) of work.
During your lifetime, you can expect to clock in 90,000 hours at work. Obviously, you want that time on the job to be richly rewarding. Need some inspiration? We’ve put together a collection of employment opportunities that are a bit off the beaten path.
Chief happiness officer
The CHO is a relatively new corporate position with the clear mandate to help others find their joy at work. Key qualifications include being a naturally happy person with loads of energy who inspires happiness in others. You are also top-notch at finding solutions to issues that might be causing stress or conflict on the job.¹
Do you have a strong stomach and a penchant for hair-raising thrill rides? Then roller-coaster tester might be the perfect job choice for you! Technically, you’ll be a roller-coaster engineer, trained to safely design a ride that delivers maximum fun without compromising safety. A perk of the job is being first in line to ride.²
How about a scoop of honey jalapeño pickle ice cream? Or maybe a big bowl of bacon cheeseburger potato chips is more your speed? You can thank the dedicated work of a flavourist for helping to create these unique tasty treats. Blessed with finely tuned taste buds, a keen sense of smell and creative curiosity, a flavourist uses chemistry to push the limits of cuisine.³
Are you the person with the sandwich board offering free hugs? You might want to upgrade and become a certified cuddler. In our increasingly high-octane society, the somewhat unusual career of professional cuddler is growing in popularity. Research confirms the healing power of hugs can help to ease anxiety, ward off depression and boost the immune system. Certified cuddlers earn as much as $80 an hour, and sessions can be as casual as holding hands and chatting all the way to snuggling up in a full bear hug.⁴
Polar bear cop
If you love the great outdoors and have a calm demeanour in the face of danger, then you might be the perfect candidate to join the Churchill polar bear patrol. Your mission is to keep this northern Manitoba town of 800 residents safe from these Arctic giants, who just happen to be larger and more ferocious than grizzlies! Be prepared to answer the call for help any time of day or night with as many as 300 incidents reported in a single year. Rubber bullets and paint balls tend to be enough to shoo most bears back to the tundra.⁵
It’s a living…
A look at some of the highest-paid jobs in Canada.
While the average full-time salary in Canada rings in at $55,000,⁶ a handful of careers are significantly more lucrative. Here’s a look at the top three:
- It takes grit and determination to lead a company, and that makes the position of chief executive officer the highest-paid position in Canada, with an estimated average annual salary of $300,000, although the total compensation package can bring that number much higher. In 2018, Bausch Health Companies Inc. CEO Joseph Papa earned top spot with a total compensation package of more than $83 million.⁷
- With at least 13 years of post-secondary education under their belts, radiologists are the highest earners in the medical community, earning up to $500,000 annually. So what does a radiologist do? This is a medical doctor highly skilled at reading X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds and other diagnostic imaging to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury.⁸
- With a focus on infectious diseases (e.g., Ebola and bird flu) a medical microbiologist rounds out the list in third spot with an annual starting salary of $300,000. While some movie blockbusters such as Contagion and Outbreak cash in on the fear factor of a potential runaway pandemic, reality is a bit tamer. Most medical microbiologists enjoy a quiet existence in a hospital lab setting.
Someone’s gotta do it!
Jobs not for the faint of heart.
When you spend so much of your life at work, it really should be a career that you find inspiring – or at the very least a job that makes for some interesting conversation at your next cocktail party. For a peek at one of the toughest jobs in Canada, you just have to look up.
It takes a dedicated team of workers to keep the beacon of Toronto’s waterfront in tip-top shape. At a height of 553 metres, the CN Tower stands equivalent to a 147-storey building, so even mundane tasks such as painting and window washing take on epic status. For everything from concrete inspections to minor cosmetic touch-ups, crews strap into their safety gear and scour every inch of the tower during the warmer summer months.⁹
Death is a natural fact of life, but it takes a special person to choose to become a mortician. While many people may shiver at the thought of working with the dead, funeral directors play an important role in helping the living to grieve the loss of a loved one.¹⁰
Ewww ... yuck!
It’s smelly, it’s messy and it might very well be the worst job in the world. All hail to the brave sewer cleaners, who are sometimes required to wade chest deep through sewage unmentionables to clear a clogged line. Exposure to toxic gases and the very real risk of suffocation make this a challenging career path.¹¹
1 www.theguardian.com/careers/2015/jul/13/if-youre-happy-and-you-know-it-become-a-chief-happiness-officer 2 www.makingittv.com/TopJobs10JobsYouDidntKnowYouWanted.htm 3 www.thebalancecareers.com/top-weird-and-interesting-jobs-2060110 4 www.thepennyhoarder.com/make-money/like-big-spoon-woman-earns-60-hour-cuddling-strangers 5 www.outsideonline.com/1927186/ride-along-polar-bear-beat-cop 6 http://blog.careerbeacon.com/stats-can-the-highest-and-lowest-paying-jobs-in-canada-for-2018 7 www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/richest-people/canada-100-highest-paid-ceos 8 www.slice.ca/money/photos/jobs-in-canada-that-pay-300k 9 www.fiixsoftware.com/blog/cn-tower-maintenance 10 www.monster.ca/career-advice/article/scary-jobs-that-pay-well-ca 11 www.careeraddict.com/disgusting-jobs-that-you-didn-t-know-existed
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