The first time you were asked, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ was probably around the age of five. Maybe you wanted to be a ballet dancer, or an astronaut, or for some odd reason you replied, ‘a plumber’ like I did.
There’s plenty of people who know from a young age exactly what they want to be and set out on a straight and narrow path to achieve it (I didn’t become a plumber just so you know, but there’s still time). As an adult, one of the main reasons this question is so confusing and confronting is because we don’t see the world in clear cut career paths anymore.
We’re not just choosing between, doctor, teacher, fire fighter or actor like we were when we were five. We’re choosing between job titles that often don’t make sense and qualifications that very rarely lead us straight into a specific line of work. And sometimes we don’t know what we want to do, because we haven’t even heard of the job before.
So, we’ve done some digging for ya, and found some pretty sick jobs that you didn’t even know existed (probably).
1. Festival planner
Are you ace at wrangling the group chat and actually making sure plans with your mates get organised? Maybe you’re a music fanatic and like having a reaaaal good time in the middle of a paddock every weekend in summer. If so, then planning festivals is the job for you.
Festivals and live performances have to be dreamed up and organised by someone, from the smallest details, like the designs of emails, to the biggest, like the layout of stages. It’s a great way to get creative, watch and meet bands you’ve always loved and create a tight-knit community of like-minded people. Even if it is just for one magical long-weekend.
You can land this job by doing an events management course, so get on it.
2. Wine ambassador
Do you love wine? Like, looovvveee wine? Cause, I dunno if you know, but you can travel the world promoting wine. Yep. You read that correctly. You can become a wine expert and advise people on what to drink, where it comes from and how it’s made.
By completing a short course which covers wine-making, growing, drinking and marketing you can travel the world selling wine. But why stop at wine? Whisky, vodka, gin, congac, rum. The list is endless (and so is the bottle).
Nothing on the internet these days is really that safe and secure. There are break downs, breaches and break ins all the time. The job of an ethical hacker is to make sure websites and the information on them are secure by trying to hack into them. Which means you’ll find many ethical hackers working within governments, banks and private corporations. It’s in a company’s best interest to keep their information secure in every way possible.
There are heaps of extensive and detailed courses available. Ya really gotta be a tech-wiz for this one though, or it might just all go over your head.
4. Food stylist
This one is for all those foodie/photographers out there who just can’t seem to pull themselves away from that lens (or dinner plate). Food styling is a real thing and you see it around more than you realise. In cookbooks, on Maccas menus and on the TV. Pretty much your job is to make food look ace, from dishes made by top chefs to a six nugget meal.
Having a basic idea about photography and styling is the first step, but there are heaps of food styling short courses available to give you the insider tips as well.
5. Trip manager (aka tour guide)
Obviously you’ve heard of this one. But maybe you haven’t thought about how far you can go in this job. Or the fact that you don’t need any type of qualification to get started.
Tour companies like Contiki are always on the look out for people to manage their tours at the increasing number of destinations they travel to. This means leading a group of keen young people all over a continent, showing them all the tourist sites and a couple of secret spots too.
Places like Bridge Climb will pay you to spend each day soaking in the best views Sydney has on offer. All ya need is a pair of itchy feet, excellent time and people management skills and a whole lot of stoke.
6. (Insert outdoor sports activity here) instructor
If you’re good at any type of outdoor activity or sport, you can almost definitely find a job teaching others how to do it. Whether it be surfing, skiing, scuba-diving or even sky-diving.
There are a tonne of people who want to learn these skills, or at least say they gave it a red-hot go. You could be the one to teach them. Depending on the type of activity you want to teach, you may only have to complete a short coaching course. Or you may have to jump out of a plane a couple-hundred times. It’s up to you really.
If you’ve got an undying love for art, antiques, fossils or anything else that can be found in a museum or gallery, why not curate at one? A curator is the person who programs, arranges and researches exhibitions. Basically you get to choose what goes in the museum, where it goes and then teach the public about it. Not a bad gig at all.
Having studied a visual arts, history or archaeology degree will certainly help you understand what you’re talking about, but it’s not always essential.
Whatever issue you’re passionate about, whether it be animal conservation, climate justice or world hunger, there are heaps of organisations already working on these issues that are just waiting for people full of passion to jump on board (literally, if ya wanna work on a Greenpeace ship).
It’s a tough gig going up against the man, but at the end of the day, everyday, you’re making the world a better place. That’s a pretty great selling point.
Although a degree in politics, law or whatever issue it is you’re concerned about will definitely help you to be taken more seriously, all that is really needed for this job is a fire in your belly (plus a couple years of volunteering goes a long way too).
9. Sleep therapist
Obsessed with napping and know everything there is about getting as much sleep as you can? Becoming a sleep therapist could be for you. Stats show that Aussies are having more and more issues surrounding sleep. It’s no wonder really, we’re constantly working or studying and getting a solid sleep can be at the bottom of our to do list.
It’s a pretty big issue because it means a lot of us are pushing through our days sleep deprived with can lead to an increase in car accidents, health problems and lack of productivity. Which means we need people who are interested in researching sleep and helping us get a few more hours in bed each day.
10. Dog surfing instructor
Dog surfing is a legit sport and someone has to teach the doggos how to do it. In fact, there’s a tonne of jobs out there that give you a chance to hang out with cute dogs all day that go beyond being a regular trainer. Think rescue centres, boarding kennels, or service dog training. A lot of places, like your local rescue centre, will usually be pretty happy to take on volunteers so you can sus out if it’s the job for you before you commit to a career in it.
Jobs and careers are constantly evolving. It’s pretty likely that if you’re just starting your studies now, that one day you’ll work a job that hasn’t even been invented yet, or you never knew existed. So don’t limit yourself to the traditional lines of work that we dreamt about when we were kids. There’s heaps of new and exciting jobs to explore and even more skills to learn.