Jobs you never knew existed

Seal wrangling on a road work crew, diving for golf balls, wine ambassador, banana ripener, social media influencer, bird scarer, shark tank cleaner – there really is no need to sit in an office for eight hours a day if you don’t want to.

If you’re stuck in a job rut, surely finding a job that nobody knew exists can provide a very interesting way to get out. All you have to do is find one – here are some ideas to give you some food for thought!

Golf ball diver. The Taupo Hole in One golf challenge guy braves Lake Taupo with his scuba gear every morning to fish up golf balls hit in by customers vying for the $10,000 prize. Then he spends the day watching the balls go back in the water again.

Bird attack minimiser. Those with a sharp eye and a gun licence are hired to cull birds from airports around the country, while others shoot into the air to scare birds off grape vines.

Building hanger-offerer. Abseiling is not just a weekend activity for people cleaning high-rise windows or doing other maintenance jobs in hard-to-reach places such as large tanks or high bridges.

Test dummy. Product reviewers can be anyone who is willing to test, well, products, and are able to communicate what they think adequately.

Water floaterer. Locking people into tanks of water, in the nicest possible way, is what floatation tank assistants do. A zen aura, calm voice and good towel folding skills probably help too.

Seal wrangler. Seal wrangling on State Highway 1 became a paid occupation after the 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake in 2016. Because of the large seal population along the damaged highway, full-time wranglers were employed to keep the seals out of harm’s way while the road was fixed.

Banana ripener. It’s not just a job, it’s a specialist career. Banana ripeners use chemicals and special ripening rooms to get the fruit to exactly the point where they can be presented to picky customers.

Light bulb changer. Building taller and taller things is a growing phenomenon. The problem with that, though, is they become a bit of an issue for planes. So, they need to be lit up. In the US alone, more than 10,000 technicians are employed to climb 1,500ft radio towers and regularly change the bulbs on top.

Legit criminal. Security firms, banks and a range of organisations hire experts to break alarms, safes and locks, and hack into security systems and websites to help them be best protected against real criminals.  

If I don’t know it exists, how do I find it?

Finding a job you never knew existed is as simple as thinking more widely about your skills – life skills as well as professional skills - than you would for a “normal” job. However, many unusual jobs require some very normal skills and personal attributes, such as:

  • Good communication skills
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability
  • Innovative thinking

Once you’ve pinned down what attributes you possess, add some life skills unique to you.

For instance:
You’re a shopaholic. Rather than considering this potentially a flaw (for your bank account at least), become a personal shopper and shop all day long with someone else’s money.

You’re a social media addict. How about becoming a professional social media influencer, the most modern of marketing careers? Similarly, YouTube addicts could get paid for watching it by becoming a channel manager.

You have a tropical fish fetish. Take it to the next level and become an aquarist – someone has to change the water in the tanks at the public aquarium, diagnose sick fish and clean the shark tanks.

You love to drink wine. Drink more, learn everything about wine, and become a wine ambassador for a wine label so you can tell the world about it, and get paid.

You really like bananas. See banana ripener, above.

There really is no limit to what you can do, think outside the square and the job may not only exist but be waiting for you to fill it.

And you don’t have to wait for a job to come up in your particular niche, consider setting your unique business up yourself and making it work for you.