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Weird, Wonderful & Wacky Jobs

Posted September 27, 2019, by Jenny

We’ve bored ourselves to death in an office job just to make ends meet. Well, stagnate no longer – it’s time to unleash your wild and wacky self on the world.

Many of us see our quirky pastimes as just that – something fun to do after a long, boring day in the jobs we love to hate. But what if you could turn that hobby into a career? The good news is that there’s never been a better time to work at being weird and wonderful. Forget accounting and law – weird, wonderful and wacky jobs in niche industries can provide all the flexible working conditions, travel opportunities and, yes, income that you’ve been dreaming of.

They say that tens of thousands of new jobs are created each year. How many of them are off-the-wall, out-of-this-world jobs that you could be doing? You’d be surprised at the opportunities that are out there for industries you might not have even thought of or knew existed…. 

Fortune Cookie Writer

Are you creative? Have a way with words? Do you consider yourself witty and wise? We foresee you becoming a fortune cookie writer. 

Around 3 billion fortune cookies are made each year - that’s a lot of one-liners! Production companies often reply on freelancers to create the content that goes into these pint-size treats.
So what does it take to become a fortune cookie writer? More than you think. “Crafting a single sentence that appeals to disparate demographics across the globe is a tough task… Scribbling a sentiment that’s poignant enough to be tucked into wallets or shared on social media is even more so. And risqué or topical fortunes are off-limits. After all, customers want to be surprised—not scandalized—when they open a cookie.”

On the flip side though, like any freelance gig, you have the freedom to choose your hours and your ‘office’ so it ain't so bad. Plus you could really make someone’s day next time they pick up Chinese take out. 

Dog Surf Instructor

You’re a lover of the great canine. You’re a fan of the surf. Why not become a doggie surf instructor?! Yes, dogs on surfboards are a thing and you can make an entire career out of it.

As fun as this job is, it requires a whole lotta skill in both surfing and animal training. 

Cuddle Therapist

Are you known for giving the best hugs? Are you always the first one to comfort others? Don’t mind the idea of touching strangers? Become a professional cuddler. Yes, you can get paid for your hugs.

There is loads of research around the benefits of hugging and visiting a cuddle therapist can have a host of benefits, including helping others to feel calm, safe and more confident. 

Before your mind wanders off, let me reassure you that cuddle therapy sessions are platonic and is a form of touch therapy. Cuddle therapists can get paid anywhere from $50 - $100 an hour to spoon, hold hands and cuddle with people they barely know. 

Foley Artist

Foley artists create and record sound effects for film and television. Within the sound industry, there are few jobs more hands-on and interesting than a foley artist. It combines the knowledge of film production and sound design with amazing creative flair and opportunity to experiment.

This job can send you all over the world working for blockbusters such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, or you can hole up in your shed to break new ground and revolutionise the way we hear films. There is a lot of scope for a foley artist if you use your imagination.

A large part of the job is experimenting in the studio to create the sound you need. Sound effects are rarely recorded at the same time as dialogue and action because it’s hard to capture dialogue and environmental sound at the same time. The foley artist first listens to the dialogue to identify the poorly recorded sounds of, for example, heavy footsteps then a

door slamming. These sounds are then recreated in the studio and recorded separately, and later edited in so it’s in sync with the action onscreen. Some sound effects are drawn from recorded libraries, but many directors prefer the direct involvement of the foley artist.

Foley artists work in a foley studio to re-create the sounds they need for the production. The studio is large, usually a warehouse or similar space. Within the studio, the foley team will have walking pits filled with different materials such as dirt, grass, gravel, concrete, wood, tiles or lino. Many foley artists take pride in constructing their own sound effects apparatus, frequently using simple, common materials.

Check out this clip on how sound effects are made. 

Pole Dancing Instructor

Imagine swinging around a pole using one arm and an ankle. Then, all in one smooth action you turn to face the pole, hold on above your head, press one shin at the front and secure the grip with the other leg wrapped around the back, and pull your whole body upwards.

Alternating between grasping the pole with your hands and your legs, you reach the top in no time – then you lean back and hang upside down, supporting your body only with your thighs.
This is the sort of thing a pole dancing instructor does every day.

Pole dancing is rapidly emerging as a fun and cheeky form of exercise for women. While a few years ago pole dancing was associated with the stigma of strip clubs, it is now recognised by the Australian Institute of Fitness as a challenging sport that promotes upper body
strength like no other. Just ask anyone after their first lesson – sore muscles are to be expected when you spend an hour holding up your entire body weight with your arms.

Pole dancing is now a popular way to spend hens’ nights or girls’ nights out. Job opportunities for pole dancing instructors took off when many studios opened up and even gyms started offering lessons to keep up with the demand.

Food Stylist

Ever wondered why the cheeseburgers you buy never look as shiny as the ones on the menu board? Have you tried your hand at a fancy recipe and found that your festering gloop looks nothing like the cassoulet in the cookbook? Well, there’s a reason for that.

The food in those photos has been styled by a group of professionals known as food stylists. Their job is to ‘style’ the food so that it’s in tip-top shape for the photographer. This is done for two main purposes: advertising, which includes everything from your fast food menu board to your cereal box; and for cookbooks and magazines.

The food stylist works closely with the photographer to achieve the right look. The client may have a particular idea in mind although more often than not it is up to the stylist to come up with the concept. There is a high degree of creativity involved and food stylists are
responsible for everything in the shoot, including cutlery, crockery, garnishes, table decorations and sometimes even furniture.

Netflix Tagger

Hold onto your seats…. Netflix is paying people to binge-watch Netflix! 

Okay, so there’s a bit more to it than just binging on an entire season of House of Cards in a day. The team of Netflix taggers sit and watch around 20 hours a week worth of Netflix shows, movies and specials and tag each with relevant metadata to make it easier to search and categorise. This is also what keeps Netflixs recommending shows and films they think you’ll like. 

Pyrotechnician

We all enjoy fireworks to mark celebrations and special occasions, those dazzling displays of colour that explode with gunfire cracks and whooshing noises high in the dark night sky. And, naturally, it’s even more fun when it’s your finger on the trigger.

Before 1986, there was a fireworks night every year where people used to hold their own fireworks displays, but after too many accidents this practice was banned. Now, in most states in Australia, the use of fireworks has been restricted to professionals. 

So how do pyrotechnicians make the magic happen? A pyrotechnician is responsible for designing fireworks displays, selecting the appropriate fireworks, transporting them, setting them up and setting them off. They must know about wind direction and safety areas and, once both are secured, they control the ignition of the fireworks for displays. More often than not the displays are set to music, so the timing is critical and each element of the display is carefully planned.

Professional Line-Stander

You’re dying to be one of the first to get your hands on the latest iPhone but the overnight queue is a major turn off. Guess what! You can pay someone to wait in line for you. 

To become a professional line-stander all you need to a pair of comfortable shoes, a whole lotta patience and a good Spotify playlist and maybe sometimes a cosy sleeping bag. So, how did this even become a thing? When a suddenly out of work gentleman in Italy named Giovani Cafaro started promoting this service. He’s now known as il Primo Codista Italiano (the First Italian Queue Professional) and offers classes for aspiring line standers with the hope of going national. 

If you think you fit the brief required of a professional line-stander simply put together your ad for Gumtree and start spreading the word.

Jenny

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