Cool Jobs You Never Knew Existed

The think-outside-the-box jobs that are a far cry from your usual 9-5


by Helena Hamilton |
Published on

Remember that anti-climactic moment when the careers' advisor at school asked whether you were a team player before suggesting you train as an accountant? If the thought of a corporate job leaves you cold, we’ve found some cool jobs that will not only get you springing out of bed on a Monday morning (maybe), but will also give you the best answer next time someone at a party asks what you do for a living.

Dig out your crystal ball and become a Futurist

If you’re still freaking out over how to use your iPhone 5, then then Futurism may not be for you. However, if you’ve ever wondered how we’ll be living in 50 years' time – what our quality of life will be like, the technological and communicational advancements that may change the way we live completely, then maybe this is your calling.

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‘Futurism is the study of events and trends that could feasibly occur in the near-term, mid-term and long-term future in assessing and anticipating possible futures’ Dr Natasha Vita-More – teacher, author, researcher and futurist – explains. ‘There is not just one definite future, but possible outcomes depending on the variables and systems in which events occur.’ There’s no crystal ball involved in assessing the future. ‘I do not make predictions. Predictions are based on hope and often personal beliefs, and a lack of critical thinking.’

Natasha specialises in the future of human enhancement and life extensions. She reckons that in the future, we’ll all wear devices to constantly monitor our health to give us ‘moment-to-moment information about our bodies… to let us know our heart rate, our blood pressure, or hormone levels, our mood swings and if we are high in protein or low in sugar levels.’ Subsequently, Natasha believes that we’ll all be living longer and healthier lives ‘Not only this, we will be living longer and with more vitality. 70 could become the new 50.’ Hmm – maybe time to seriously consider that pension?

Interested? Natasha advises a university course in Future Studies (here’s a list of Future Studies courses around the world, including those at Exeter, Kent and Bath universities) and/or an online course. Futurist conferences and societies such as the World Future Society are a great way to network.

*You can buy Natasha’s book The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future here. *

Become A Laughter Yoga Therapist

Yes, it’s a thing. You may LOL at the idea, but companies employ laughter yoga therapists to hold workshops in which breathing techniques and laughter are encouraged to release endorphins and, ultimately, put participants in a positive mindset. Laughter yoga therapist Anna Devvit has had her share of surprised reactions during her workshops: 'People are like "you’re joking!" but I’m like "no, this is what we’re going to do." Afterwards they all love it.'

If you’re yet to master your downward dog, then don’t worry. According to Anna, the ‘yoga’ part is related to the focus on breathing, as opposed to physically getting your mat out and pulling some shapes in a leotard and leggings. She teaches all kind of clients, ‘I’ve done it for bankers, corporate clients, kids, and I’ve done it for stand-ups.’ (Anna is also a stand-up comedian. She really does love to laugh). ‘But as long as you’ve got the energy to push it then people will enjoy it. You need to be energetic. It’s massively interactive, it involves music and at no point are you sitting down.’

Interested? There aren’t many laughter yoga training courses available in the UK, but Anna advises Joy Works. She also says that you definitely need to be a people person, with loads of confidence to boot. ‘You might be asking people to lie down and laugh and when you’ve got a bunch of bankers in their matching outfits you need to have confidence. I think you need to make people trust you as well, because when you laugh for so long you start crying. That’s what it's all about – emotions.’ Anna says that degrees connected to entertainment, like drama or media studies will give you a good grounding for a career as a laughter therapist.

*You can find out more information about Anna’s workshops here. *

Create rides around the world as a Roller-Coaster Designer

I mean, what could be better?! Despite the popularity of roller-coasters and theme park rides around the world, there are only around 20-30 amusement ride manufacturers worldwide – so if you want the job, you’ve got to be extremely focused.

Clayton Reeves is the CEO of Reeves Amusement Rides in Scotland – which has designed rides for theme parks such as Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington, London Dungeons and Winter Wonderland. He encourages anyone who has the passion for the industry to stick with it, though the design process can be long and there can be years between the initial design meeting to the final product being built. Clayton says the creative input is the best part. ‘There’s a lot that goes into roller-coaster design… maybe one of the competitor parks will put something in bigger, higher, or faster, so if they haven’t confirmed the designs or started construction, then everything changes.’

It’s always important to remember who you’re designing for, though. 'The biggest limitation that you’ve got is the human body. We can only take people to plus and minus so many Gs for so many seconds before you start injuring them. For example, as a standard, you can’t send people anti-clockwise as it makes everybody nauseous,’ Clayton explains.

Interested? Having a degree in design or engineering can help, so can experience working with the various materials used to build roller-coasters. There are many apprenticeships on offer in various specific areas of building and manufacturing, such as steel work and glass. Although there are currently no courses specifically tailored to roller-coaster design in the UK (Clayton says he’s heard of a possible new course in Germany), any experienced designers looking to specialise in roller coasters should try their hand at going freelance and sending their ideas to companies, or offer to take on a test brief and create initial ideas. Being an avid globetrotter doesn’t hurt, either, since your clients could be based anywhere ('I was in Germany last week, before that was Spain, before that Australia…')

For more great job ideas, check out for straight-talking careers' advice

Follow Helena on Twitter @HezzleHazzle

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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