April 10, 2012
When it comes to career options, choices abound
Data steward. Customer advocate. Personalization specialist. Testimonial specialist. Lifecycle solutions business analyst. Incentive design analyst. Suitability review associate. Enterprise talent acquisition coordinator.
Before the turn of the millennium, it seemed as if most professionals could be classified in terms of about a dozen different career categories -- sales, marketing, accounting, engineering, production, personnel and the like. Fast-forward to today, and the options have exploded.
In my daily travels through the job market, I'm constantly surprised by some of the funky and unorthodox job titles I trip across (such as the ones above) that have emerged -- and that are apparently just waiting for a qualified candidate to come along and fill them.
In fact, when helping a client do some brainstorming recently on a mainstream career website, her collection of skills led to the suggestion that she should reinvent herself into the "pet psychology" field. Who knew? Click here and you'll find the page in question, explaining, "When you're a Pet Psychologist, your work begins in the animal's home, where you look for subtle clues that might cause breakouts of badness. Perhaps the dog's food dish is located next to the child's toy box, or perhaps Uncle Mick is allowed to give kitty a swift boot from time to time."
The salary range listed: $34,000 to $117,000. I'd have to assume, though, that the folks pulling down six figures in this profession are probably those who have been tasked with helping Paris Hilton's chihuahua battle his inner demons.
The takeaway from these observations is that would-be career changers have an enormous range of options to choose from. Not only have many traditional careers splintered into a number of sub-specialties, some of which might really be a great match with a given individual's talents and personality, but many of these uncommon new career choices have another advantage: The bar is usually lower for breaking into them, since you won't usually be going up against thousands of experienced competitors.
There aren't a lot of people out there who have done these jobs for a great many years. To put it another way, I doubt you could walk into a high school, either today or in years past, and hear a teenager exclaim, "I can't wait to be a director of coding and change integrity when I grow up!"
If you're in the process of researching some new career options, using various methods like the one I discussed in last week's post, I'd encourage you to keep your eyes open for some of these unorthodox new ways to make a living.
In some cases, sure, it's just a single company coming up with a silly new name for an existing career path simply to get attention or be daringly different. In many other cases, though, the breakneck pace and changing needs of the modern marketplace have spawned a series of new career possibilities.
Again, many of these fields are so new that the barriers of entry are surprisingly low. Get into them now, before they take off, and your career prospects might turn out to be brighter than you think.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
- career profile (155)
- cool jobs (53)
- education and training (57)
- entry level (66)
- etiquette (97)
- events (70)
- featured (329)
- finding your passion (89)
- health care (70)
- interviewing (78)
- job fairs (54)
- management (73)
- market trends (89)
- networking (261)
- resumes (94)
- salary (80)
- social media (79)
- technology (103)
- unemployment (53)
- work/life balance (86)