Unconventional Career OptionsCareer Tips | April 11, 2010 | Share
Gone are the days when Engineering, Medicine, Law and Management were the only career paths one opted for after finishing school. Though there are still many people going for these conventional courses, youngsters today are more open to trying something new that interests them and going for an offbeat career. Most of the parents are still skeptical about unconventional careers and would rather advice their children to go for a tried and tested job but the youngsters are brave enough to take risk and follow their hearts instead of following the herd.
There is no dearth of opportunities in unconventional fields. Radio channels are always in need of good Radio jockeys who can raise the popularity of their channels. Models are always in need of good Fashion photographers who can boost their portfolio with some amazing pictures. If you have an exceptional talent and more than anything a strong desire to learn and hone your skills then nobody can stop you from succeeding. There are not that many training institutes though offering good quality courses when it comes to an unconventional field. But that doesn’t stop students from going after their dream career. They get trained abroad in the respective area of interest if they are not finding any good training centers in India. Some of the offbeat careers don’t require any special degree so anybody who is passionate and has the basic skills can jump into these fields.
When compared to a conventional career, offbeat careers have both positive and negative points so one must be aware of these before taking the plunge. Unlike regular jobs an offbeat job is not monotonous and boring .It is fun and challenging and you are more likely to find it satisfying as it is in line with your interests. A person going for conventional courses like management has to handle tough competition as there are millions of people going for a management course. You can get lost in the crowd and you will not be able to make a mark unless you are exceptionally good at it. There would be less competition in unconventional fields as there are not that many people going for these fields. You have a greater chance of getting recognized and being able to make a difference. The unconventional fields are however full of uncertainties so one needs to be patient enough and not get bogged down by initial struggles and rejections. Only someone with a strong will and lot of patience can sail through the initial storms. If you are not willing to push beyond your limits and come out of your comfort zone then an unconventional career is not for you. On this road less travelled you surely need lot of courage to move ahead. There is no fixed way to reach your destination here so you have to find your own way. The income might be low and unsteady in the beginning so one must be prepared for that.
Given below are some of the offbeat career paths one can opt for –
With the growth of the Indian media and Advertising industry photographers are in great demand these days. Photography is a vast field. There are different specializations under photography. Fashion photography, Nature and Wildlife photography, Travel photography, Still photography etc are some of the options one can consider. As a photographer you can work for magazines, newspapers, websites or work as a freelance photographer exhibiting your work in several media fairs. The job is exciting with an opportunity to work outdoors and at flexible hours if you are self employed. Photography is not just about knowing how to operate different cameras and lenses. Your success depends on your uniqueness and originality. As a photographer you might have to struggle a bit initially but once you have carved a niche for yourself everything will fall in line. As a fresher you would be able to earn somewhere between Rs. 3,000-6,500/month but as you grow there is no limit to how much you can earn. Some photographers are earning six figure income per month.
- DJing, RJing and Sound Engineer
Are you a music lover? If yes then a career related to music would interest you. If you are a party animal and would love to make people dance to your beats then why not become a Disc Jockey or a DJ. Anyone who can entertain the crowd and has some basic knowledge of popular genres of music can consider DJing. Also you don’t need any specific training to enter this field. Apart from clubs, DJs are in demand to perform in the corporate events and weddings also. Starting salary for a fresher might be around Rs. 5000-8000 per event.
If you are blessed with the gift of gab then you can be a good Radio Jockey or RJ. You need to be an entertaining and enthusiastic communicator. Good voice along with a witty sense of humor can be an added advantage. There are few Institutes like Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai, Academy of Radio Jockeying, Delhi that offer a course in RJing. With a starting salary of Rs.7,000-15,000 per month your salary can move up to 84,000 or above per month.
If you want to delve deeper into music, learning some technical aspects of sound and music then you can consider becoming a sound engineer. Sound engineers are the ones who are involved in creating background music and sound effects in movies. They deal with sound production, sound mixing, recording and editing sound. This job is interesting and satisfying.
- Wedding Planners
Weddings are done in lavish and new styles these days. If you are captivated by the grandeur of the wedding ceremonies then you can become a wedding planner. Initially popular in the west, the trend of having a wedding planner is slowly setting its foot in India. You can be a good wedding planner if your mind is buzzing with fresh and creative ideas and you can develop good rapport with the clients. A diploma in event management can be helpful in starting out this career. A fresher can get paid somewhere between Rs 5,000-10,000/month but with experience and exposure the salary would increase exponentially.
- Fitness Expert
If you are one of those fitness fanatics who would not mind working out in the gym all day long then the job of a fitness expert is perfect for you. With more and more people visiting gym these days for body building or to lose weight, there is a need for good fitness experts who can train them and motivate them to achieve their goals. Fitness trainers have specialized formal and practical education in the field of Anatomy, Exercise physiology, Kinesiology and Strength training. Apart from certification, a fitness expert also needs good communication skills and the desire to update their knowledge by learning new trends in the field. One can get the required training in training centers like The Gold’s Gym University and Talwalkers Academy. The starting remuneration may be around Rs.5, 000 but it can go up to Rs. 10, 0000/month or above with experience.
- Adventure sports Instructor
If you are one of those adventure freaks then you can become an Adventure sports instructor. Adventure sports instructor may work in several areas like mountaineering, rock climbing, scuba diving, sky diving etc. With the growing popularity of adventure sports, a sports instructor can find myriad jobs. A fresher can expect a salary of Rs. 10,000-15,000/month. There are institutes like Himalayan Mountaineering institute, Darjeeling, Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarakhand where you can get the training required to be an Adventure sports instructor.
- Food Critic
Ever imagined getting paid to have yummy food at a gorgeous restaurant? Yes it is possible to get paid to taste food and give your comments on food and beverages being served in different kinds of restaurants. That’s exactly what a food critic does. A food critic provides thoughtful, unbiased information to the people so they can easily make the decisions about which restaurant to opt for. Apart from having well-developed palates a food critic must have a good knowledge of food industry from history of the food to their preparation. Once they gain some level of experience food critics can write articles and publish them in several newspapers and magazines.
These are just few examples. There are countless options available these days. Once you discover where your passion lies you can carry out online research to explore all the available career options in your field of interest. Conventional or unconventional, I feel one should always choose a career that one is passionate about. When you love your job you will put in more effort and also be more willing to learn which would make you successful in the chosen field.
Steve Jobs was right when he said “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly happy is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”