The UK once had a shortage of chicken sexers (hang on, don’t flag our page for lewd content just yet) – people who can expertly determine the sex of chicken offspring – despite the job offering an annual salary of GBP 40,000 (about AUD 72,377.60 or PHP 2,773,753.77).
It’s quite surprising, isn’t it? We Filipinos have been brought up to think that in order to get a good salary, you’d have to be working in either the corporate world, engineering, medicine, or law. Last year’s most in-demand jobs for OFW’s even confirmed that.
Still, in a world where odd jobs often pay next to nothing, it’s comforting to know that there are unconventional ways to make bank AND enjoy yourself on the job. Here are ten of them:
1. Potato Chip Inspector.
Who doesn’t love opening a fresh bag of chips? That enticing salty smell, the sight of those golden-brown disks sprinkled with flavoring, and that wonderful, wonderful crunching sound as you dig your hands in repeatedly…Ah.
Here’s the thing, there is actually a select group of people whose jobs are to ensure that you get a perfect bag of chips every single time. Potato Chip Inspectors literally inspect the chips that come through a conveyor belt and pick out the ones that are misshapen, broken, or discolored.
Sure, it sounds a bit monotonous, but it can be quite a trip for anyone who likes being around potato chips and has an eye for detail, especially when you consider an average annual salary of USD 20,000-USD 56,000 (about AUD 27,595/PHP 1,058,630 – AUD 77,266/PHP 2,964,164).
2. Professional Queuer.
No one likes to stand in line for things, and now, you can actually hire someone to do that for you the next time your favorite band’s concert tickets or the latest smartphone goes on sale.
If you haven’t got anything else to do, you can try queueing up for someone and charging them at least GBP100 (AUD 181/PHP 6,944) per hour. Not bad for doing basically nothing except standing, breathing, and tinkering on your phone, eh?
3. Personal Shopper.
Shopping is generally seen as a costly pastime, but there are some individuals who have managed to turn it into a career.
Stylists and personal shoppers take updating wardrobes to new levels by sourcing special items (e.g., vintage clothing, designer goods, limited-edition collections, etc.) for their discerning clients, all while pocketing up to USD 100,000 (AUD 137,933/PHP 5,293,600) per year.
4. Water Slide Tester.
Got a taste for thrill-seeking? Testing out water slides might just be your calling.
The only requirement for this gig is the ability to swim and nerves of steel that can withstand sliding down some of the steepest and most winding water slides in the world.
Once you’ve assessed how big of a splash you can make while on it and how much of an adrenaline rush you got, you’re well on your way to an annual paycheck of USD 30,000 (AUD 41,380/PHP 1,588,575).
5. Bed Warmer.
Who would have thought that you could get paid for sleeping on the job?
Apparently, some hotel chains employ bed warmers to, well, warm their beds so that their guests can drift off easier during the cold winter months. (Oh, and for all you germaphobes out there, rest easy because these employees don specially-designed, hygienic sleepsuits while working.)
Yep, you can rake in GBP 16,000 (AUD 28,962/ PHP 1,112,080) each year for being a human hot water bottle. What a time to be alive.
6. Ice Cream Taster.
If you love eating ice cream, have a degree in food science, and also happen to possess highly-attuned taste buds, you can make up to USD 56,000 (AUD 77,221/PHP 2,965,480) each year. Yumyum.
On the other hand, if your palate is inclined towards more, ah, exotic tastes, there’s always the next item on this list.
7. Pet Food Taster.
Yep, you read that right. Your dog’s barbecue sauce-flavored puppy chow treats undergo taste-testing by humans.
So, if you’ve ever found yourself eating out of your pet’s food bowl and liking your little snack, have no shame. Pet food companies actually pay people like you USD 40,000 (AUD 55,158/PHP 2,118,200) per year to make sure that their products pass muster.
8. Video Game Player
Gone are the days when parents could tell their kids to get off the computer or console lest they end up with no degree and no future.
Not only does the rise of e-sports in the Philippines entail a million-dollar payday for top gamers, but the digital age has paved the way for amateurs to make a living out of their favorite hobby too. Playing video games professionally involves road-testing new game releases and assisting other players in advancing to higher levels.
Talk about blurring the divide between work and play.
9. Professional Snuggler.
Lest you feel the urge to flag our blog yet again for lewd content, this gig offers nothing more than what it advertises: cuddles by the hour. You basically snuggle up to someone and perhaps even nap alongside them for a predetermined length of time.
On the one hand, it’s quite sad that people have gotten so lonely that they feel the need to pay for companionship, but on the other hand, who’s complaining when it results in a gig that pays USD 60 (AUD 82.74/ PHP 3,178) per hour?
10. Fortune Cookie Writer.
Somewhere out there is a person banging out bits of Confucian wisdom on a keyboard, simply so that the resulting slips of paper can be rolled up in fortune cookies and savored by diners after devouring some Chinese takeout.
Given that fortune cookie writers are said to make anywhere between USD 28,000 to USD 75,000 (AUD 38,598/ PHP 1,483,090 – AUD 103,387/PHP 3,972,562) each year, perhaps it’s safe to say that they must have stumbled onto the fount of luck and prosperity.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying you should throw your nursing degree out the window and suddenly apply to be a human water bottle for the biggest hotel chain you can find. If you truly find great satisfaction in being an engineer, lawyer, salesperson, doctor, or architect, then more power to you. The world can always use more of you guys.
The whole point of this article is to show that with a little creativity and gumption, it is possible to have a fulfilling career outside a four-cornered cubicle and even prosper for it.
Right, I’m off to examine some fortune cookies to start practicing for my next side job then.