Writing about unusual career possibilities is a long way from trekking the Simpson Desert or sailing to South Georgia Island but Jo Stewart has done all these things and much more. She is an accomplished travel writer and photographer and has written on adventure and popular culture for a wide range of Australian and international publications.
Although I Can Get Paid for That? includes advice on what qualifications and experience may be needed for some of the more unusual jobs, I think the author’s tongue was firmly in her cheek when she was writing. Stewart doesn’t pull her punches when suggesting having a strong stomach is close to the top of the list of requirements for those considering a career as a taxidermist.
The book suggests careers ranging from airplane repossession agent through court sketch artist, greeting card writer to snake milker, truffle hunter and finally, wig maker. Jobs such as professional instagrammer simply didn’t exist a few years ago but people who can take great pictures and have thousands of followers are now paid by tourist organisations, hotel chains and even fashion labels to promote their brands.
Jobs like this, or being a professional gamer, are now real careers thanks to the internet and social media. The author also includes the downsides of jobs which can sound like a dream come true – take being a professional gamer for instance. Remember only a very few earn top money; it’s a high pressure environment; repetitive strain injuries are common; and fans can be very fickle if you lose.
Stewart’s book would be a good read for anyone who wants to expand their career horizons. It will serve as a great introduction to a wide range of possibilities you may have never even heard of, let alone thought about getting paid for. She writes in a very readable, almost bouncy style and includes enough information to tempt the reader to perhaps seek out more.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 10: 7
Distributed by: Simon & Schuster
Released: March 2018