Her Campus dug up the seven of the coolest jobs you’ve never heard of, including awesome career choices from Image Consultant to Menu Engineer. Naturally, there are copious fun employment opportunities that deserve to be added to this list, and Her Campus scrounged around for the most fantastic ones out there.
Here are five alternative career paths that you would have drooled over as a child with a wild imagination—basically, here are the dream jobs you’ve wanted since kindergarten, but had no idea existed!
What it is: The job’s basic requirements are pretty much what you’d expect: eating (I mean, tasting) tons of chocolate. However, you aren’t simply sitting around stuffing your face with truffles and checking “Delicious” or “Not Delicious” on a pad of paper. You’re expected to have a hefty memory for the tastes of all kinds of things that can be added to chocolate—curry, saffron, tomato, just to name a few you wouldn’t think of—and should be able to develop new flavors as well. You do get to travel on the company’s dime to source ingredients, though, which is definitely a plus!
How to get there: If Melissa Thompson’s interview with Green and Black’s chocolate company is any indication, cracking into the chocolate business isn’t as sweet and simple as it may sound! Aim for a major in nutrition or food science, but know that your degree isn’t what will get you the job. You need to have a sincere passion for chocolate, an intense ability to identify different flavors, and tons of creativity so that you can help formulate new products. Gain experience from interning at a company like Hershey’s, Dove, or Godiva by searching for positions on their websites labeled “Quality Assurance” or “Product Development” (the actual titles for a chocolate taster!).
Nail Polish Namer
What it is: It’s common knowledge that one of the top factors in choosing a color for your mani-pedi at the nail salon is the name of the nail polish. You know you’ve sat staring at essentially identical shades of red, but elected to pick the one in your left hand because it was called “Vampire Diaries” instead of “Crimson.” Companies like Essie and OPI are notorious for having hilariously punny names for their polish colors. You could become the person who names those shades and influences the polish choice some girl at a nail salon near you!
How to get there: Work toward a degree in marketing, perhaps with a minor in creative writing or communications. Essie Weingarten (yes, the founder of Essie!) said in an interview with Fashionista, “A name has to be witty and fun. It has to have a personality, and it has to resonate with what I know women want.” She went on to say, “Sometimes it’s an irreverent play on words, a funny story, or a theme. Ultimately, the names have to be memorable.” If you think you have the fresh ideas and endless valves of creativity that could make you a marketing whiz, this could be the job for you! Since Essie is a subsidiary of L’Oreal, your first step toward naming nail polishes would be to apply for one of the L’Oreal Summer Marketing Internships listed on their site. Be sure to emphasize your interest in brand management in your application!
Greeting Card Creator
What it is: There’s literally a Hallmark card for every occasion. Whether you’ve got a gift for capturing the essence of an emotional event like a marriage or a birth, or you have the propensity to create knee-slapping jokes for children’s birthday cards, there’s a niche for you within this job market. Even if you’re not interested in writing the messages, there’s always a market for creating or photographing the images for the front of these cards.
How to get there: A creative writing major would be the perfect precedent for the writers, and a graphic design or photography focus would be great for the artists. However a degree is not always necessary. What’s important is that you compile a portfolio. For those interested in writing the messages, this means getting your thoughts on paper. Offer pages of your best ideas, and consider creating a web portfolio as well. For those interested in becoming greeting card artists, pull together all of your best images to show off your abilities and potential. Head to a greeting card aisle near you and take a look at the styles of each brand, then decide which fits your personal style the best. Hallmark offers a list of internships for both writers and front designers on their website, as does American Greetings. Once you decide, send them your application, complete with a resume and portfolio, and make yourself an encouraging “Good Luck” card while you wait to hear back!
What it is: No, this is not someone who dresses pumpkins up in sweaters. A food stylist ensures that food looks perfect before being photographed or videotaped for advertisements. Think about the commercials that you see for Burger King and Wendy’s, and how steamy and delicious those meals look on TV. Food stylists are responsible for that involuntary drooling that begins the second you see that juicy cheeseburger.
How to get there: Food stylists should begin with a solid culinary education, and should try to spend a few years working in the restaurant business (preferably as a chef). They should go on to become a food stylist’s assistant to learn the tricks of the trade—looks are more important than taste in the food styling business!—at which point they can branch out and find their own clients. Major companies like General Mills and McDonald’s offer paid internships for “Food Styling Assistants,” where you’re given the opportunity to learn and work in a food photography studio.
Political Speech Writer
What it is: You can go on Tumblr and see zillions of GIFs depicting the most goosebump-inducing speeches President Obama has ever given. Though, to his credit, Barack Obama is an incredible public speaker, someone behind the scenes wrote all the inspirational words that he is saying in these speeches. If you’re creative, informed, and motivated, writing speeches for politicians (whether on a local, state, or national level) could be the job for you!
How to get there: The first thing you need to do is enroll yourself in classes on writing, public speaking, and persuasion. Start reading and watching the news every day, and write speeches on random current events as a test-run for yourself, to see if you’re up for the job. Then join a local political campaign. Get involved in politics and show your support before you approach politicians about their speeches. If they have an opening for a speech writer, great! If not, ask if you could work as an intern and shadow one of the current speech writers for experience. It’s a long haul—just ask President Obama’s former speech writer Jon Favreau, who began as “the kid who puts together the audio clips” in the Kerry campaign—but it’s worth it if you’ve got the talent and dedication for the job.