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Unconventional Vocations

Your natural aptitude and skills might be better suited to a less standard career that can, ultimately, be more satisfying, says Melissa De Silva.

If you’re feeling unfulfilled or unchallenged in your corporate job, perhaps
a complete change of career is in order. Your unique traits, gifts and inclinations may equip you for something different.

One way to explore what might suit you better is to read up on different industries and job scopes. It’s also worthwhile to take a look at books aimed at helping people identify their passions and plan how to switch careers.

Once you know the area of work you’d like to enter, the next step is to acquire the skills that will set you up for success in your new chosen vocation.

Here are four less conventional careers to consider, and how to get started.

Succeeding as a blogger

Anyone with internet access can, technically, become a blogger. But whether you succeed (success being defined as having a strong following, earning income from your blog through advertisers, or both) will depend on how good a writer you are, how savvy you are at marketing yourself, and whether you have an instinct for interesting content.

Blog writing needs to be crisp and succinct. To improve your writing skills, check out the heaps of books on writing available at our public libraries, or sign up for a writing course.

Successful bloggers also get invited to events and launches, so be sure to get yourself on the mailing list of every public relations firm in town. As for knowing what makes good content, when brainstorming, ask yourself: Would you be interested in reading that?

Becoming an entrepreneur

Everyone knows the upsides of being an entrepreneur – a flexible schedule, the power to make all your own decisions as a business owner rather than as an employee, and the possibility of financial freedom in the future.

Those comfortable taking risks, unfazed by round-the-clock hours, and the challenge of constant problem-solving, likely have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

The most successful have been creative thinkers such as Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey; their imaginations were too large to be contained by existing structures, and they also had the gumption to run with their dreams.

If you’re a creative problem-solver with an idea you think the world needs, but lack the skills, enroll for relevant business courses and consider partnering someone with complementary skills.

Once you know the area of work you’d like to enter, the next step is to acquire the skills that will set you up for success in your new chosen vocation.

Working for a good cause

How would you like to work for a cause you care about – whether it’s alleviating poverty, promoting compassionate treatment of animals or protecting the environment?

Many people in the non-profit sector express deep job satisfaction as they get to do work that directly contributes to a cause they personally believe in. They also enjoy close relationships with co-workers because such jobs tend to attract people with similar values and a shared desire to do something meaningful with their lives. Roles in non-profits also tend to be more fluid as smaller teams mean staff have the opportunity to take on various responsibilities.

For many people, these benefits outweigh the drawbacks of working for a non-profit such as lower pay. To get a feel of working in this sector, volunteer at a local charity that is close to your heart.

Providing corporate training

Corporate trainers are experts who impart knowledge and skills to employees in a company. Some may be hired on full-time contracts to help with migrations to new business systems. They can also be independent consultants who work short-term contracts, training employees in diverse subjects ranging from marketing and communications, people management, to organisational alignment, finance and legal and customer service.

There is no fixed education or career background, though relevant qualifications and professional experience are vital. To deliver any training in Singapore, it is advisable to get the Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment, which equips learners with the essential skills to provide training and assessments across different industries.

NUSS offers courses that may give you a taste of a new line of work, or be a practical bridge to a new field. Sign up for a course today at!

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