Unconventional Jobs in Singapore that you might not know exist
These jobs are not your regular 9-5 gigs
Work is a necessary part of life, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a drag. If you’re getting tired of the usual 9-to-5 grind, it might be time reinvigorate your career by taking up one of these jobs. Sure some of them might be a little out there (and some might even require you to go back to school!) but if they touch on something that you’re passionate about, it’s worth giving it a shot right?
1. Tree Doctor
The proper title is an Arborist, and if you think of how many trees Singapore has, you’ll understand why this is an important job. Your main order of business would be treating and inspecting trees, and you’ll be the first call when a tree collapses on the highway or gets struck by lightning. A degree in arborculture, forestry or horticulture will be handy, as well an affiliation with the International Society of Arboriculture.
Maybe the happy couple wants to beef up their bridal party, or perhaps they don’t want to put their squad through the ringer that comes with bridesmaid or groomsman duties. Either way, you could make thousands of dollars from participating in just one wedding. Duties may include walking down the aisle, posing for photos, preparing a maid of honour speech, and concocting a believable story about how you know the newlyweds.
In Singapore, Cara Nicole Neo has made a living by becoming a real-life version of Disney’s Ariel, though of course, you could transform yourself into almost any mer-character imaginable. Most likely, your main job will be making appearances at kids’ parties, though you may be called upon to teach mermaids-in-training. The equipment can be costly, and it can certainly be exhausting, but this certainly isn’t your average 9-5.
You’ll need a good nose, but if you can distinguish between fragrance notes like vanilla and tuberose, perfumery could be a satisfyingly creative career. To begin, you’ll need training in the art of fragrances. Luckily, legendary Paris perfumer Givaudan has its own APAC academy right here in Singapore.
If you’re always Instagramming your meals, try your hand at proper food styling. You’ll need plenty of creativity and food knowledge, but you’ll also have to be adept at more mundane tasks like organisation and food prep. Problem-solving is crucial, as you’ll need to be able to respond quickly to issues with the food and lighting, or changing client briefs. If you’re up for the challenge, get started with an online food styling course.
Taxidermy became popular during the Victorian era, when these stuffed-and-mounted animals became a popular choice for interior design. These days though, it’s more popular as a learning tool — just think of all the preserved specimens in museums. Or, you could end up preserving the remains of beloved pets. The ins and outs of the job requires you to ready the skin of dead or extinct animals by prepping, stuffing, and mounting it. You’ll need to study the exacting details in a professional course. Try the Academy of Taxidermy at the Museum of Natural History in Western Australia.
Think you’re a Dr. Doolittle? Then become a professional pet-sitter and look after the pampered animals of busy owners. You’ll want experience with a variety of animals and breeds, and some veterinary training is a plus. You might be working weekends and holidays as well, but just think of all the fluffy pooches and kitties you’ll get to cuddle!
If you’ve got particularly photogenic hands or feet, you could have your very own modelling career. You’ll need to have neat nails, no scars — women will need to have any hairs removed — and you’ll have to learn to position your hands (or feet) to display your clients’ products at their best. But should you be able to do all that, you may just land a contract with a modelling agency and begin booking gigs.
If you’re into yoga, meditation, and new-age therapies, check out sound healing if you’re up for an unusual career. Sound healing is an ancient practice that uses the voice, Tibetan bowls, tuning forks and other instruments to induce physical, mental and spiritual healing. The practice can have a host of positive effects including, stress relief, improved sleep and pain management. You’ll need to be certified by a training institute, like Tirisula Yoga, but it’s rewarding work.
Always travelling and bringing back souvenirs for your friends and family? It might be time to start turning a profit on your jet-setting. Mobile app Tompang lets you advertise your trip and connect with Singaporeans who want items from abroad. Think bringing back treats from the US, beauty products from Korea, or designer goods from Italy and France. Advertise your trip in advance, and you could be earning great commissions to subsidise your jaunts.