I Wish Life Was Like on The Apprentice
May 17, 2006 5:03 PM   Subscribe

I need recommendations on good "personality" jobs.

I have very little work experience, skirted through college with a bullshit degree (Communication), and as a result, can't seem to find myself a decent, exciting job. I've walked out on every 9-5 desk job because it eats away at my soul.

I'm looking for any sort of recommendations on dynamic, exciting jobs that weigh more on one's personality than experience. (That pay well, too.)

Any and all inspiration welcome.
posted by Mach3avelli to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Any sales job, or sales related jobs (loan refi-s, real estate). Whether or not these jobs will satisfy your criteria of exciting and dynamic (and not soul-sucking), is certainly another matter, but a lot of the (successful) people I know in these jobs are often short on experience but big on personality.

I had a friend who started doing home refis about 6-8 months ago and somehow it really suits his extroverted nature perfectly, and apparently he's become hugely successful (financially) doing it. He had little experience with loans before that, aside from the fact that he had purchased two houses.

I understand that sales isn't for everyone (it definitely wouldn't appeal to me as a "dynamic, exciting job", because I hate sales) but if you want some kind of creative job, my impression is those jobs go to people who either A) are connected or B) really really want it, and usually it's the latter. Everyone I know with a really cool job has usually spent a lot of time paying their dues -- it doesn't just get handed to them.
posted by fishfucker at 5:13 PM on May 17, 2006

Sales. My last roommate was a German/Psych. major who fell into sales. I don't think any education really prepares you for sales -- you either have the personality and drive for it, or you don't.
posted by awegz at 5:15 PM on May 17, 2006

to give a ballpark on the refi salary, i'd have to say he's pulling at least $100k plus on it. Which sounds crazy to me, and I still doubt it, but he just bought a rather expensive house for which he needs to probably make about 70k/year just to pay the mortgage for, so I'm forced to believe it. Keep in mind that's mostly commission -- if you're not good at cold-calling or closing it's possible to make nothing, or get fired.
posted by fishfucker at 5:15 PM on May 17, 2006

When I worked retail, the clerks who were friendly and outgoing made a killing on comission, but you have to be prepared to put up with truly awful customers (there are always at least a few), and the base pay is awful. If I had not had so many pangs of conscience about being asked to push useless programs on harried consumers, if my co-workers had not all been teenagers completely lacking in any sort of work ethic, and if the management at my store had not been so completely and utterly incompetent, I think I would actually have enjoyed it... for a while, anyway. (Even the bad customers make for some truly amazing stories.) I, personally, did not make much money in retail because I don't have the right personality, but there were some clerks who actually refused to go into management because they made so much on commission. And, depending on where you work, your shifts are often pretty flexible.
posted by posadnitsa at 5:16 PM on May 17, 2006

Have you thought about working at a (luxury) hotel? I wouldn't recommend a front desk position, but an entry level position as a bellperson would give you the chance to make some decent money and use your personality to your own financial benefit. Granted, you will sometimes have to put on a fake personality. I enjoyed my college valet job at a world-class golf resort. A few of the bell-captains and door-captains had business degrees, but stayed at the hotel because they were making $50+k (and a lot of that in cash tips) and weren't about to take a pay cut to work in a cubicle. It has to be a nice resort though - a place where people come to have fun. People having fun are nicer and tip better.

Anyway, maybe this idea rubs you the wrong way, but I was always surprised how much I liked working at the resort. And I'm normally an introverted cynic.
posted by mullacc at 5:19 PM on May 17, 2006

Depends on what you find exciting. Helping people? Being a case manager in a busy mental health center can be kind of exciting and engaging but pay low. Movie star? high pay, exciting, education not a requirement. sales? advertising? but those may be soul eaters for you. teaching? illicit activities? high pay. high risk. trapeze artist? kind of hard to find dynamic exciting high-paying jobs when one has no experience, no skills, and limited work history. unfortunately, the world seems to require education, experience, interest to become good at something one likes doing and that pays ok. sales, restaurant work, are more reliant on personality and can pay well, but can be hard on the soul.
posted by madstop1 at 5:20 PM on May 17, 2006

I'd recommend real estate, or some variation thereof.

But no matter what you pick, there will be soulsucking work involved. I'm a songwriter, I love it, yet there are soulsucking moments there too.

But if you have Personality, you can do very well in real estate. Then when you've made a pile of money and are a little bored you can always go into politics.
posted by konolia at 7:33 PM on May 17, 2006

what about bartender? just take a course at a local college and you're set. it would be quite a lifestyle shift from 9 to 5 but it sounds like that might be just what you need.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:33 PM on May 17, 2006

I had a cousin who worked in "destination management"-- which involves coordinating and executing trips for extremely well-off corporate management-type people. Her firm was based in New York, and she would handle requests like "get me 10 front row tickets to the hottest show in town for tonight" and so on. Her experience was that it was a very high-paying and glamorous gig, but incredibly demanding.

For a person without specific experience for the job, I understand that these places need underlings to do some of the running-around for them, and the nature of the work often entails hiring casual labor- I imagine if you prove yourself dependable, flexible, and organized in that capacity, you would be able to parlay that into a more executive position.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 8:58 PM on May 17, 2006

Go join the Coast Guard. Go rescue people for a living.
posted by frogan at 9:15 PM on May 17, 2006

Yeah, bartending or waiting tables. Live the life you want during the day, get thirsty people drinks at night.
posted by salvia at 11:11 PM on May 17, 2006

After my bullshit degree (philosophy), I sat and thought about what I wanted to do. After considering what I LIKE to do (snowboard), I packed everything up and moved to the mountains. Now I snowboard all day (for free), and work at night. Inorder to facilitate this I have worked as a taxi driver, bartender, security guy (I hate the word "guard"), and managed and got a 4 diamond rating for a restaurant. I am not heading for my first million, but I have fun and meet literally thousands of people from around the world every year. For a week or two, you get to know families, ski or board with them, they take you to dinner, all because they want to get to know a local. I have traveled to Mexico, South America, London, China, and Australia to meet people that I met while they were visiting the town I live in. I enjoy life in the small town, my back yard is national forest and wilderness areas. And the best part, my commute to work is less than a 5 min bike ride, with no trafic. Pro ski bum.
posted by cdavidc at 5:18 PM on May 18, 2006

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