11 Great Jobs for Introverts

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Myths about introverts abound. For example, not all introverts are quiet, avoid social interaction, or would classify themselves as “shy.”

In fact, many introverts are quite sociable and have excellent people skills. However, after an experience of socializing, an introvert will often need alone time to recharge. While an extrovert might feel energized by heading up a meeting or working in a group, an introvert might thrive in the moment, but need a lot more time alone to regenerate.

Professionally speaking, while introverts are equally as capable as extroverts of doing the same tasks (running meetings, giving presentations, etc.), they may be more fulfilled and feel much more at ease in a career that matches their strengths.

The best jobs for introverts will:

  • Involve more one-on-one interaction rather than with large groups
  • Offer quiet workspaces rather than large, open spaces with a lot of noise and energy
  • Involve independent work, rather than large collaboration sessions with a lot of people

Here are 11 jobs that are good fits for introverts:

1. Accountant

A lot of accounting is done solo, and involves creating financial reports, analyzing data, and developing quality policies policies. As an accountant moves into a managerial role, they can also start to oversee the work of junior accounts, which can provide more connection at work, but still in a one-on-one way.

2. Landscape Designer

A creative career, landscape designers create a horticultural plan for a particular space, then execute on the vision they agree upon with their client. They can incorporate things like ponds, bridges, walkways, and solar lighting to create a magical outdoor space. It involves a lot of time alone, but can also involve interacting with contractors to execute on a large scale.

3. Behavioral Therapist

This career involves supporting people through mental illnesses and disorders like depression, anxiety, ADHD, and addiction. Behavioral therapists do a lot of active listening, interacting with people one-on-one to help. It can be a very rewarding career, and a good fit for many introverts.

4. Editor

Both writing and editing can be great professions for introverts–especially those with a strong attention to detail. In addition to combing through copy for grammar and spelling errors, editors may also need to fact-check, a satisfying and often intellectually engaging task. Bonus: depending on the position, you can often do the bulk of your work from home (in your PJs if you want).

5. Graphic Designer

Quality graphic designers become highly skilled at software like Photoshop to create beautiful, custom visuals that really say something. It is a highly creative profession that takes advantage of an introvert’s skills without being overwhelmingly full of large-group meetings, etc. (Can also be done in PJs.)

6. Commercial pilot

Pilots spend plenty of time alone or in one-on-one situations. An important job that helps keep people safe, being a pilot also (obviously) comes with excellent travel perks. After completing your flight instructor certificate, you need 1500 hours to work for an airline in the U.S. If you’re diligent, you can get that done in a year, making your total time from zero to commercial pilot three years.

7. IT Manager

IT managers handle operation and security of an organization’s information systems. This often involves managing the technical budget; taking care of both software and hardware upgrades; and (depending on the size of the organization) directing junior members of the IT team. It can be both a challenging and rewarding profession.

8. Research Scientist

A research scientist may work for a for-profit company (like a pharmaceutical company), or the government; educational institution; or even an environmental organization. Researchers design and perform laboratory experiments and tests, gather and analyze data, and determine outcomes. It often involves a lot of strictly solo work, or in small teams.

9. Social Media Manager

While it may seem counterintuitive (a “social” position for an introvert), managing an organization’s social media accounts involves a lot of time alone. Outstanding social media managers are both creative and perceptive, with excellent writing skills and a sense of how to curate content to match the audience and brand.

10. HVAC mechanic

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and HVAC mechanics that know what they’re doing are always in demand. Given how ubiquitous HVAC systems are and how devastating it can be if they go down, HVAC mechanics have a lot of job security. They spend a lot of time solo fixing systems, for which clients are very grateful.

11. Software Engineer

While advancements like artificial intelligence will make huge changes in many industries including software engineering, currently software engineers are still very much in demand. They use computer programming languages like Java, Python, and Ruby to build networks, operating systems, databases, and/or mobile apps.

How To Make The 4-Day Work Week Possible, According To Someone Who’s Done It

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Andrew Barnes is a fervent advocate for the four-day work week. And we might want to listen to him, because he knows what he’s talking about.As the head of Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand-based company that provides estate planning, philanthropy and investment advisory, Barnes did a trial run of the shortened schedule in March and April 2018. It was so successful that he adopted the policy full-time last November.


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“We are all recognizing that how we work today is not fit for the 21st century, that the pressures of work-life balance are intense, and that the concept of how we work needs to change,” Barnes told Quartz at Work.

Most people may assume that the four-day work week is all about work-life balance and employee wellbeing, and it may well promote both. But, Barnes cautioned, that can’t be the emphasis when business owners decide to adopt the policy.

Instead, he said, the secret to successfully transitioning to a shorter work week is highlighting something else over wellbeing.

So what is it?

It turns out that, to not lose revenue and be happy with the transition, employers should focus on productivity when announcing the change to their workers.

“We sat down with each team and we said, ‘Right, let’s agree what is the base of productivity that you’re delivering now,’” Barnes told Quartz at Work. “And then the deal was, provided you delivered on the productivity goals, you would be gifted a day off a week.”

That gift could be revoked at any time if a team isn’t doing what they need to keep up their output. For some people, Quartz notes, that can mean increased stress, as “employees tend to police one another’s behavior.”

“It’s almost like a social contract with the team and the rest of the business,” Willem van der Steen, a manager at Perpetual Guardian, told Quartz. “You can’t really hide anymore.”

Productivity shines in a short work week

Still, the benefits are fairly indisputable. During Perpetual Guardian’s trial last spring, productivity went up by roughly 20%, while far more staff members felt they could “manage work and other commitments,” according to Quartz.

With the program in place for perpetuity, Barnes has set up a system where employees can opt in, but they don’t have to if it’s not their work style. Only about half of the company’s staff chose to take him up on the four-day work week, though he expects those numbers to continue to grow. Those who already went through the change have more time for family or additional training, they say.

For those in leadership positions who are interested in potentially trimming their work hours, Perpetual Guardian is releasing a paper on Feb. 19 with advice on how to move forward.

“We’re saying to companies all over the world: Just try this,” Barnes said. “What’s the worst that can happen? If you do a trial, your staff will love you for it, even if it fails.”

5 Thoughts That Are Making Your Work Day Harder Than It Needs To Be

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Whether you work in a traditional office environment or in a more freeform professional atmosphere, the way you personally frame interactions and activities in your mind contributes enormously to your overall career satisfaction. According to Inc. journalist Jessica Stillman, 5 particular thought patterns can interrupt your progress and stifle your ability to find fulfillment in any situation, including in the workplace.

Here, you’ll find the mental scripts to avoid at work and what to do instead.


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1. “It’s about me.”

To a certain extent, we as human beings take every interaction personally. That’s natural and normal. But in the workplace, it’s important to remember that your individual thoughts and feelings aren’t always central to professional discussions. So if your colleague responds to a question more brusquely than you’d like, don’t assume that she dislikes you or that you’ve done something to upset her. She may just be stressed and overworked in ways that have little or nothing to do with you. Keeping perspective on these circumstances will go a long way toward keeping you centered and focused.

2. “This has to be perfect.”

If you constantly strive for excellence at work and feel disappointed if a project turns out less-than-perfect, you may fall victim to an “all or nothing” mentality that can ultimately undermine your professional progress. Remember that there’s no such thing as a flawless triumph, and as long as you’re investing effort and resources in your job-related tasks, you’re setting yourself and your company up for success.

3. “I’m not happy, so it’s not worth it.”

In her piece, Stillman mentions the current cultural fixation on “happiness,” “wellness,” and “joy,” positing that many Americans see these emotions as the be-all-and-end-all of satisfaction and dismiss anything that doesn’t fall into those categories. However, difficult situations and challenging scenarios come with the territory of almost any professional workplace. If you can accept those not-so-fun realities and handle them with aplomb, you’ll be well-positioned for future happiness at work.

4. “Becky is right, this all stinks.”

We’ve all worked in atmospheres populated by dramatic colleagues and tactless managers. These make for a tough office climate, but telling yourself that you won’t fall victim to the negativity of others will keep you motivated and will allow you to focus on the parts of your job that bring you satisfaction.

5. “I’m too stressed to exercise/eat well/sleep more.”

When in the throes of work-related chaos, it’s easy to let your health fall by the wayside. Sleep deprivation, poor eating habits, too much caffeine…that’s all part of the deal, right? Well, it shouldn’t be. Keeping yourself as strong and physically healthy as possible positively affects every aspect of your life, including your work performance. Make these goals the priorities they deserve to be.

A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.

How To Get A Job Without Prior Experience

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Here’s the challenge everyone who starts their career faces: You can’t get a job because you don’t have experience, but you can’t get experience without getting a job.It’s called the experience paradox or Catch-22 of getting a job. It’s a real challenge. And if you can’t overcome it, you can easily set your career 3 to 5 years back.


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Worse, I’ve seen young folks and people who switch careers destroy their potential by making the wrong decisions early on.

I don’t want to scare you. You can still overcome the Catch-22; but not with conventional career advice. Because what’s the standard advice for people who want to build a career?

“Create a resume, browse job boards, and respond to job applications.” Sorry to disappoint you. If you take that route, you will end up like most people: Frustrated and underpaid.

Don’t worry, there’s a different way. With the right strategy, you can break into any industry and earn what you’re worth.

But I have to warn you. It takes at least twice as much work. However, that shouldn’t be a surprise to you. If you want to have a better career than most folks, guess what; you have to BE better than most folks.

When you do the following 2 things, you will become better—that will significantly increase your odds of getting a job without prior experience.

1. Be The Person You Would Hire

Why is it that companies prefer to hire experienced people for a role? When I started my career, I didn’t understand it.

The reality is that there’s a massive difference between someone who doesn’t have experience at a particular job and someone who has two years under their belt.

Even though two years might not sound like a lot of time, it’s actually a lot of time to learn the ins and outs of a job. And especially when you recently got out of college; because your first two to three years are all about learning to be a professional.

Some people never become serious about their careers. They wake up at a time so they can come to the office just in time. They prefer to sleep in. And they are the first to leave at 5 pm. They don’t ask questions, don’t seek out mentors, LOVE their lunch break, and chit-chat with their co-workers every chance they get.

Imagine you would be the CEO of a company. Would you want a person like that on your team? Of course not.

I must be honest; I used to be like that too. But I realized that attitude will not bring you far. If you want career success, you need to take it seriously. You only get rewarded for results. And what brings results? Skills.

Now, the good news is that increasingly more companies are putting emphasis on the skills of the people they want to hire—not their experience.

In his book, The Virgin Way, I read that Richard Branson, the famous founder of Virgin (that employs approximately 71,000 people), hires for character and skills. He prefers to actually get to know applicants instead of asking them a bunch of boring questions.

If you seek out companies who hire for experience and skills, you have a good chance of getting hired—even if you don’t have experience.

There’s only one condition: You must be a person YOU would hire. Someone who’s not only a professional but also has the skills to do a good job. If you feel like your skills are not that good yet, spend more time on your craft.

So how do you find a company that hires for skills and character? You ask.

Look, getting a job is NOT easy. It requires a lot of manual labor. Sometimes you need to reach out to hundreds of people to even get an interview. So that’s what you do. Be ready to do whatever it takes.

You reach out to people in HR of companies you’d like to work for. And you ask them about their interview process. How does the application process work? What are the characteristics you’re looking for in candidates?

You can use that information to apply for jobs you’re interested in. But unlike people who blindly apply, you know what they are looking for.

2. Do Free Work

Often, being good at your job and having information about the application process won’t cut it.

I’m a big fan of demonstrating your skills instead of talking about it. During the interview, we only talk. But when you offer to do free work for a company, you actually demonstrate your skills in a real-life setting.

So how can you do free work? Larry Stybel, a clinical psychologist, wrote an article for HBR about his experience launching his career. He shares 3 great tips:

  1. Look for a company you’d love to work for and then be specific about what value you will provide—What will you exactly do for the company? No need to overpromise. It’s better to be honest about what you can. Identify a person you want to work for, and reach out to them directly. Also send your resume along (watch my video on how to create a graphic resume with Canva for tips).
  2. Be specific about what value you will receive—Start with the end in mind. What do you want to get out of it? A reference? A potential job? Experience?
  3. Be specific about the time frame—You don’t want to keep working for free forever. In Stybel’s example, he said: “I promised to work two days a week for two months.” Often, you can’t even work full-time for free. Nor is it something I recommend. Use your time to keep searching for a job.

One of the key lessons for everyone launching their career is to consider yourself as a learning machine. When you feel too proud to learn or work for free, you will be stuck sooner than later.

But when you keep improving yourself and reaching out to people in the industry you want to work in, it will ultimately lead to a real job.

This article first appeared on Darius Foroux

5 Ways Bosses Can Reduce the Stigma of Mental Health at Work

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Experts tell us that one in four adults will struggle with a mental health issue during his or her lifetime. At work, those suffering — from clinical conditions or more minor ones — often hide it for fear that they may face discrimination from peers or even bosses. These stigmas can and must be overcome. But it takes more than policies set at the top. It also requires empathetic action from managers on the ground.

We count ourselves among those who have wrestled with mental health challenges. One morning a few years ago, in the midst of a successful year, Jen couldn’t get out of bed. As a driven professional, she had ignored all the warning signs that she was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But her mentor, Diana, could see something was wrong, and when Jen couldn’t come to work, the gravity of the situation became even clearer. In the ensuing weeks, we worked together to get Jen the help she needed.

Diana understood Jen’s struggles because she had been there, too — not with PTSD but with anxiety. As the mother of adult triplets with autism and a busy job, she’d often had difficulty managing things in her own life.

Throughout both of our careers, we have moved across the spectrum of mental health from thriving to barely hanging on, and somewhere in between. What we’ve learned through our own experiences is how much managerial support matters.

When bosses understand mental health issues — and how to respond to them — it can make all the difference for an employee professionally and personally. This involves taking notice, offering a helping hand, and saying “I’m here, I have your back, you are not alone.”

That’s exactly what Jen said when a coworker told her that he was grappling with anxiety; it had gotten to the point where it was starting to impact his work and his relationships at home. He came to her because she’d been open about her own struggles. She listened to him, worked to understand what accommodations he needed, and told him about available resources, such as Employee Assistance Programs. Then she continued to check in to see he was getting support he needed and make it clear that she and others were there to help.

How do you learn or teach the people on your team to address colleagues’ or direct reports’ mental health issues in the same way? Here are five ways managers can help drive a more empathetic culture:

Pay attention to language. We all need to be aware of the words we use that can contribute to stigmatizing mental health issues: “Mr. OCD is at it again — organizing everything.” “She’s totally schizo today!” “He is being so bi-polar this week — one minute he’s up, the next he’s down.” We’ve heard comments like these, maybe even made them ourselves. But through the ears of a colleague who has a mental health challenge, they can sound like indictments. Would you open up about a disorder or tell your team leader you needed time to see a therapist after hearing these words?

Rethink “sick days.” If you have cancer, no one says, “Let’s just push through” or “Can you learn to deal with it?” They recognize that it’s an illness and you’ll need to take time off to treat it. If you have the flu, your manager will tell you to go home and rest. But few people in business would react to emotional outbursts or other signs of stress, anxiety, or manic behavior in the same way. We need to get more comfortable with the idea of suggesting and requesting days to focus on improving mental as well as physical health.

Encourage open and honest conversations. It’s important to create safe spaces for people to talk about their own challenges, past and present, without fear of being called “unstable” or passed up for the next big project or promotion. Employees shouldn’t fear that they will be judged or excluded if they open up in this way. Leaders can set the tone for this by sharing their own experiences, as we’ve done, or stories of other people who have struggled with mental health issues, gotten help and resumed successful careers. They should also explicitly encourage everyone to speak up when feeling overwhelmed or in need.

Be proactive. Not all stress is bad, and people in high-pressure careers often grow accustomed to it or develop coping mechanisms. However, prolonged unmanageable stress can contribute to worsening symptoms of mental illness. How can managers ensure their employees are finding the right balance? By offering access to programs, resources, and education on stress management and resilience-building. In our marketplace survey on employee burnout, nearly 70 percent of respondents said that their employers were not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout. Bosses need to do a better job of helping their employees connect to resources before stress leads to more serious problems.

Train people to notice and respond. Most offices keep a medical kit around in case someone needs a bandage or an aspirin. We’ve also begun to train our people in Mental Health First Aid, a national program proven to increase people’s ability to recognize the signs of someone who may be struggling with a mental health challenge and connect them to support resources. Through role plays and other activities, they offer guidance in how to listen non-judgmentally, offer reassurance, and assess the risk of suicide or self-harm when, for example, a colleague is suffering a panic attack or reacting to a traumatic event. These can be difficult, emotionally charged conversations, and they can come at unexpected times, so it’s important to be ready for them.

When your people are struggling, you want them to be able to open up and ask for help. These five strategies can help any boss or organization create a culture that ceases to stigmatize mental illness.

Here’s Why Your Job Is Causing You Stress And What You Can Do

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Americans are collectively dissatisfied with their professions.According to a recent Gallup study, 51% of US workers don’t feel any kind of meaningful connection to their careers – with 16% outing their dejection as the author of their poor performances.

Because we devote so much time to the thing that pays our bills (92,120 hours over the course of a lifetime to be exact)  our sense of self-worth has become beclouded. Of course, a delusion of purpose operates with a great many other components.

Let’s dissect.

Aimless and undervalued

A general crisis of professional identity has been brewing for some time. Ladders has previously reported about how “a lack of recognition” is one of the primary factors that seduce many young workers into a perpetual state of career readjustment:

“The 2017 Mind the Workplace report, released by the nonprofit group Mental Health America (MHA) and The Faas Foundation, surveyed more than 17,000 U.S. workers in 19 industries and found that 71% were either “actively looking for new job opportunities” or had the topic on their minds “always, often or sometimes” at work.”

On balance, Millennials believe their wages to be a poor representation of the work they put in–this poses a huge problem. Validation rivals most monetary incentives from where I sit, especially to those of us being compensating for doing the things we’re passionate about. A failure on the employers part to satisfy pangs of ego (not that they ought to) seems to be resulting in workers miserably submitting to mediocrity in the fields they’re falling out of love with.

recently wrote about the effect the college myth has had on our evaluation of meaningful careers. The erroneous equivocation of degrees and wages, caused many people to lose sight of what it was they needed to feel satisfied at work – when education becomes a means to economic stability, identity tends to get lost in the exchange.

There is a wealth of reasons to be miserable at work outside of the existential ones, of course. Factors like the commute, stagnation, your coworkers, your boss, long-hours,  also play crucial roles over time.

Performative workaholism and pervasive career malaise have melded, giving way to the most depressed labor ecosystem in decades. In a recent study, 63% of Americans said that their job caused them to engage in unhealthy behavior, like crying and or drinking. Work-related stress also rivals diabetes as a heart disease risk factor.

Care about your job, Be passionate about yourself

According to and 

The book mentions 7 key authors of our daily work anxiety, Fosslien and Mollie call them the “7 deadly stresses:” obsessing about email on vacation, the scope creep (continuous arbitrary growth in a project’s scope), unpredictable schedules, the information firehouse, sleep deprivation, unrealistic deadlines, and social isolation.

On the subject, they state: “Letting your job consume you is unhelpful and unhealthy. It makes small problems seem exceptional and places too much emphasis on casual conversations and interactions.”

They believe that caring less is not only personally relieving, it also makes you less likely to produce panicky incompetent work. The same impulse that will see you turn off your phone so that you can be more engaged in your life outside of work, will dually foster a clear and level headed mind ready to be productive the following morning. They emphasize that being “less passionate” about work doesn’t mean not caring; you should simply care about yourself more.

When you leave work, they suggest you ensure you truly “leave” by adhering to these helpful stipulations: only touch email once, allow one day a week to be completely dedicated to catching up (don’t take on any new task), make room for mini-breaks, and establish an after-work ritual, like bike riding home – something that can serve both mental and physical stimulation.

The World’s Coolest Travel Jobs

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By Ashlea Halpern

Some people love travel so much, they make it their job. Pilots and hotel general managers are among the highest-profile occupations within the tourism sector, but there are countless other travel-intensive gigs that don’t fall squarely within the industry (polar scientistswildlife photographerstouring magicians, and Doctors Without Borders among them). Other ways to merge work with travel include becoming a traveling nurse, volunteering with the Peace Corps, or finding a job as a tour guide, yoga teacher, or scuba instructor. Here, we look at seven of the most common travel jobs—plus the ups, the downs, and resources for pursuing them.

Flight attendant

If this is the first job that springs to mind when you picture a career in travel, you’re not alone. But a life in perpetual motion is not as glamorous as it seems; junior flight attendants don’t always make great money and may find it difficult to date, start a family, or spend time with loved ones. Still, their schedules are flexible and the perks of the job—such as unlimited free and deeply discounted flights—outweigh the negatives for some people.

So how do you become a flight attendant? U.S. airlines provide on-the-job training programs that last three to six weeks. To be accepted, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent, although preference is often given to applicants with a college degree and work experience in hospitality or customer service. Applicants must also meet certain physical requirements for height, weight, vision, and overall health. Background and criminal history checks are de rigueur.

To learn more about flight attendant training programs, check the career sites of major U.S. carriers like Delta, United, JetBlue, and Southwest. For juicier insight into the job, pick up a copy of flight attendant Heather Poole’s 2012 New York Times bestseller, Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet.

English teacher

Teaching English abroad can be a great way to live the expat life. To land a job at a reputable school or language institute, you usually need a four-year bachelor’s degree in any subject area and an English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching qualification from an accredited program. TEFL or TESOLcertifications are commonly requested by private language schools and government recruitment agencies because they cover 100 hours of coursework and up to 20 hours of real-world practicum.

Meet the Young Educator Using Instagram for Activism

Once you earn your certificate, you can apply for placement practically anywhere in the world through a specific program or scout job listings on sites like Teach AwayTransitions AbroadESL Base, and Dave’s ESL Cafe. There’s a high demand for native English speaking teachers in China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Germany, and the UAE. Certain ESL and TESOL certifications can also qualify you to teach English as a second language in public schools across the United States.

Social media influencer

Ask anyone who has built up a serious Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook following and they’ll often credit their success to a dash of luck and a lot of hard work. Kiersten “Kiki” Rich, aka The Blonde Abroad, did not amass her 548,000 Instagram followers and 189,546 Facebook fansovernight. “The struggle was definitely real,” Rich says. “I hustled like crazy. I started [by] making contacts and soft-pitching a travel blog I had started. All of my trips in the first year or two were budget or volunteer endeavors.”

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Nearly eight years later, Rich runs a multi-platform business with several revenue streams, but the grind is still “every day, all day long,” and it’s not just about taking pretty pictures. In an oversaturated market of aspiring digital nomads, travelers driven to earn money as a blogger or social media star need to invest in professional camera equipment, develop strategic advertising and marketing campaigns, and, first and foremost, find an untapped niche where they can create original content with a unique point of view. (Learn more from Rich about what it’s really like to be a social media celebrity here.)

Working Remotely Is Now Easier Than Ever

Cruise ship captain

For the aquaphile who could imagine nothing more satisfying than piloting his or her own ship, consider a job on the high seas. Most deep-water captains start their career in an elite maritime academy pursuing a four-year degree (a bachelor’s or master’s degree in marine science or marine engineering is par for the course). Later, they gather real-world experience by interning on boats, shadowing officers on watch, and slowly climbing the ranks—from third mate, to second officer, to first officer, and eventually to ship captain. But this isn’t the only way to get on the water. Captains of river boats and other inland waterway vessels may learn the ropes as “deckhands” (crew members who perform the day-to-day duties that keep the vessel clean and running) and gather on-the-job training as they go.

To get a marine captain’s license, you must obtain multiple certifications, including a Transportation Worker Identification Credential and a Merchant Mariner Credential and pass a test issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. (Learn more about what ship life is really like from the first U.S. woman to serve as captain of a megaship.)

Foreign service officer

Diplomats in the U.S. Foreign Service don’t get nearly as much TV love as their counterparts in the FBI and CIA, but their jobs are hugely important. An applicant to the Foreign Service must pass a rigorous exam that tests his or her knowledge of a wide variety of subjects, including world history and geography, U.S. government and economics, and American culture. After the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) comes an oral assessment—a mix of interviews and role playing that tests an applicant’s diplomacy skills. (Foreign language proficiency is also a plus.) Medical exams and security clearances are also conducted. After passing the exam, the Foreign Service Officer selection process can take anywhere from six months to two years.

What It’s Like for Diplomat Families to Raise Children Abroad

Once accepted into the Service, officers may be placed at any of the 300 or so U.S. embassies or consulates around the world. (Some officers choose to specialize in fields like information technology, engineering, and public diplomacy, which may determine where they are placed.) The constant moving can be difficult for an officer’s spouse and children, but potential benefits of the job include overseas housing and utilities, transportation and security detail, tuition coverage for kids in grades K-12, and foreign language training. To learn more about preparing for the FSOT and what to expect from a career in diplomacy, start with this comprehensive Foreign Service PDF issued by the State Department.

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Au pair

A gig as an au pair can be ideal for someone who wants to find a job abroad without having to commit to one specific, long-term career path. Think of an au pair as a professional babysitter: In the typical arrangement, the hiring family covers the babysitter’s room and board and provides a weekly or monthly stipend. This is in exchange for childcare, English lessons for their brood, and light housekeeping. Most au pairs fall between the ages of 18 and 30, are single, and have no kids of their own. Au Pair World is the most established platform for connecting would-be au pairs to families in need (13,000 and counting), with placement opportunities in 21 host countries, including Finland, Switzerland, and Australia. New Au Pair has a broader database, listing more than 2,000 positions in 150 countries.

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Ski instructor

The majority of ski instructor positions are seasonal, so the outdoor enthusiasts who work them often pick up other physically demanding jobs (such as a mountain guide or whitewater rafting guide) during the summer months. But some diehard skiers will follow the snow, traveling around the world from lodge to lodge and mountain to mountain to pursue their passion year-round.

You can work as a ski instructor across the United States or abroad in places such as New Zealand, Chile, and France. But the minimum standards for ski instruction certification, determined by the International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA), vary by country. In the United States, a Level I instructor is permitted to teach newbies the basics of alpine or cross-country skiing on well-groomed runs. A Level II instructor works with more experienced skiers, focusing on technique. Only the best skiers can obtain the highest level of certification (Level III), as tested through an exhaustive four-day exam.

Although ski instructors aren’t particularly well-compensated, most don’t do it for the money—free and discounted lift tickets and reporting daily to the slopes is payment enough. To see what kind of ski instructor positions are currently available, comb through country-specific job boards like Cool Works (for the United States) and the New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance. Résumé boosters to help you stand out include first aid training and avalanche safety training.