Not feeling inspired by the vacancies you’ve seen advertised on the web? Fancy something a little more out of the ordinary? Do a little digging and you’ll be surprised at some of the weird and wonderful jobs that people actually do for a living…
Chief listening officer
You might have heard of social media editors (yes, there are people out there who get paid to update Facebook and Twitter all day) and social media managers, who plan, run and report on social media campaigns – but have you heard of a chief listening officer?
What they do: CLOs monitor social platforms and conversations to keep track of online ‘buzz’ – i.e. what’s being said about a company or brand and then responding to complaints, issues, or misinformation.
According to Forbes, the first-ever CLO job was created in the US in 2010 but as more companies rely on social media for market research and customer service, we can expect to see more roles in future – so look out for similarly titled positions springing up in the UK too.
Many of us enjoyed playing with LEGO as children, but only a small number of particularly dedicated builders have managed to turn their childhood hobby into an adult career.
What they do: Yes, the iconic Danish toy brand actually employs an undisclosed number of professional “master model builders” to come up with new designs and build models for its attractions.
Based in Legoland Discovery Centres in different countries around the world, the builders have to work to a budget and brief to create new toy sets which will challenge, stimulate and entertain children.
Technical lingerie model
You’d have to have been living in a cave for the last 50 years not to be aware of the existence of lingerie models – but did you know that there are another, secret and shadowy set of underwear models who are never seen by the public?
What they do: Technical fitting models or ‘fit models’ as they are known in the trade, are on hand to try out the latest production samples for big brands such as Victoria’s Secret – so bosses can be sure a product will be right before they commit to a big run.
The role can offer a good salary and the opportunity to live in another country, such as Sri Lanka, depending on where the company’s factories are located. One possible downside is that such models usually have a clause in the contract stating that they must maintain their precise measurements – so it’s vital not to gain or lose weight.
OK, we took a bit of a liberty with the job title – but testing waterslides is very much a part of the job of a lifestyle product development manager for First Choice Holidays.
What they do: The package tourist industry largely operates on an outsourced basis, with UK-based holiday firms buying accommodation and entertainment from hotels in resort – and often operated by hotel groups based in a third country.
So in today’s ultra-competitive market, quality control is vital and companies like First Choice dispatch representatives with clipboards across Europe (and further afield) to check and assess the standards of service, hygiene, safety and entertainment being supplied to their customers.
You’ll have to be prepared to spend a lot of time away from home, in sunny locations – and the ideal candidate would provide an eye for detail with a sense of fun.
Pet food taster
While most of the above roles seem appealing, we doubt many of you will be envying the food technologist at Marks & Spencer who tastes pet food as part of his job.
What they do: Simon Allison stressed to the Daily Mail in a 2008 interview that nobody asked him to taste the pet food he is responsible for, but he still regards it as a key part of his role.
He checks that the consistency and aroma of the products are correct, trying to detect undesirable ingredients, such as tripe, which owners may turn their noses up at. And no, he doesn’t actually swallow it – in case you were wondering.
The role has many other responsibilities too – such as ensuring that food is healthy and nutritious, that it is produced on budget and that it appeals to the owner as well as the pets.