Some people dread the prospect of arguments at work and do their best to avoid them, but for others there’s no greater thrill than successfully arguing their case or winning a debate. If you’re outspoken, confident, and can stay calm in a conflict, we’ve found five jobs that might just suit you.
The film and TV portrayal of lawyers giving bombastic speeches in tense courtroom face-offs may be a stereotypical exaggeration, but the adversarial nature of the law makes it suited to those with good communication and advocacy skills who are confident at public speaking. Strong analytical skills are a key attribute for barristers, who specialise in representing people and companies in court. As well as actually appearing in court they must advise clients and evaluate their cases, devise legal arguments and negotiate settlements.
Qualifications required: Those wishing to enter the heavily regulated profession must either achieve an approved law degree at 2:2 or above – or can take either a Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) following an unrelated first degree. Academic training is then followed with vocational and practical training on the job.
Salary: Starting pay can be as low as £12k, but higher rates are often paid. Once qualified, pay ranges from £25k to £300k – and highly experienced barristers can earn up to £1m.
Those who are skilled at arguing know that as soon as you lose your temper, you have lost the battle. As you might expect, keeping a cool head in a tense situation is one of the key personality traits required to become a police officer. In addition to confidence and a responsible attitude, police officers are required to assess a situation and take action swiftly. They must also be aware of legislation relating to their work and have the ability to deal firmly and effectively with people from all walks of life.
Qualifications required: There are no formal qualifications required, but you will have to pass written tests and demonstrate that you’re mentally and physically able to do the job. The minimum age to apply is 18, and there is no upper age limit. Competition for places is high and relevant experience such as youth work or voluntary work can be an advantage. Volunteering as a special constable is also a good way to show your commitment and get a taste of the work involved.
Salary: Starting pay after training is typically around £23k to £25k, rising to between £36k and £41k for sergeants. Chief inspectors can expect to make more than £50k.
Politician or political aide
The confrontational style of politics witnessed in Parliament and on our TV screens can give the impression that being an elected representative is one long argument – with brief pauses to fill out your expenses – and debating skills are clearly an advantage in the job. While opportunities for paid work as an elected politician are few and far between, there are jobs for assistants to help them with their many responsibilities – including devising policies, criticising the opposition’s and rebutting attacks from rivals.
Qualifications required: Politics is a very competitive sector and a degree in a related field is the norm, often with a postgraduate specialism as well. Secretarial skills are much in demand and voluntary work experience is frequently undertaken by hopeful candidates.
Salary: Starting salaries range from £15k to £25k and senior case workers might earn £19k to £28k. An office manager could get £40k in London. The basic annual salary for British MPs is around £67k – but with an array of expenses and allowances on top of that.
If you enjoy using a systemic approach of thought to tackle the bigger questions of reality, existence, knowledge, values and language, the job of philosophy lecturer may be for you. From the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates’ method of dialectic to the many strands of thinking that have followed, philosophy is all about making arguments using rational thought. As well as providing context and background to prominent thinkers in history, lecturers are responsible for assessing the quality of student’s written and oral arguments.
Qualifications required: A degree at first or 2:1 level is essential and a PhD is also usually a pre-requisite for teaching jobs in higher education. A demonstrable capacity for original thought and excellent analytical skills are also particularly valued in philosophy.
Salary: Higher education lecturers can expect to earn £33k to £43k, with more senior roles attracting up to £56k.
More commonly known as bouncers, door supervisors are employed to vet the people seeking to enter an establishment – stopping underage drinkers and checking for concealed drugs or weapons. Unsurprisingly, many door staff will have several arguments in the course of each shift, often with inebriated and less-than-fully rational customers. The work demands a firm but fair manner, the ability to defuse volatile situations, and good communication skills.
Qualifications required: To work as a door supervisor in England or Wales you’ll need to hold a licence from the Security Industry Authority – and to get one you’ll need to complete a training course approved by the same body. A good level of physical fitness and a clean record, with no criminal convictions, will also be an advantage.
Salary: Pay is variable, but most door supervisors earn between £8 and £13 per hour. Higher rates can be paid to team leaders or to veteran staff.
Note: All salary information taken from the National Careers Service website.
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