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What would your opposite occupation be?

Different careers. Jobs.


What would your opposite occupation be?

Richard O’Leary toys with the idea of a new career, but it sounds like too much hard work.

Have you ever thought about a sea change or tree change? Or would a 180-degree career change sound more like your cup of tea?

Well, help is at hand. The New York Times ran a great story recently about people who decide to chuck it all in to try something completely different to what they are used to doing in their day jobs.

The newspaper also used US Labor Department records to line up the skill sets needed for each occupation to create a cool search engine which allows you to find your opposite job.

It suggests lawyers who are sick and tired of court rooms to get outside and grade some roads.

For all those overworked graphic designers out there, and I’ve known a few, how about going total-Einstein and becoming a physicist?

If you are a historian, put down your books, and pick up an axe, your counter-career as a lumberjack is just one lopped tree away.

Are there any surgeons out there? Well you’ll need to swap your titanium scalpels for Blue Steel as you channel Derek Zoolander to become models.

Now, as someone who has Googled their own name (a pretty disappointing outcome may I add, although there is a book called The Collossus of Richard O’Leary – I may have bought it, who’d know?) I couldn’t resist typing in my job (or one of them) – writer.

Now before I hit ‘enter’, I weighed up whether or not I was ready to chuck it all in and try something a little different, after all I’ve been doing this writing caper for a while now, maybe it’s time I got my hands dirty and had a crack at a real job.

With great anticipation I pressed the button and waited… my opposite job is, wait for it… mobile home installer.

To be honest I didn’t even know that was a job. I guess I knew someone had to put them in place, but it never really crossed my mind before.

In that occupation you are practical, add value to people’s lives and don’t overstay your welcome.

Now what does that say about writers?

Although another life on the greener side of the fence has its temptations, I think I’ll keep at my two-finger typing as it still holds more appeal than two-black-thumbnailed hammering.


Richard O’Leary is a journalist, a political advisor and a father who knows there’s a deeper meaning to life but struggles to find it.

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