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Changing Directions

Changing Directions
As a recruiter, I have encountered a fair number of people who have reached a point in their career where they are looking for a change of direction. They don’t know what their next step looks like and feel confident that at some point, the next step will present itself as “something interesting”. That is generally where I come in.

I love this type of challenge. The thought that I can match someone’s skills to a role that they wouldn’t have previously considered is very satisfying. We are often told that we should “follow our passion”, but that is not always the answer for some people. Life becomes very different when you start to get paid for what you love doing. There is suddenly a monetary amount attached to what you do. That can change the way you look at your passion and could swing you the other way, where you start to resent what you love doing.

That is why I like it when someone is not focused on a particular career path but is open to exploring different opportunities to see where it might lead them. Sometimes you just need to say yes to something and take the risk. There are a lot of roles out there that many of us don't think about. Here are some of the less common (and very interesting) roles I've discovered during my time in recruitment. Would you say yes to any of these professions?

Colour Namer

Ever wonder who gets to name the different colours of paint and nail polish? Names are sometimes given by company heads but the process is generally done through brain storming sessions. The names of nail polishes can be pretty out-there: Fiddlesticks, Cowardly Custard, Lily Legs. When it comes to paint, Resene and Dulux have thousands of colour swatches to choose from and employ a full-time Colour Manager to oversee this process.

Alternative Therapist

Art therapy is an expressive form of therapy that works to improve a person's overall wellbeing through artistic expression. Art therapists use it as part of a healing process, and it can help to reduce a patient's stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem and provide many other mental health benefits. Many patients find art therapy helpful as a way of getting assistance with personal development or working through past traumas. Hippotherapists are also called therapeutic riding instructors and equine therapists. Hippotherapy is the practice of riding horses as a form of therapy for children and adults who experience disabilities. It can be used as a form of physical therapy in which the horse's movements affect the rider's body. It can also be used for therapeutic riding in order to enhance the patient’s levels of interaction, recreation, and socialisation.

Private Island Caretaker

Yes, this role does actually exist. Tourism Queensland offered a salary of $150,000 to the person lucky enough to get the job. The role was “part of a unique Tourism Queensland strategy to promote the islands of the Great Barrier Reef internationally”. The successful applicant needed to be “a good swimmer, excellent communicator, be able to speak and write English, have an adventurous attitude, enjoy snorkelling and/or diving and be willing to try new things”. Sounds like my kind of job!


These include Chocolatiers, Ice Cream tasters, Sommeliers, Food critics – in fact, anyone that makes a living in the food and drink arena. These types of roles are regularly voted the coolest in the world, with a chocolate taster ranking higher than an international spy in a recent poll. There are even jobs for Pet Food Tasters (pets have taste buds as well) to check ingredients are balanced and flavoursome, while ensuring the texture is correct. They also evaluate the nutritional value of the food, and come up with new flavours and ideas.

Do you have any ‘unique’ positions to add to this list? I’d love to hear your favourites!

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