1) Island caretaker
Speaking of yearly escapade, what if you could have your cake and eat it too? Imagine travelling to an island paradise, then getting paid a comfortable salary to take care of said island. That’s exactly what select few people get to do, like Ben Southall who won a six-month contract to become the official caretaker of Australia’s breathtaking Hamilton Island.
If that sounds easy enough, it’s not all surf, sand, sun and fun. Southall was required to produce a blog documenting his adventures there, inclusive of photos, video diaries and tweets. If you think you’re up for the USD111,000 a year (roughly RM468,000) job, make sure you have an affinity with water (swimming, snorkeling, diving and sailing) and plenty of time management skills.
2) Lego professor
All those years of playing with your toys and never finishing your homework may just lead you to this dream job. Enter, the Lego Professor of Play (the official title)! Before you think this is a sham, bear in mind that this position is for the prestigious Cambridge University, England. While you may not be able to play with Lego pieces all day long, you’ll be conducting valuable research into how creative playtime is able to help with early childhood development.
With an annual salary of approximately GBP84,000 (roughly RM467,000), Professor Paul Ramchandani was the right candidate who possessed unique skills such as “a childlike mindset: playful, extremely curious, open-minded, imaginative and creative”.
3) Water slide tester
Theme parks have always been one of the most popular destinations for families and thrill-seekers during long holidays. Now wouldn’t it be swell if you could test out your favourite rides while still getting paid? Holiday giant First Choice put out an advertisement for a water slide tester to rate their SplashWorld resorts’ slides and flumes on all safety aspects, in addition to characteristics such as ‘biggest splash’ and ‘adrenaline factor’.
The six-month GBP20,000 (roughly RM111,000) contract was won by Sebastian Smith including all-expenses paid trips to the company’s resorts around the world. In addition to having a willingness to travel, the candidate had to have strong written and verbal skills for a good social media presence.
4) Chocolate taster/scientist
Are you salivating yet? Calling all chocoholics, there’s now a job you can excel in! Bear in mind that it’s not as simple as stuffing your face and declaring your feelings for it; there’s a lot of chemistry, math and technicalities involved in finding the perfect flavour. Godiva Chocolates is one such employer – expect to earn anywhere between USD24,000 to USD70,000 (roughly RM101,000 to RM295,000) per annum.
You could also be a chocolate scientist tasked with coming up with new creations, like Hayleigh Curtis. As part of a 300-strong team, she shoulders the responsibility of creating and developing every new chocolate product by Mondelez International, whose portfolio includes Cadbury’s and Milka. Fun fact: Ms Curtis has had her taste buds insured for GBP1mil (roughly RM5.6mil)!
5) Professional sleeper
This career sounds like a dream, and it’s the most comfortable one on this list. A professional sleeper does just what its title says: sleeping for a living. Someone needs to test the quality, durability and comfort of bedding materials and who better for the job than a professional! There are various roles a professional sleeper can adopt, most notably a bed tester, an exhibitionist sleeper or a scientific research subject.
Roisin Madigan had the privilege of becoming a luxury bed tester for England-based bed company Simon Horn Ltd, where she was required to test beds in the showroom under a variety of conditions while blogging about each one. Some of these conditions included being under the influence of caffeine or alcohol. At the end of one month, she earned GBP1,000 (roughly RM5,500) just for relaxing!
6) Video game tester
All those nights when your parent yelled at you for constantly playing video games and not studying/finishing your homework might actually become a profitable skill. Even though it’s the dream job of a significant number of people, by now you would’ve realised that none of these jobs are only fun and games. At the forefront of a tester’s responsibility is to detect all bugs and software defects within a game, which means prolonged gameplay of any title given to them.
According to an anonymous tester, an important skill to have as a tester is the ability to keep your cool in a frustrating situation. What’s the pay like? “It’s usually pretty low. The industry standard is around USD16 – 18 (roughly RM67 – 76) an hour.”
7) Netflix tagger
The final entry on this list should make those who love binge watching sit up and take notice. Netflix – that famous American entertainment company – has a team of 40 ‘taggers’, part-time employees who are assigned to tag various TV series and movies with the appropriate genres. Taggers are required to be objective and detached when they start watching each given title, since it involves a long process of categorising, tagging and sub-tagging the story line.
While there are no official figures out there on how much a tagger earns, LA Times has reportedly estimated that they can earn up to several hundred dollars per week. The pay isn’t too shabby for a part-time job, although it must be noted that you must watch any content given to you, no matter how horrible!