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Love Notes – What’s in a career?

Posted on April 23, 2015 by Maple Creek

By Marcia Love

Apparently it sucks to be me. Not me personally, but a newspaper reporter, according to the Jobs Rated Almanac.
The 27th edition of the book was released earlier this month with its rankings of the best and worst jobs of 2015. Yep. Newspaper reporter topped the list of the worst.
As I read the findings, I could feel my fellow reporters around the world joining in a united fist pump. We’re No. 1, guys!
It didn’t actually surprise me, considering newspaper reporter has been dead last on the list for the past several years, and actuary has continued to reign (I’m sure I’m not the only one who had to hit up Google to find out what an actuary is).
Then again, we can’t say we weren’t warned. On orientation day at Conestoga College, my print journalism class was cautioned this wasn’t the glamorous career TV shows, movies and novels play it up to be. Thirty of us entered the program that year, and two years later, about half that number completed the program. Of those who graduated, only three of us went on to pursue an actual job in our field. The rest opted to become cashiers (No. 104), waitresses (No. 171), dishwashers (No. 129) or returned to school for other studies.
Yes, they warned us it was going to be tough out there.
According to the Jobs Rated Almanac, the best jobs in the United States are as follows: 1. Actuary, 2. Audiologist, 3. Mathematician, 4. Statistician, 5. Biomedical engineer, 6. Data scientist, 7. Dental hygienist, 8. Software engineer, 9. Occupational therapist, 10. Computer systems analyst.
Finishing off the list were: 191. Mail carrier, 192. Firefighter, 193. Taxi driver, 194. Corrections officer, 195. Photojournalist, 196. Broadcaster, 197. Cook, 198. Enlisted military personnel, 199. Lumberjack, 200. Newspaper reporter.
Jobs were ranked based on income, hiring outlook, environmental factors, stress and physical demands.
In case you’re curious, farmer was No. 180 (rancher unfortunately wasn’t mentioned), oil rig worker was No. 144, teacher was No. 122 and physician ranked No. 83.
Looking at where I sit on the list compared to others, there are a number of different career paths I could have taken which some would say were better, more promising jobs. But I don’t just want a job. I don’t just want to put in my time and get paid. I want to feel like I’m contributing something while doing something I love.
I’ve had those jobs where I don’t feel challenged to grow, or even worse, dreaded going in to work – so much so that I couldn’t even enjoy getting off work because I knew I had to wake up and do it all over again the next day.
And so I consider myself very lucky to have a job that challenges me and offers opportunities for me to learn so much about a variety of topics and issues. I never know what’s going to come my way, and, if we aren’t counting Wayne Litke, I can’t say I dislike anyone I have to work with (which accounts for a great deal of making a job enjoyable).
While the statistics are interesting, the opinion of a couple guys doesn’t make me want to quit my job tomorrow and take up a career in financial risk assessment.
Looking at the list of the best and worst jobs, it really is a matter of personal opinion and preference. Try telling Peter Mansbridge he made a poor career choice. And I’m willing to bet very few serving with the armed forces or with a fire department signed up without their main goal being to help others – fully aware of the high risks involved.
If you like to cook, cook. If you want to become an occupational therapist, that’s cool, too. And if you like to write and take photos, well my friend, the “worst job” might just be for you.

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