The career you hadn’t thought of

Summer Job

So, you’ve finally finished with the horror of your final exams. You breathe a huge sigh of relief and convince yourself the stress is over. Then about five minutes later, it hits you… you have no idea what to do next. And the stress is back, worse than before.

Not everybody is lucky enough to know what they want to do when they’re finished studying. Some people grow up knowing that they’ll be applying for government jobs in Cape Town or advertising jobs in Johannesburg. Not knowing what you want to do, however, can actually be a good thing. There are more options out there than you think. And here are some of the weirder ones.

Pet food critic

Okay, so technically you’d be referred to as a pet food tester, but “critic” just sounds cooler. Unfortunately cats and dogs can’t let us know which flavours they prefer, and that’s partly why this job exists. According to, “Pet Food Testers don’t spend every day sampling a cuisine fit for a pampered pooch, though (don’t worry, most Pet Food Testers spit it out instead of swallowing it). Most days, they’re writing reports and thinking up new ideas on how to put a nutritional spin on a new line of food. Taste is important, but nutrition is the key to healthy pets.”

Professional Sleeper

Now, this is something you have a lot of experience in. You’ve done more than 10 000 hours of it so you’re pretty much an expert in the field. Basically, researchers and doctors pay to hook you up to machines and watch you sleep. It may sound a bit creepy, but these studies need to be done and somebody has to do it. Why not you?

Professional Sheep Shearer

If you’re looking for a career that will take you overseas, becoming a professional sheep shearer may be the perfect career. According to Farmers Weekly, Developing machine-shearing skills in the South African wool industry could arm shearers with the expertise to pursue potentially lucrative careers in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Sheep shearing is a respected international career…”


Not to be confused with meteorology, metrology has to do with the science of weights and measurements. No, it’s not as exciting as sleeping for a living, but it pays well and metrologists are in demand in South Africa. According to the National Metrology Institute of South Africa, “Metrology is the science of measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.”

Voiceover artist

How’s your phone voice? Can you perform any tongue twister out there? Is doing different voices your party trick? If the answer is yes, then voiceover artist may be your perfect career. There are voiceover talent agencies all over South Africa. You record a demo and put it out there. Next thing you know, you’ll be talking your way through radio or TV ads.

With all these options (and many more you hadn’t thought of) there’s no need to sweat about not knowing what you want to do. Get out there and try out different career paths. Some may just be stepping stones, but you could find your calling on the way.

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