10 Cool Jobs (You Can Actually Get)

4 May


Forget astronaut and swimsuit competition judge, there are many cool jobs that you can actually train and apply for right here in Toronto.

Personal Shopper
Any veteran shopper knows the glow you get from scouring the sales to find that perfect item. Imagine how much better that buzz would be when it’s on someone else’s dime! Personal shoppers offer advice, information and encouragement to shoppers too busy, too tired or too unsure to shop for themselves. Department stores like Holt Renfrew offer personal shopping consultations. The store also posts opportunities for personal shoppers on its web site.

Employers may use the service of a personal shopper to buy gifts in bulk for staff or clients. Others may keep a shopper on retainer to make sure they never forget to buy a gift for a spouse’s birthday, or to send those flowers on Mother’s Day. To excel at this job you need to be outgoing, have excellent taste and be willing to hustle, especially if your salary is based on commission. Those with the shopping bug can also read more about becoming a Mystery Shopper in Survival Jobs.

Events Planner
Planning the details of a champagne gala, awards ceremony or a couples’ big day are daily occurrences for an events planner. You may work odd or long hours, but being wooed by caterers, florists and attending some great parties makes it all worthwhile. Find out about other duties performed by Conference and Event Planners on the National Occupational Classification web site.To find out about educational opportunities and the work environment, read the profile on Career Matters.

For More Information:
Toronto Special Events: Online resource for event planners and suppliers in the City of Toronto.

Set Designer
Do you watch the entertainment awards shows and dream of waltzing down the red carpet to make your own acceptance speech? Think your stage fright or lack of theatrical flair mean it could never be you? Think again! Being the person who is literally behind the scenes is a fun and vital role in all film, TV and theatre productions. According to Job Futures, theatrical designers “conceptualize and produce designs for sets, costumes, and lighting.”

Toronto plays a major role in Canadian film production and is a popular choice for American productions as well. So how do you get started? Many people working in this field have some post-secondary education so you may want to look into a program like Ryerson University’s Production Technology.

If you still see yourself centre stage, you can explore more options in our articles Employment in the Fine Arts and Careers in Music.

Tour Guide
Does sharing your knowledge of the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Science Centre or the CN Tower sound like a dream job to you? How about meeting new people, regaling them with stories and interesting facts? Then look into a career as a tour guide and you could be on permanent vacation — and get paid for it!

You’ll want to start by joining the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Tour Guide Association. Members can be listed on the association’s web site, which also offers a list of courses for those interested in training to become a guide. Check out other jobs in the tourism sector in our newly updated Careers in Tourism article.

If the ratings are to be believed, Canada loves top models, and Toronto’s role in Canada’s fashion industry means it is a great city for finding work in this field. While it’s still a cutthroat and vanity-fueled industry, there is a call for models of different shapes, sizes and looks.

The Ottawa-based Ben Barry Agency, which has a Toronto office, provides models “of all ages, sizes, races, and abilities with the presence and professionalism necessary for success in a dynamic and fast-changing industry”. You can send snapshots for consideration to this agency, unlike many others which only accept professional photos. The agency does not charge fees for reviewing photos or other up front management fees and warns against agencies that do, claiming that they are not legitimate.

Not the bare-it-all type? Have you ever thought of letting your fingers do the posing? Or maybe that perfectly pedicured foot?. There are agencies like Handmodel.ca that specialize in providing body part models for commercial and print shoots.

For More Information:
Linda Rose: How to Become a Hand Model

CSIS Information Officer
You won’t end up sipping martinis while dangling from a helicopter in a tux, but the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) does recruit for intelligence officers. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the job is glamorous or super high-paying (salaries start at $50,000). But being a spy is undeniably cool. A university degree is required of applicants. Because of a concern for security, a background check is done on all applicants. After that, a rigorous and lengthy recruitment process begins. A full explanation is available on the CSIS web site.

Investigator, muckraker, critic, columnist. If you are not looking for a huge salary there are opportunities to make money sharing your opinions on sports, music, movies or politics. If you don’t have a background in writing, volunteering to write pieces for community newspapers or organizations is a good way to get experience and build a portfolio. There are many great links for freelance writers listed in our Careers in Writing: Journalism. And check out Jeff Gaulin’s Journalism Job Board. You can look for jobs and add your name to the “journalist for hire” directory.

Work/Life Balance Coordinator
Think about how popular you’d be if you were the one who brings on-site massages to an office… Or how about being the person who buys flowers or treats for Company Appreciation Day?

Work/life balance has become a priority for companies. Some like Google and Deloitt and Touche even discuss the importance on their company recruiting pages. This belief that happy workers are harder workers is creating opportunities for human resource professionals to create ergonomic, child-friendly, healthy and serene workplaces. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has released the report Work Life Balance in the New Millennium tracking the growing trend of promoting work/life balance in Canadian companies.

For the do-it-yourselfers out there, take a look at the web site for Work-Life Harmony Enterprises, a local company created by Nora Spinks to bring balance to other offices.

Urban Cowboy (AKA Bike Courier)
With spring FINALLY here, the idea of spinning your bike around the city seems less frigid. And the idea of being one of the city’s over 500 bike couriers seems much cooler.

Along with offering an environmental solution to doing business in TO, these urban cowboys get to enjoy the benefits of belonging to a tight community and working in the outdoors. They don’t have to be stuck behind a cubicle or adhere to a dress code. Many bike couriers are hired as independent brokers, which means they are truly their own bosses; on the other hand, this means that employers do not provide benefits such as sick leave and workers’ compensation. A few courier companies do hire staff directly and some couriers are affiliated with unions. Something to check into if you are contemplating this career option.

Pilates Instructor
Although it’s been practiced for 27 years, pilates is one of the hottest new fitness trends with studios popping up all over Toronto. Many gyms are also offering these classes that tone and elongate the body. If you’ve fallen under the spell you could turn your hobby into a career! Pilates.com offers a listing of pilates instructor training in Canada and internationally. Stotts Pilates also offers certification in Toronto. A price list can be downloaded from their web site.

If pilates is not your class of choice what is? Swimming? Spinning? You can find certification for these and many other fitness classes in Toronto. A good place to look for this training is the YMCA. Read our article Sports and Recreation Careers for more cool job ideas.
Canadian Actor Online: Acting, modeling jobs
CoolJobs Canada: Listings of resort positions
Getthatgig.com:This American site offers great “day in the life” bios of cool jobs


2 Responses to “10 Cool Jobs (You Can Actually Get)”

  1. Michel Sala January 17, 2010 at 9:06 AM #

    Sorry, aber das bezweifel ich ganz stark…Baer

  2. Thermoplastic Elastomers December 1, 2010 at 2:03 PM #

    it is always a good idea to get event planners when you want a good outcome for your planned event ;~*

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