Full-time cuddler, panda nanny and other bizarre jobs you can make tonnes of money from
Who wants to be a millionaire *scratch that* full-time mermaid?
After long day of work, you come home, plop on the sofa, take off your bra and imagine yourself doing something, anything else. You pictured yourself turning into the ultimate #GirlBoss but life seems more like a scene out of Yes Boss. As a kid, you wanted to be an astronaut, a ballet dancer… I wanted to hug dogs for a living. Well, 2020 could be your year, because there are actual weird jobs that could fulfil our craziest childhood fantasies and pay the bills.
Fair warning: Taking up these weird jobs aren’t likely to get the validation we desperately seek from mummy and papa. I don’t think any parent anywhere has ever said, “Mera beta bada ho kar professional Netflix binge-watcher banega.” But one can dream, right?
Weird jobs that actually exist around the world
1. Netflix tagger
Whoever said binge-watching was a waste of time can kindly eat crow. This is pretty much every lazy person and film buff’s ideal profession. ‘Taggers’ at Netflix are paid to watch content and fill in the metadata that help users navigate the search engine efficiently. The official designation is ‘originals creative analyst’ so it sounds fancy too.
Sherrie Gulmahamad has shared her experience where watching 20 hours a week of TV and movies is part of her team’s work for the online streaming platform. We have one complaint though. Whoever put Marley & Me under the Comedy section needs to rethink their life choices. Other than that, dream job alert.
2. Professional cuddler
A good snuggle can melt away years worth of aunties‘ criticism. Instead of being the kind shoulder to cry on for emotional friends, you could upgrade to platonic cuddles and get paid for it (one woman in the US makes about $40K or about Rs 28 lakh a year).
There are a growing number of agencies that offer professional cuddling as a therapeutic experience, like Cuddle Up To Me, Cuddle Companion and Cuddlist.
“We chit-chat, get to know them, we make sure we understand their consent and their boundaries, and they know ours,” explained Samantha Hess, founder of Cuddle Up To Me. If you’re a hugger, this may just be the career path for you. For those days when your dog refuses to let you cuddle them, you know where to go.
3. Chief ball inspector
Do you pay great attention to details, love cricket and…er…balls? Then Chief Ball Inspector could the job for you! No cricket ball enters the game without being analysed by the inspector for its fitness and quality.
Wasiullah Khan is the main man at Sanspareils Greenlands (SG), India’s largest manufacturer of cricket gear, which supplies cricket balls for Test matches and the Ranji Trophy.
It won’t be easy to overthrow his 45-year-long career at SG. But hey, if you can dream it, you can do it.
Dye my hair and call me Ariel because mermaids may not be real, but professional mermaids are. ‘Mermaiding practitioners’ can earn up to $6,000 a year or Rs 4 lakh approximately but it’s also not as easy at it sounds.
Of course, a certain amount of lung capacity (sorry smokers) and investing in a good quality tail is involved, but it’s also quite the full-body workout. “Mermaiding has been around for 20+ years and I think it will only continue to grow in popularity,” said Shelia Kieser, lead mermaid instructor at AquaMermaid in Austin, Texas, in an interview.
We’d suggest staying away from Juhu beach if you plan on freelancing.
Japan is known for its ‘human rental services‘. You may have heard of them on Conan O’Brien’s Conan Without Borders where he rents a family while filming in Japan. These are agencies with rosters of people across ages that offer their platonic companionship. You could require anything from a friend or family member to wedding guests and dinner dates.
Loneliness has been termed an epidemic in Japan and these agencies seem to serve as a respite (sort of). You could end up being the person who pretends to be someone’s girlfriend and makes small talk with their parents. Offer a few hours of companionship to a widower or be a helping hand around the house to a single-parent.
6. Train pusher
Japan is clearly the land of odd professions. These are railway station attendants whose job is to stuff people onto the subway trains like gobis in a paratha. Tokyo trains prove to be a strong contender to Dadar station for its chaos – a competition we would stay far away from.
Being an Oshiya, or pusher during rush hour could be your outlet for getting all your khundak against humanity out.
7. Panda caretaker
Finally, perhaps the best job in the world. Babysitting baby pandas. This doesn’t even belong in the league of weird jobs, more like the best jobs in the world.
Unless you have an issue with personal space and touching. You haven’t experienced clingy quite like a baby panda holding onto you while you try to get stuff done. We’re not complaining, but then again, we haven’t had the privilege of being a panda babysitter at the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Ya’an, Sichuan province.