Unique jobs you might not have considered (part four)

With a new year comes new possibilities and you are likely already wondering what this year may bring. If you’re in the market for a new job, then a little inspiration could be just what you need to get you thinking creatively about your job search in 2020. From doing newborn hearing checks through to delivering post within the community; these are just a few of the many roles that could be available to you.

Below, we’ve come up with 15 very different job ideas that will hopefully get you thinking about what the next chapter of your life could have in store!

1. Probation Officer

As a Probation Officer, you could help someone turn their life around. Probation Officers work with offenders before and after sentencing to assess and manage the risk that they pose on society. They need to keep victims of crime and members of the public safe, whilst at the same time providing offenders with guidance and advice, to help rehabilitate them and ultimately prevent them from falling back into committing new crimes. Probation Officers will typically work in probation offices, courts, victims units and/or approved premises (AP). They may also build relationships with victims of crime and members of the community, which can be helpful when trying to decide the best way to manage an offender.

HM Prison and Probation Service accept applications from candidates directly and will consider three things when considering whether you may be eligible to join them as a trainee. These are whether you have:

  • the right to work in the UK.
  • experience working with challenging individuals.
  • 5 minimum C-grade GCSEs or equivalent, or some relevant work experience, including a demonstrable ability to write reports.

It is stressed on the HM Prison and Probation Service website that the main interest lies in what you’re like as a person, not what qualifications you have. Applicants with a patient, empathetic and resilient nature are welcomed to apply. If your application is successful, you will be offered full training and supported throughout, with many opportunities to continue developing in the role. To find more and apply, you can visit the government website, here. They hire intakes of staff at intervals, so it’s best to register your interest so that you can get notified each time the application process opens again.

Alternatively, you can browse Civil Service probation roles on our website, where individual postings may appear.

2. Newborn Hearing Screener

Are you a natural nurturer with a calm and reassuring presence? Would you be happy to handle new born babies? By working as a Newborn Hearing Screener, you could make a significant contribution to the lives of countless newborn babies and their families by identifying those babies which have permanent hearing loss as early as possible. Those working in the role tend to work as part of an audiology team on postnatal wards or in clinics.

You don’t usually need any specific skills or qualifications to get started as a Newborn Hearing Screener, but you will often have an advantage if you have previous experience of working with children and families and/or deaf people (either paid or voluntary). Many healthcare providers will be willing to provide full training on the job, providing that you have the right attributes and a desire to learn.

3. Postal Delivery Worker

Could you deliver in a role with Royal Mail? If you’re looking for a role where you can make a difference in your community whilst staying physically active, then a job as a Postal Delivery Worker could be a great option. Everyday people rely on the staff at Royal Mail to deliver important letters and parcels, and we would struggle without them!

Postal Delivery Workers work in all weather, sorting post and delivering it to specific areas. You’ll be on your feet for several hours of the day, so it will help if you have a reasonable level of fitness and are willing to work outdoors come rain or shine. Although Postal Delivery Workers usually work alone, you will get to know members of the community if you deliver to them regularly and they will come to know you as a friendly, reliable face.

You don’t need any previous skills or experience to apply for this role, but you will need to be upbeat, self-motivated and resilient – with a love of the great outdoors!

4. Data Analyst

Are you an excellent communicator with an analytical mind? Is maths one of your strong suits? If so, then you could consider retraining as a Data Analyst. Data Analysts help organisations and companies to gain a clearer understanding of their data, so that they can make better business decisions. They do this by collecting and processing data, before conducting statistical analysis. They then translate their findings into a report or presentation that can be used by decision makers. These reports are useful in working out how much a company may be spending, how they can save money and/or how they should price new materials. With the exponential rise of computing power and big data, the ability to work with data and make sense of it is a skill that is likely to be in high demand in the years to come.

Currently, there are no set requirements for becoming a Data Analyst. However, you will usually have an advantage when applying if you have a degree in a relevant subject, such as computer science, maths or economics – especially if you were able to gain practical experience through a placement. It can also help if you have experience working with complicated spreadsheets. There are courses available that can help you to acquire some advanced Microsoft Excel skills.

It is also possible to become a Data Analyst by working as an apprentice first. Companies across a range of sectors will often take on Data Analyst Apprentices; helping them to build up the skills needed for the role, whilst studying for a relevant qualification.

5. Signmaker

If you have great attention to detail, a creative flair and you can draw well, then perhaps this is the sign that you’ve been looking for! Signmakers create signs and lettering, which are often displayed on the front on shops, restaurants or on company vehicles. Whilst some signs may still be written by hand, it’s becoming more common for many of them to be designed on a computer and then made using a machine. On a typical day, you could be doing anything from using design software, to calculating letter and logo sizes, through to making fibreglass letters from moulds.

Signwriters typically work for graphic design companies, specialist signage companies, printers or engravers, but some may also work on a self-employed basis – usually after building up some substantial experience in the field.

Many employers take on trainee Signwriters and train them on the job – often whilst helping them work towards a relevant qualification at the same time – but you will likely have an edge if you have experience of some sort of design software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator or any qualifications related to design and/or technology.

6. Compliance Officer

If you’re someone who likes to do things by the book, then you may find satisfaction in a role as a Compliance Officer. Nearly all sectors have some level of regulation in place, meaning that Compliance Officers have a reasonable amount of choice when deciding which industry they’d like to work in – for example, property, pharmaceuticals, banking and insurance. Responsibilities will vary depending on the industry sector and the specialism of each employer, but could typically include tasks like understanding relevant roles and regulations (ensuring you are always up to date), performing risk assessments, investigating non-compliance issues and escalating issues of concern.

Qualifications are not essential for entry into a compliance role, however, it can help if you have a degree related to law or numbers (e.g. economics or accountancy). A large number of employers are flexible with entry requirements and are often willing to train willing candidates with transferable skills on the job. So, if you have an ability to influence others, strong IT skills and excellent attention to detail, then why not give it a go?

7. Paramedic or Ambulance Care Assistant

Would you love to be there for others when it matters most? Can you keep calm under pressure? If, yes, then you might want to think about taking steps towards becoming a Paramedic. Paramedics provide an immediate response to medical emergencies, following a 999 call and will do everything they can to stabilise patients and get them to hospital via ambulance, so that they can receive further medical treatment from doctors and nurses. People’s lives can often depend on a Paramedic’s quick response and competent care, making the role invaluable. They are highly trained to ensure that they are equipped with all the skills and knowledge they need to be able to give someone the best chance at getting to hospital safely.

It’s important to remember that this role is not for the faint-hearted. Paramedics will deal with all kinds of medical emergencies which could include anything from a broken leg through to a cardiac arrest.

If you’re interested in making a difference to the lives of others by retraining as a Paramedic, then you’ll first need to complete a degree in paramedic science, which typically takes three years full time; combining theory with practice to ensure that you get every opportunity to develop the required skills. Once you’ve graduated from the course, you’ll be able to register with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) and apply for your first role as a qualified Paramedic.

Another option if you’d prefer to train whilst you work (and not go to university), would be to apply for a role as an Ambulance Care Assistant. With experience, you then can then apply for a role as a student paramedic or a trainee technician where you can work towards completing a Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice, which will also allow you to register with the HCPC and start practicing as a qualified Paramedic.

8. Student Wellbeing Officer

Student Wellbeing Officers act as the first point of contact for the students in schools, colleges and universities for any safeguarding or wellbeing concerns. They are responsible for assessing students and devising a plan that will help to give them the support they need. This could involve practical support e.g. making sure that a physically disabled student has all the practical help they need to complete their studies, or emotional support e.g. spending time with a student one on one to talk through issues that may be worrying them. Where necessary a Student Wellbeing Officer may need to contact external professionals such as social workers or the police.

There isn’t a set route to becoming a Student Wellbeing Officer, but employers will usually give priority to candidates who have:

  • knowledge of safeguarding procedures
  • experience of working with vulnerable people

If you’d like to learn more about safeguarding procedures, then New Skills Academy has CPD certified courses that may be of interest.

Which course are you interested in?

Ready to apply now?

9. Locksmith

If you’re trustworthy, patient and love a good puzzle, then a career as a Locksmith could be the key to your future. Locksmiths typically pick and replace locks, make new keys and fix broken locks and security systems. People turn to Locksmiths for a number of reasons and you may well have used one yourself. They can be called to replace the locks after someone has moved into a property, or to replace a key after someone has locked theirs in their car!

Locksmiths have been around for as long as there have been locks and keys in existence, but the job has continued to evolve with the advancement of technology. Locksmiths once worked with manual locks and keys only, but now often deal with remote locking, key fobs and alarms. So for this role, an interest in technology is a must if you don’t want to get left behind!

If you have hands-on experience with things like carpentry or joinery then you may be able to apply for a job as a Locksmith directly, as long as you’re prepared to learn and work as a trainee. Locksmiths tend to work for national security companies, in an independent shop, on a self-employed basis or by running a franchise.

The best way to get started if you’re interested in becoming a Locksmith, is to contact Locksmiths near you to find out whether they could take you on as a trainee. Even if they can’t, then they may be able to point you in the direction of somewhere that can. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for trainee or apprenticeship positions online – but be weary of any adverts that encourage you to pay them money for training or tools before you can work with them!

10. Barista

Coffee lovers will understand that there are few people that you’re as happy to see first thing in the morning as your favourite Barista! So, if you’re looking to escape the daily grind of your job search and learn some new skills, then why not consider becoming a Barista? At present, we currently drink around 95 million cups of coffee in the UK everyday, with the coffee industry creating over 210,000 UK jobs – so it’s no surprise that the demand for Baristas is high.

Baristas are people who grind, blend and serve coffee-based drinks, usually in coffee shops and cafes. Although the role is traditionally based around coffee, Baristas often take on additional responsibilities including making and serving food, making non-coffee based drinks and cash handling. As well as being skilled at what they do and being able to make the perfect latte, mocha or skinny chai latte – they must also have great communication and customer service skills to keep customers coming back.

You don’t need any specific qualifications to apply for a role as Barista, as you will usually learn on the job. But if you’re passionate about great coffee and think you could learn to make the perfect brew, then why not apply today…

11. Museum Assistant

For those who love museums and have a strong interest in art, history and/or culture, a role in a museum could be ideal. The best way to get your foot in the door at a museum is to apply for a role as a Museum Assistant. Here you’ll typically keep an eye on exhibits, making sure that they’re all in good order, make guests feel welcome and chat to them about displays and exhibitions, issue entrance tickets and/or serve in the museum shop.

With experience and further training/studying on the job, some Museum Assistants progress into other roles including Education Officers or Assistant Curators.

If you’re a people person with a good working knowledge of a relevant subject, then why not apply today? The best way to find out which roles may be available near you is to contact your local museum(s) directly.

12. Personal Assistant

Do you find yourself trying to organise your friends and families lives without even meaning to? Do you get satisfaction out of lending a helping hand to others wherever possible? If you answered yes, then it could be worth looking into a career as a Personal Assistant (PA). Personal Assistants tend to carry out administrative work for managers or executives, or sometimes for individuals with a high-profile or celebrity status. This can include tasks like diary management, booking travel, catering and accommodation, and managing databases and filing systems.

As a Personal Assistant, you will have great insight into the life of a single individual and will have access to a lot of their personal information, so it’s important that you can act with tact, trustworthiness and discretion. You don’t usually need any specific qualifications to work as a Personal Assistant, although you will have to be highly organised, proficient with office technology and be able to remain calm under pressure. It can also help if you have some previous administrative experience.

If you like the sound of this role, but you’d prefer to conduct your work from home, then it’s worth considering working as a Virtual Assistant. The role is largely the same as the Personal Assistant role, but you will work remotely and may work for more than one individual.

13. Reprographic Assistant

Reprographic Assistants work for companies or organisations – like schools or law firms – that need large quantities of documents printed like brochures, manuals and leaflets. As well as liaising with customers to get a good understanding of the brief (e.g. the size and quantity of the documents needed), they may also ‘finish’ the documents by binding, trimming or laminating them. This role is best suited to people who are very organised and can work to tight deadlines, as document requests are often time sensitive. With experience, some Reprographic Assistants go on to become office or shop managers.

The good news is, that if you’re in a hurry to find work, this is a role you can apply for today. Employers don’t usually ask for any specific qualifications and many are happy to take people without experience providing that they have the right attitude and a willingness to learn. Why not see if you can find a role near you?

14. Yoga Teacher

Perhaps you’re experienced at yoga and attend regular classes, but have you ever thought about teaching it yourself? Many people who find a class or an activity that they really enjoy, take great pleasure in introducing their passion to others and helping to give them the same positive experience. Yoga has become more popular over the years and is increasingly being seen as a practice that can have a positive impact on mental, as well as physical health, so there’s no better time to become a Yoga Teacher.

Yoga practice is currently unregulated in the UK, but if you want to develop your teaching practice and give yourself the best chance at landing clients, then it’s best to take a recognised qualification, such as the YMCA Awards recognised Diploma in Teaching Yoga, which is focussed around the practice of Hatha yoga, from which many popular styles of yoga have developed. Here you’ll learn how to create and deliver structured classes with confidence – to both groups and/or individuals on a one-to-one basis. The course can be taken either full-time as a weekday course or part-time as a weekend course and takes 10 days to complete in total.

Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll be able to start running classes. It’s often a good idea to start by contacting local gyms and leisure centres to see whether they are in currently in need of a yoga teacher to run any additional classes – you may also be able to offer cover to teachers who are off sick.

You could also try joining The British Wheel of Yoga (the largest membership organisation in the UK), which is committed to promoting a greater understanding of yoga practice through experience, training and study. Here you can keep up to date with all the latest advice and information from the yoga world.

15. Upholsterer

Upholsterers make, replace and repair covers on furniture (and sometimes in vehicles). Some work with either old or new furniture, but the majority do both! Whilst much of what an Upholsterer relies on are skills like cutting and sewing, they must also keep an eye on current trends so that they can advise clients and help them choose fabrics to suit their lifestyle, preferences and needs. You’ll usually find Upholsterers in furniture shops, factories or car garages – some also work on a self-employed basis with their own client base.

If you’ve got a good eye for detail and you enjoy working with your hands, then you may find pleasure in a career as an Upholsterer. Most employers will expect you to have demonstrable knowledge of fabrics and upholstery techniques, so if you don’t have any already, then it could be worth taking a short course like a Level 2 Diploma in Furnishings which can help you land a job in the industry. This is usually run by colleges and adult education centres, so you could try contacting those local to you to find out what they may have to offer.

You could also try contacting local furniture or upholstery companies near you, to see whether they have any trainee roles available.

And finally...

Hopefully these roles have got you thinking more creatively about your job search. And even if a role isn’t quite right for you, chances are, there may be a similar role that might appeal. For example, if you like the idea of becoming a Paramedic but don’t have the time or money to go back to school, then you could consider becoming an Emergency Call Handler or an Ambulance Care Assistant instead.

The more options that you consider when it comes to your job search, the better! Sometimes by expanding your search, you can come across roles that you had never considered or didn’t even know existed, which can add an element of excitement to your job search.

Looking for some more ideas? Read our article Unique roles that you may not have considered – part one, two and three!

Did this list spark any other ideas for you? Do you have any role ideas of your own that you would be willing to share? Or maybe you’re already working in one of these fields? Email us at [email protected] or post on the community forum.

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