With exam results either just out, or looming over the horizon, a brand new batch of students are eager to join the workforce. Or are they? Over the last few years, the number of fresh graduates heading in ‘unconventional’ directions has been on the rise. Young entrepreneurs setting up their own start-ups, or even foregoing a career in the common nine-to-five job arena to take on freelancing and spreading their talent in multiple places at one go, is fast becoming the new norm.
Reasons range from wanting to express their creativity, to wanting the freedom of movement and the possibility of travel that exists in non-conventional jobs, to even having a chance to ‘discovering’ themselves. While these are obviously part of the advantages of taking off towards the unbeaten path, there are many pitfalls that might be waiting to greet them, like rejection, bounced cheques, no guarantee of steady work or income, loss of investment, disillusionment. However, those that persevere and make the cut often report higher job satisfaction, and seem to be closer to that ever elusive goal – happiness.
So if you, or someone you know, wants to give life outside the box a go, here are some ‘different’ areas to look for work in -
Translator or Interpreter
If you have a strong command over two or more languages, this must just be the right direction for you. Requirements for translators can range from real time interpreters (where you must listen to and respond to, actively translating, during a conversation between your client and someone else), document translations (these could include legal documents, agreements, questionnaires, etc.), or even script or dialogue translations (often used for other language dubbing for movies, television shows, documentaries, etc.). Clients can range from corporate or media houses, to individual companies, or even book publishers.
Voice-over or Dubbing artist
If you have a unique voice and clear diction, this might be right up your alley. All you need to do is get some basic voice samples recorded in the languages you are ready to work in, and then send them out to potential clients. And the best part is, this industry is open for all kinds of voices, so you just need to find your space or ‘ideal’ clientele. Got a heavy, husky textured voice? Head for parts in TVCs (TV commercials) and documentaries. Got a thin, shrill voice? Try out for cartoon dubbing. And the type of work you can apply for is quite varied. From animated videos, to TV and radio ads, documentaries, movie or show language dubbings, to even video games, or railway annoucements!
Emcee or Event Host
Like talking, a lot? Have a natural talent for making people feel welcomed? Got a knack for getting people involved? Then try your hand at becoming an Emcee! From hosting intimate functions, to corporate events, to even government functions, the range of functions is wide and long. Popular artists have gone on to host TV talk shows, become RJs or VJs, or even hosts to sporting events! So if you’ve got a strong personality, a big voice, and the natural ability to make people feel at ease, then go ahead and talk your way to fame and fortune.
Music composer or producer
Are you a music composer? Do tunes and rhythms come naturally to you? Well, an interesting option available to you is to produce music as a freelancer. There is a dearth in the market for talented composers who can deliver well-produced music that matches client briefs, and with minimal turnaround time. This job does however require investment in a basic set up in terms of equipment. But the work encompasses a variety in the work you could be producing. From background scores for short films, to jingles for product advertisements, and even scoring for video games or corporate videos. And if the space you set up your equipment can accommodate it, you can even rent it out as a recording space or jamming space to other musicians, giving you an additional source of income. However, make sure you take the time to learn the basics of the software you will need to produce your work. Producing work that is substandard will ensure that you don’t get more work in the future.
A flair for words can make you ideal for this role. And the projects you undertake can range across the spectrum. From the obvious options of writing a book, or running a blog, you can even write articles for magazines and/or newspapers, or content for websites or social media accounts, to even textbooks, or manuals for corporations. And you can even specialize in your field of study. Studied law? You can write agreements for corporate houses. Got a degree in medicine? Medical journals are always looking for new things. And you can also diversify by offering services of proof-reading or editing to other writers or publication houses.
While these careers are rarely monotonous, and even more rarely boring, they are definitely risky. If you are considering venturing this way, please keep in mind that like any other job or career, nothing comes easy. There will be struggles, there will be sleepless nights, and there will be a lot of hard work. While these career choices to give a lot of happiness to those who pursue them with all diligence, it doesn’t come easy. And it also involves taking on work that might not personally interest you too, just to make ends meet. Hosting a birthday party is not glamorous, nor is creating an audio recording of an entire maths text book. But the rewards are plenty too. Just remember that when you work for yourself, you need to work twice as hard. So, are you ready?