Who says working a 9-to-5 job has to be a drag? Turning your biggest passion or a fun pastime into a career can make you start loving your life during the week rather than merely living for the weekend. And you’d be surprised by how many pleasurable activities in life can be turned into professions. Here are six unique passions you can turn into a career — and how to do it.
1. For the one who values sleep above all else: Professional sleeper
If you love snoozing more than most other things in life, being a professional sleeper probably sounds like your dream career.
Job Description: A professional sleeper is just what it sounds like — you get paid to sleep. Professional sleepers are employed for a variety of reasons. Some are hired by scientists and sleep research facilities for the purpose of analyzing a person’s sleep patterns to learn more about sleep itself and what goes on in the human brain during it. Others are hired by manufacturers to test the effectiveness of various sleep-related products — mattresses, pillows, room lighting and, in some cases, new sleeping pills.
- The ability to sleep in new surroundings away from home for long periods of time
- The ability to sleep with potential wires attached to you, knowing that people are watching you
- Being overall fit and healthy
- The ability to write compelling and interesting reports about your quality of sleep at any given time
- Good observational skills
- Not bothered by spending a lot of time secluded from others
- Great communication and interpersonal skills
Pay: On average, $66,000 a year. But it could be more or less than that, depending on the company that hires you, the location of your job and your previous experience.
2. For the one who loves to binge-watch TV shows: Netflix tagger
If you routinely sit for hours on end, shamelessly watching episode after episode of your favorite TV show, why not turn this guilty pleasure into a full-time job? Apply to be a Netflix tagger and get paid to watch Netflix movies and TV shows all day long.
Job Description: A Netflix tagger is paid to enter words and phrases into the streaming giant’s database that describe every movie and TV show that the company offers to its subscribers. This is done in an effort to bring more accurate recommendations to viewers and to help Netflix categorize its ever-changing catalog of content.
- Ability to objectively describe movie and TV show content (it’s not about personal likes or dislikes)
- A degree in film or film history and/or experience directing, screenwriting or filmmaking
- An understanding of how film and TV shows are written and produced
- Ability to determine what TV shows and movie content falls into the same genre
- Good observational skills
- Ability to pay attention to small details and to write detailed descriptions of content
Pay: Due to a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits Netflix taggers to share how much they get paid, the exact salary for this position is unknown. But some estimate that taggers make “a couple hundred dollars per week.” This is a part-time, remote position.
3. For the one who’s obsessed with weddings: Professional bridesmaid
Do you absolutely adore attending weddings and helping out brides on their special days? If so, you might want to consider a career as a professional bridesmaid. No — this isn’t just the female version of what Kevin Hart does in “The Wedding Ringer” — this profession actually exists. As evidenced by the success of new startup Bridesmaid For Hire, busy brides are ready to pay $1,000 or more to have you be at her beck and call on her big day.
Job Description: According to Bridesmaids For Hire, professional bridesmaids are generally employed for two reasons: to assist the bride who has a long list of bridesmaids and wedding attendees but needs someone to be there in a more “personal assistant” type of role, or to be there for the bride who doesn’t have many close friends and wants a bridesmaid by her side to enhance the experience of her special day.
You’ll most likely be expected to act as an on-sight therapist in the case of a breakdown — which isn’t unusual for brides on their wedding days.
- Good listener
- People person
- Highly organized
- Able to act professionally in a party setting (drinking on the job is a big no-no!)
- A basic understanding of the wedding business
Pay: Depending on the wedding size and location, you could make anywhere from $300 to $2,000 per wedding.
4. For the one who loves to snuggle: Professional cuddler
Are you one of those people who can’t get enough cuddling, whether it be with friends, your SO or your cat? Then becoming a professional cuddler might be your next best career move. You will have to cuddle with strangers, though, so this isn’t the ideal job for those who place a lot of value on their personal space.
Job Description: Professional cuddlers do exactly what you’d expect them to do: they offer to cuddle with people for a set amount of time in exchange for a fee. Services like Cuddle Comfort make this exchange a little safer by vetting potential cuddlers and cuddle-seekers and by allowing the two individuals to chat before meeting in person. The platform also allows you to set the specific rate that you plan to charge for each cuddle session.
Cuddlers, beware: If you do choose to go into this business, make sure that you vet your clients in person before agreeing to a session. One cuddler makes her clients-to-be sign waivers with pre-set rules and boundaries before beginning.
- You can be affectionate to anyone
- You’re reliable
- Strong interpersonal and communications skills
- You’re comfortable engaging in platonic physical contact with strangers
5. For the one who prides herself on being witty: Fortune cookie writer
If you’re the one in your friend group who’s constantly coming up with witty remarks and sometimes swearing that you might actually be psychic, then you’ll want to consider a career as a fortune cookie writer. Yes, this is actually a thing.
Job Description: Fortune cookie manufacturers hire freelancers or in-house writers to come up with and write the inspiring and witty fortunes that come on the small pieces of paper that you find when you crack open fortune cookies. This can be either a part-time or full-time position.
- Ability to write concisely and convey a message in just a few short words
- Ability to be creative and to come up with out-of-the-box ideas for fortunes
- Have a sense of humor
- Have a motivational, philosophical and inspiring writing voice
Pay: It’s estimated that the average annual income of a fortune cookie writer is between $40,000 and $80,000.
6. For the one with a knack for styling the perfect outfit: Personal stylist
Do strangers typically compliment you on your outfits? If you’re naturally skilled at putting together the perfect clothes-accessories combo and you essentially have the dream wardrobe, you might want to consider using your talent to make some cash by becoming a personal stylist.
Job Description: A personal stylist is essentially someone who helps the rich and powerful put together outfits and make appropriate fashion choices for different occasions. As a personal stylist, you’ll most likely have multiple clients and you’ll have to identify each of their personal tastes, body types and the types of activities they’re looking to dress for to create an appropriately tailored wardrobe for each of them.
- A degree in fashion is not required but could help you get ahead of the competition
- A portfolio of “before” and “after” styling photos — you could use your friends and family as guinea pigs for this if you don’t have clients yet
- Business classes would help since you’ll be running your own styling business
- Become a certified “image consultant” with the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)
Pay: This will depend on the scale of the project and the cash flow of your client, but the average base salary for a personal stylist is $25,000 a year, according to Glassdoor.