Listography: Career Planning

This past week, certain aspects of my job made me think about what could have been if I’d pursued other career paths.  However, I realize that the jobs I’m most interested in probably don’t play to my strengths.  In a twist from my usual lists, this time I’ve got 5 jobs I’d love to have, but at which I’d be terrible and 5 jobs at which I’d be awesome that I’d hate to have.


  1. Secret Agent — okay, this totally tops my list of awesome dream jobs.  You get to travel, strategize, talk to people, go to parties and drink cocktails, use cool gadgets, ferret out the inside story, and dodge laser beams.  I’d also be able to wear black all the time without my mom criticizing me for being a downer.  Unfortunately, secret agent Karen won’t ever happen because I’m a) terrible with secrets* and b) about a -7 on the stealth scale.
  2. TV Producer — also a total dream job because I’d get to wear a headset and tell people what to do all the time.  However, I learned this week that video production and I are not a good combo.  I lack patience and my poor hearing means I can’t really help with audio.
  3. Gospel Singer — almost daily, I hairbrush sing to Aretha Franklin/Whitney Houston/someone else awesome in my bathroom.  I would totally love to be a soloist with a big choir backing me (see Karen Clark Sheard singing Rejoice and Be Glad).  Obviously my voice is one barrier and not having a particularly sincere or close relationship with Jesus is another problem.  As I type, I’m thinking this one might still be kind of achievable if I faked the religious part and wasn’t a soloist.  Stay tuned…
  4. Inspirational School Teacher — have you seen Stand and Deliver (aka Flashdance for mathletes)?  I have.  It’s epic, I love it, and every time I watch it, I think I should quit my job and go teach calculus at an inner city school.  I’m not going to though because I’ve driven through neighborhoods that I seriously thought were the ghetto and later learned that they’re not even close.
  5. Food Critic — if you know me, you might be surprised that this is on the list.  Here’s the thing, I love food and would love to be a food critic, but I think my hatred of all flavors Japanese and aversion to shellfish mean I actually wouldn’t be able to do the job.  I mean, the New York Times can’t hire a critic who wouldn’t touch half the menu at Le Bernardin, right?  Maybe if I could be a beef/pork/dairy-only critic?  Now that I’ve typed that, I think that might be the greatest job ever invented…

*unless you told me a secret.  In that case, I totally kept it.


  1. Cosi Sandwich Maker — sometimes when I’m at Cosi, I think to myself: wow, Karen, if you jumped behind the counter, you could make a much better and faster sandwich.  Afterall, you know that fresh herbs aren’t the same as lettuce and that feta cheese spread shouldn’t be slathered on like Greek food is going extinct. And then I remember if I had to make sandwiches at Cosi for obnoxious yuppies on their Blackberries all day, I’d probably shoot myself.
  2. Flight Attendant — last night I watched a number of flight attendants seem to have a fundamental lack of understanding basic geometry as they tried to force bags into their overhead bins (FYI, turning a bag diagonally will take up MORE room, not less).  I’m also great at pushing a cart and handing out beverages.  I’m not going to be applying for this job any time soon though because they have to watch the same movie like 1000x each month and if each month’s movie is as bad as Jennifer Aniston’s Love Happens from last night, it’s just not worth considering.
  3. Ad Agency Project Manager — I can make schedules and manage budgets with the best of them.  At my first agency, at least 50% of their project managers were functionally handicapped. 80% were picked up in the unemployment line or the Port Authority.  (Melissa didn’t fall into either category, but even she benefited from my suggestions for how to do her job better…)  I wouldn’t take this job though because it might mean working with someone like me and that sounds PAINFUL.
  4. Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party Starter — remember those dancers at bar and bat mitzvahs who would get everyone up and dancing?  I’d be so awesome at getting your grandmother dancing to “Celebration.”  Going to a lot of bar mitzvahs as a 26 year old sounds totally sketch though so I’ll take a pass.
  5. German Real Estate Agent — I like to wear black turtlenecks and glasses and eat bratwurst and say “das haus,” so naturally I’d be a great German real estate agent.  Life in Frankfurt would be a little lonely though.  If anyone wants to move with me, I’ll reconsider.


  1. Masseuse — I don’t like the idea of touching strangers.
  2. Midwife — I never recovered from having to watch a video on midwifery junior year of high school.  I don’t really like fat women, newborns, pain, or bodily fluids though so this doesn’t sound like a match.
  3. Drug Runner — Reiterating from earlier, I’m not particularly stealth.  In addition, I had to google “blow” to find out if it was heroin or cocaine… last month.  Finally, I like following the law, do not like bullets, and definitely don’t like the idea of filling body cavities with blow (or something else).
  4. Postal Service Employee — I’m prone to paper cuts and get lost easily.  Also, I could see myself opening other people’s mail out of curiosity.  Way too much temptation with this one.
  5. Valet Parker — I didn’t legitimately pass my driver’s license test and don’t know how to park a car and/or go in reverse.  So, yeah, not a good choice.

Looks like I’ll be staying in PR for a bit longer!



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3 responses to “Listography: Career Planning

  1. Aidan

    always inspiring when your skill sets match your current position.

  2. Pingback: Links for January 11th « Don’t Cross The Streams

  3. Pingback: Audio is NSFW, but I had to share « Unterekless Thoughts

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