Every workplace has its dangers; painters are exposed to chemicals, truck drivers become insomniacs, bankers dodge paper cuts and glares, and agency animals suffer the long term effects of ergonomically challenged chairs and computers below eye level. No matter what you do, and how safe your working environment may be, very few occupations are truly adrenaline pumping. (And no, having chair spinning competitions on a Friday afternoon to the bemusement of everyone else does not make the cut.)
In lieu of living a life more exciting, I have decided to compile the following list of vicarious and precarious roles you’ve never considered. Break the mold, leave the suits, skirts, and ties behind, check out three careers out of the ordinary:
I can almost feel the lack of enthusiasm from here. Cleaning is not exactly a pulse driving vocation, destined to inspire sharp gasps and accusations of insanity from those nearest and dearest to you, right? Wrong. Window cleaning is one part abseiling, one part elbow grease and two parts courage, as cleaners must repel down the tallest building in the world, scrubbing up a storm.
Imagine cleaning the Burj Khalifa, secured by a harness and rope, shimmying and wiping 24,348 windows and being buffeted by high speed winds, biting heat and the reflective glare of this gleaming sky needle. Of course, not every building makes the same impression as the architectural darling of Dubai, but tell me… how do you feel about heights on a veranda? A secured platform? Behind a viewing panel? Wrap your mind around working at heights (secured by safety equipment – don’t worry, window cleaners don’t double as base jumpers); do you think you have what it takes?
Companies like Safe @ Heights can provide you with a comfortable basis and instruction, answering your questions regarding height safety and PPE, the lifeline of every window cleaner out there.
Do you like heights? How do you feel about sky-diving? Pumped already? Great. Imagine the parachute secured snuggly against your back hasn’t been tested; in fact, the manufacturers aren’t quite sure if it makes the cut or not, as this is the first of many… hopefully. Now, pretend every sky dive you make is equally uncertain, a continuous game of Russian roulette, where you hope beyond hope that your chute will release. It sounds pretty straight forward. Board a plane and jump out again, pulling a lifeline that may not be your ticket to terra firma, but one of pure terror. Do you think you have what it takes?
Medics, ambo’s, para support… By any name, paramedics are the unsung heroes of the health sector, often driving into horrendous and harrowing situations (think fires, natural disasters, car accidents, shootings and other tragedies) when everyone else is speeding in the opposite direction. They see the worst of humanity, and the beautiful, too, as lives can end and begin in the back of an ambulance.
A paramedic can never completely prepare themselves for what to expect, a quiet shift can turn hectic in a single call… or a sudden stream. Imagine waking up every morning, knowing you will have to drive hard and fast, make a difference and maybe decide the fate of somebody you’ve never met, depending on how you pump the accelerator. Your days would never be boring or typical. Your contribution will always be valued. And your heart rate will always rise when the business end of a call presents itself.
Instead of bemoaning your creaking shoulders and collection of paper-cuts, take a breath and wonder what life would be like if a client required you to clean their windows suspended by a coil of rope first, before they sign the contract. See, all we need in life is a little perspective.
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