The pandemic may have created a Eureka moment for you on your job career path, where you started questioning the lack of fulfillment in working in a job that just “pays the bills”.
With the pandemic showing us that health is one of the things that money can’t buy, people have also started to get more introspective with what they want from their jobs.
Since an average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over his/her lifetime, many have realised that life has more to offer than working in a place or a job one may not be happy and passionate about.
A pandemic like this – that only happens once every few hundred years – does create a generation of people who make bigger life decisions and become go-getters. Surveys have shown that one out of every four adults has considered a career shift amid Covid-19.
We take a look at a few alternative careers that may spark your interest, and will definitely not take you down the straight and narrow path of a pigeonholed work cubicle. These roles are not only unique but also roles that are in demand, spurred by tech and industry needs.
Got green thumbs? Do you spend most of your time browsing through plant grooming websites when sitting by your desk during work?
You could consider venturing into urban farming, which has become a hit in these two years amid the Singapore government’s push to tackle long-term food security needs in Singapore.
If anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s to be self-sustainable, and Singapore has plans to produce 30 per cent of the country’s nutritional needs by 2030, as a buffer from supply chain disruptions.
The agritech sector has been seeing new players such as firms that are finding solutions to production and farming. There are serious urban farms like this HDB rooftop farm from Nature’s International Commodity where you get to pick up skills on high-tech farming and toil the soil in unexpected urban locations.
You can also join urban farming services startups like Urban Tiller which wants to create local farm-to-table experiences by delivering fresh vegetables from local farms within hours of harvest.
Urban farming methods differ from traditional farming. Often, the urban farmers rely on technology, like special organic fertilisers and Internet-of-Things sensors to grow vegetables and fruits.
Don’t underestimate the job of arranging flowers. With the pandemic, there’s been an increase in demand for flower gifts – dried and fresh – to send to friends and family for birthdays, special occasions, and during festive periods as people are unable to meet in person.
The sellers rely on their own websites and online aggregators like Grab Mart and FoodPanda to increase their reach. They are currently hiring florists, with jobscopes that require preparing floral arrangements and fulfilling daily orders.
The demand for such roles is also seen from events companies and physical florist shops like Atelier and Co and Flower Matters, who are hiring florists for part-time and full-time positions.
An assistant florist role can earn up to S$2,000 per month while an experienced florist can potentially earn upwards of S$2,500 depending on their skill and the company they join.
We all know that 2021 was the year where many people signed up for TikTok and started watching people live stream everything – from just sitting pretty and talking to selling their wares.
Live hosts have become a thing this year and are set to grow for next year as more people depend on the internet and online streaming platforms to promote their products and services. Especially now that there’s a new Covid-19 variant out there, people aren’t likely to go out shopping in throngs anytime soon.
According to Sginstamommies.com, a live host can earn a basic salary and get commission from the products and services sold during the person’s live stream session.
The usual salary varies according to the host’s popularity and can go from S$40 per hour to as high as S$1,000 per hour. Hosts have to look natural and comfortable on the camera and enjoy interacting with people. They have to be above 21 years old to qualify for the roles in some agencies.
Small-time live streamers who have public accounts on streaming apps like BIGO Live and Twitch can also earn incomes via their own accounts. Some Singapore millennials are earning from S$1,900 a month singing covers, while there are others that share beauty tips online.
Social media influencer
Social media is not going away and influencers have become a marketing force to be reckoned with. According to a study, 92 per cent of respondents regard influencer marketing as an effective form of marketing due to the trust followers form with the influencers.
Marketers are also noticing that influencer marketing may have a comparable or even higher returns on investment than other marketing channels.
The top social media platforms for 2021 are Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram, according to MediaOne Business Group. From micro-influencers (thousands of followers) to macro-influencers (over 40,000 followers), the various influencers attract different businesses according to their price point and product messaging.
Instagram is the preferred social networking app for Millennials and Gen Zs.
If you have a few thousand followers on Instagram, you can slowly build that following by posting engaging content. Instagrammers can make an average of S$75 to S$3,000 per post depending on their followers and level of engagement with their audience.
Gamers can earn real income by streaming their video games and sharing their gaming experience. There are already hardcore gamers who are doing it.
Take 40-year-old Arthars Foo for example, he spends five hours each day playing massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGS) like Final Fantasy 14 and World of Warcraft – while people watch him play online. The gamer has 62.7 thousand followers and is said to earn S$7,000 a month.
You can also sell your game currency or in-game items such as characters, weapons, and tools for some cold hard cash. A check on online marketplace Carousell reveals some accounts that are selling virtual gaming accounts and virtual weapons.
All you need is to build up an account from scratch and sell them on these virtual marketplaces. Carousell seller MPL ID for example, has five-star reviews ratings for the account, and is selling his/her Mobile Legends gaming account for S$1,000.
There are even gamers who help noob players play their account – for a price of course. These players can earn up to S$2,700 per month.
Fascinated with the crypto market and how its activity keeps coming in waves? Or do you hold a good amount of tokens already and have been doing well at spotting when to buy and sell?
Perhaps dealing with crypto full-time might be the role for you. With crypto being a 24/7 market, you’ll have to wake up at odd hours to deal with market changes.
You’ll also have to brush up on crypto and blockchain technology in order to find consistent success. There are many new crypto tokens minted in the market each day due to it being a nascent industry, so most of your time will be spent reading businesses’ white papers and participating in forums to find out the deal about each project.
It is a high-risk venture due to the volatility and liquidity of the crypto market. You’ll also have to choose a reliable trading platform to make it work and be sure to compare the trading fees as a small difference will add up to a lot if you buy large amounts of crypto.
Other professional trading platforms that allow the trading of crypto pairs or via CFDs include IG and Saxo.
It may have been seen as a nasty career during our parents’ time, where loan sharks/debt collectors would visit homes to demand for money. We may also have heard horror stories about how these “gangsters” would splash paint and hang a bloody pig’s head on the door.
These days, the debt collection industry is mostly cleaned up. Being caught in some debt is also a common situation to many Singaporeans. The Credit Bureau Singapore notes that personal debt among young adults has been rising and on the uptrend over the course of the pandemic.
Once interest rates start to rise next year, the situation could worsen for those in debt. Some reasons behind more and more people rolling into debt can be recent the lower interest rates situation and the high cost of living in the country.
This means that there’s an increasing need to have people tasked to legally collect money from people who don’t pay up – debt collectors.
It is however, not a job for the faint of heart, as you (the recovery agent) will have to hunt down those people who go missing and call them on behalf of the creditors. Recovery agents are hired when financial institutions’ clients disappear or ignore telephone calls. Legally, they are allowed to pursue debtors to return the monies owed.
For debts below S$3,000, clients pay fees up to S$350, and for sums larger than that, the fees can trend higher into the thousands. You will have to get buffed up for this role, as it’s almost like a bodyguard role where you have to chase down people and be prepared for anything.
The meaning of work
As the labour market slowly heals from the pandemic impact this year, the Singapore government is expecting the recovery to continue into next year.
Employment rate for residents aged between 25 and 64 is currently higher than in 2020, reflecting that the market is firming up and business activities are improving.
It might just be the right time to explore that interest that you had, better sooner rather than later, and to jump in early in these above-mentioned jobs that are set to flourish in 2022.
Who says work needs to be a cookie-cutter type of role in order for us to be successful in life?
As the great Apple founder Steve Jobs nicely puts it: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
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Featured Image Credit: Cherzinga, Nature’s International Commodity, Shutterstock, Getty Images