What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? Highlight Kooky Careers in the Yearbook

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Throughout the entirety of their school years, students are constantly asked the same question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Whether patronizing, encouraging, or purely curious, this question boggles the minds of elementary, middle, and high-schoolers alike, year after year.

After a while, their responses dissolve into a fuzzy cloud of cookie-cutter answers like “doctor,” “lawyer,” and “teacher.” This has become such a static response that we wait with bated breath and rejoice when we can finally hear even the smallest change – “pediatric surgeon” instead of “doctor,” “anthropology professor” instead of “teacher.” And while we applaud the students who are already sure of their future path, so many other students aren’t truly expanding their minds to consider everything life, especially career-wise, has to offer them.

Featuring students’ future aspirations in the yearbook is something personalized and creative, and something people can look back on in the future to see how close their predications were. But it can be fun to spice up that section by encouraging students to consider (or at least chuckle at) some kooky, crazy career paths. Maybe Jane wanted to be a therapist… but did she also want to be a pet food tester?

You might be saying, “HUH?” But believe it or not, there are some seriously wacky jobs in the world! Here’s a list of some of the most “out there” jobs. So when students are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” they have some new, wild options to choose from! You can ask students to choose from a list (but be sure to also include their “real” career goals), or you can randomly assign these odd jobs to each student (in addition to their chosen path). Either way, you’re sure to provide some laughs for your yearbook readers!

  • Pet Food Tester – Admit it: sometimes those Beggin’ Strips smell better than the real thing, and dog cupcakes look just as good as human cupcakes. Well, if you find yourself with an unusual craving for pet snacks, this is the job for you. People are actually paid good money to taste test pet food, treats, chewy bones, and more. So maybe that weird kid in class who eats paper and erasers is on to something!
  • Gumologist – If you’re looking to taste test something a little more appealing, try becoming a gumologist (plus the title sounds really cool). There is actually a lot of science and technology that goes into making just one piece of gum. A gumologist must figure out the best combination of sweet and sour to create an ideal flavor. Part of their job even involves blowing as many bubbles as they can. Sounds easy, but many gumologists have backgrounds in chemical engineering – so it’s not all fun and bubbles!
  • Gum Buster – If you’re interested in working with gum, but don’t think you can commit to 5+ years of schooling to become a chemical engineer, try gum busting. All you need is a special tool to scrape gum off of sidewalks, park benches, tables, and more. People stick gum everywhere without regard, so you’ll always be in business!
  • Waterslide Tester – If you’re looking for something a little more thrilling, you can always be a waterslide tester. It’s exactly what it sounds like – you visit theme parks and try out waterslides! You simply slide down them and rate the experience on things like adrenaline factor, biggest splash, etc., and share the opinions on social media. Is there a particularly daredevil-ish student in your class? This one’s for them!
  • Keeper of the Cup – Hockey fans rejoice!  If you’ve ever wanted the opportunity to hold the Stanley Cup, this is your chance. A Cup Keeper babysits the Stanley Cup at all times as it travels, and makes sure it isn’t kidnapped. If your school has a hockey team, surely every player will be vying for this job (unless, of course, they have their sights set on the NHL)!
  • Odor Judge – If you want another “in charge” idea, become a judge… of odors. This person makes their money sniffing armpits full of various deodorants, breath scented by different flavored mouthwashes, wrists sprayed with various perfumes… you get the idea. This one definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, but would be a good pick for the girl who always showed up in homeroom doused in perfume!
  • Paint Drying Watcher – If you’d rather watch paint dry than sniff someone’s armpits, here’s your opportunity. These people are paid to watch paint dry, study drying times, and note paint effects for paint manufacturers. For the kid who spent more of his class time staring at the wall and daydreaming… this one’s for you!

This new take on the “what do you want to be when you grow up” section of the yearbook will certainly be an attention-grabber! And with TreeRing, students will be able to customize these pages with their own ideas for crazy, kooky career opportunities.

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