Jewish World Review May 20, 2003 / 18 Iyar, 5763

David Martin

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Consumer Reports

Economy have ya down? Then ... build your own job! | I recently read a psychological profile of Kenneth Starr (I'm a bit behind the news). The profile was interesting enough, but even more interesting was the descriptive title attached to the professor who wrote it: he called himself a political psychologist.

This was a new concept to me. I knew what a psychologist was, and I knew what a politician was, but I had never heard of a political psychologist. It occurred to me that the professor might be on to something. By cross-fertilizing professions, it is possible to come up with a whole new occupational group. Consider these up-and-coming professions:

Recreational physicist. Unsure of the correct propane setting for your barbecue? Can't seem to get the hang of a Frisbee? Call on the recreational physicist. He can assess the mechanics, optics or thermodynamics of any outdoor activity and get you back on the fun track.

Legal engineer. When you're in a legal dilemma, surrounded by hostile statutes and regulations, call for a legal engineer. She can dismantle that nasty legislation and rebuild it to suit your particular fact situation.

Metaphysical plumber. Having some doubts about where you came from and where you're going? Sensing some leaks in the cosmos? The metaphysical plumber can set things right.

Ethical dentist. She's the one you call when you need to be extracted from one of those tricky moral dilemmas.

If none of those appeal, create your own profession. Pick a word from Column A and a word from Column B and you're in business:

Musical Philosopher
Chemical Historian
Domestic Painter
Chemical Historian
Surgical Florist
Sociological Lawyer

Once you've created the job, you're also free to create the definition of it. Musical lawyer: He's a lawyer who sings his arguments in court. Or he's a pianist who uses only the gray keys.

This is great news for an economy where the service sector is getting more and more specialized. In fact, I think I just found myself a new profession: occupation builder.

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JWR contributor David Martin is a full-time bureaucrat and a part-time writer. He lives with his wife and daughter in Ottawa, Canada. Comment by clicking here.


02/24/03: Choosing a career as an obfuscation and complication specialist
02/04/03: Dare to be average

© 2003, David Martin