The 200 Best and Worst Jobs
CareerCast.com just published a list of 200 jobs ranking them from best to worst based on the following criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. They used info from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (along with other government agencies) to create this list.
I did a search for some words that describe my job(s) and here’s what I came up with:
- Publication Editor: Ranked 118
- Photojournalist: Ranked 166. I actually typed in “journalist” and this is the only thing that comes close.
- Technical Writer: Ranked 37. Again, I typed in “writer” and this is what I got.
- Reporter (newspaper): Ranked 196 (yikes!).
The top 10 jobs are as follows:
- Software Engineer
- Human Resources Manager
- Dental Hygienist
- Financial Planner
- Occupational Therapist
- Online Advertising Manager
- Speech Pathologist
The worst 10 jobs are as follows:
- Meter Reader
- Reporter (Newspaper)
- Oil Rig Worker
- Enlisted Military Soldier
- Dairy Farmer
Unfortunately for me, my skills have a lot more in common with the worst jobs than the best. And I have to say; I spent many years through college (and even for a while after) being a waitress at a restaurant outside of Fenway Park in Boston, and I LOVED that job! It was the fastest and easiest money I have ever made.
When I looked up “freelancer” in this list of 200, nothing came up. Not surprisingly, as that word can mean so many things. However, I’d like to put “freelancer” through the five criteria above anyway, for discussion sake.
This depends entirely on what you do as a freelance career. I can tell you that being a freelance photographer is much more physically demanding than being a freelance graphic designer.
I’ve seen photographers contort their bodies in all sorts of weird shapes to get the shot, while graphic designers (or any freelancer who spends the majority of their time in front of a computer) spend the majority of their day in an ergonomically correct position. Or at least they should.
I love my home office. I painted it a nice cheerful color and my desk is huge! I have a nice comfortable chair and ottoman for reading and a new office chair with lumbar support. I even have a window—something I do not have in my office at my magazine job. In both offices, I have a dog bed under my desk for my Chihuahua.
As far as work environments go, freelancers have it good. They can work pretty much wherever they want to, provided they have an Internet connection, and can even switch it up if they need a new view. Not everyone can do that.
This is usually a tender topic for freelancers, since many of us have to sell our own services to make any money. The good thing is that you can set your own price. The bad thing is that you have to frequently find your own clients. But if you are an established freelancer with a great client list, you can make good money. And it’s yours.
There are a few challenges that go along with running your own business. You need to pay taxes on your freelance income, so be sure to get a good bookkeeper and accountant. Also, you may not be able to bring home a set amount of money each week, as some months will, undoubtedly, be busier for you than others. Not having that reliable income stream is hard for many new freelancers. My advice is to save and to plan.
Stress and income go hand in hand—at least for me. When I can count on making a certain amount of money each month, I am less stressed than when my income is uncertain.
I am used to working on a deadline, and working on several projects simultaneously. If these things are stressors for you, perhaps the freelance life isn’t the way to go. As a freelancer, you are responsible for more than just your work—you need to market yourself, sell yourself, manage your bills and invoices, and keep your clients happy—among other things. There’s a lot of stress involved—but that doesn’t mean freelancing isn’t worth it.
As a freelancer, you work for yourself, and thus have to find yourself work. The good news is that many places prefer to hire freelancers for projects because, in the end, it saves them money. Freelancers work only the hours needed to complete a project, don’t get vacation pay or health insurance, and don’t need things like a company car or computer.
And thanks to technology, finding and completing freelance work has never been easier. Heck, FreelanceSwitch is owned by an Australian company and I live in the United States! I would never have been able to freelance for this company without technology—and I am forever grateful.