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Putting
Your Character
to Work

   

Anna Furtado


Do you have a character who needs gainful employment? Giving characters meaningful and diverse occupations is sometimes difficult. The following are some web sites that may prove helpful in finding interesting jobs for your characters. They may also serve to assist in finding out more about specific occupations.

Visit http://www.backdoorjobs.com/ to learn about:

Adventure Jobs
Camp, Ranch, and Resort Jobs
Winter Ski Resort Jobs
Jobs in the Great Outdoors
Sustainable Living and Farming Work
Artistic and Learning Adventures
Heartfelt work (working in soup kitchens or in family shelters, teaching at-risk youth, building housing for the poor, and much more)
Other sources of interesting and unique employment information are:
http://www.lifeguardingjobs.com/ — links to certification information, safety, and jobs
http://www.themeparkjobs.com/ — links to parks, which may include maps of parks as well as lists of the rides and employment opportunities
http://www.resortjobs.com/ — includes employer profiles, articles, and advice as well as job search information
A gold mine of information is just waiting to be unearthed at the US Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics web site at:
http://www.bls.gov/oco/

This government site begins with general lists of occupations (for example: Service, Sales, Farming, or Armed Forces information). Drilling down under any of the lists yields a more detailed directory of specific job titles for each section. Just a few examples are cited below.
Healthcare support occupations
  • Dental assistants

  • Medical assistants

  • Medical transcriptionists

  • Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides

  • Occupational therapist assistants and aides

  • Pharmacy aides

  • Physical therapist assistants and aides
Protective service occupations
  • Correctional officers

  • Firefighting occupations

  • Police and detectives

  • Private detectives and investigators

  • Security guards and gaming surveillance officers
Food preparation and serving-related occupations
  • Chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers

  • Food and beverage serving and related workers
By clicking on the link for any of the general categories listed above, more detailed information is revealed. This includes:

Significant Points: Opportunity outlook, seasonal indications, general features, and training required.
Nature of the Work: Overview of the work, requirements, physical demands, variations of the work explained, terminology and titles explained, types of tools used, knowledge or training required.
Working Conditions: More detailed working conditions, hazards, stresses, physical demands—more in-depth explanations of the information given in the Nature of the Work heading.
Employment: Workforce information, statistics on full-time and part-time, employed and self-employed classifications.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement: More on training requirements, certifications, and professional associations
Job Outlook: Availability of jobs, opportunities in the future, projections on turnover rate
Earnings: Salary, hourly wage, pay scale for specific levels within a category defined (actual numbers). Median earnings stated for specific year (most 2002).
Related Occupations: For example: Grounds maintenance workers also lists agricultural workers; farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers; forest, conservation, and logging workers; landscape architects; and biological scientists.

This is a great resource to find interesting professions and specific job details. It may also serve as a doorway to an alternate job that hadn't even been on the author's radar before visiting this site. Any of the sites mentioned here has the potential to be the source of a whole new story centered on some offbeat profession. (Perhaps something from http://www.themeparkjobs.com/ could prove interesting.) In addition, check out a college catalog. It, too, may be a source of some interesting career choices.

So if you're looking for a job for a character, or if you just need more facts about a specific job, spend some time looking through the above information. You may find it helpful in assigning an inspiring career to one or more of your characters.
_____
2005 Anna Furtado — Author of The Heart's Desire
Book One of The Briarcrest Chronicles

Finalist—Golden Crown Literary Society "Goldie" Awards 2005
Distributed by: Starcrossed Productions (www.scp-inc.biz)
Web site: http://www.annafurtado.com
E-mail: annaf@annafurtado.com


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