Wednesday, April 10, 2013

World Building A to Z: Jobs

This month, I'm sharing my observations about world building and setting from different stories.

Jobs: The jobs that exist in a world tell you what types of goods, services, or entertainment are sought after. What kind of training or knowledge is required to fill a certain job?  Which jobs come with prestige or stigma? 

Here are a few jobs I have come across in stories:
Surgeon or nurse from Neal Shusterman's UNWIND 
Job requirements: Must be comfortable with disassembling live children to harvest organs, limbs, and other parts. 

Handmaid from THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Job requirements: Must be female and fertile. A desire to stay alive is useful.

Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in HARRY POTTER books
Job requirements: Must not be aligned with the Dark Arts. Should demonstrate basic proficiency in practicing what you are teaching. Should expect to remain in this job for only one school year.

Gossip Girl from the TV show Gossip Girl
Job requirements: Must possess a witty online presence. Show savviness with spreading rumors. A love/hate relationship with citizens of the Upper East Side is preferred.

Takeda, the revenge mentor, from the TV show Revenge
Job requirements: Must be proficient in the art of scheming. Must have ability to train clients to be ruthless and physically and mentally resilient. Occasional travel to America to masquerade as a tycoon is required. 

Dream architect from the movie Inception
Job requirements: Must be able to work while you sleep. Can comfortably commit a violent suicide to wake up. Must show a can-do attitude with handling challenging situations, like being stuck in Limbo forever. Should demonstrate problem solving abilities during an assignment to plant an idea in someone's head.

Can you think of other unusual jobs in books, on TV, or in the movies? 

Have you ever had an unusual job?

19 comments:

Scribbles From Jenn said...

This post is food for thought. I think it adds an extra layer when your character has an unusual job, like some of the weird ones Mike in Dirty Jobs had: Bridge painter, Oyster harvester... the list goes on.

Elise Fallson said...

As an undergraduate, I worked part-time in the cockroach lab at the Entomology department. The only requirement: Have a strong stomach for cleaning out dirty battery jars used for rearing cockroach colonies.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm thinking about Elise's job. *shivers*

I never had an unusual job, but I like reading about strange occupations.

S.P. Bowers said...

Lol, loved the job requirements for Handmaid Tale. Um, I don't think I've had any unusual jobs. Pretty boring here.

Melanie Schulz said...

Great Post! I loved those ads, especially The Handmaid's Tale. LOL.

Lynn Proctor said...

wow, these were unusual----hmmmm i guess maybe the strangest job i have ever had was the one where i quit the same day i started, i think the real job description, should have read---"must let boss grope you"

Pat Hatt said...

Sure are some strange ones out there, haven't had any thankfully at my lair.

John Wiswell said...

I thought you'd talk about Inception's "one last job." It's even the premise! Or so the hero thinks.

Ghadeer said...

Assistant to Magazine Editor in The Devil Wears Prada: should expect to deal with intoxicating levels of stress!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I very rarely write about jobs, all the action seems to take place in their spare time!

Kathy said...

I loved the Harry Potter series!! Cool post.

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

Anstice Potts said...

I'd love to be a dream architect. Another unusual job is the role of Creweler in Crewel by Gennifer Albin-they get to weave the fabric of time! I guess it would also be fun to be a Game Maker in The Hunger Games if you had an evil streak.

Gina Gao said...

This is a really great post! You have no idea how much I love Gossip Girl and Harry Potter.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Julia King said...

UNWIND's job requirement is creepy. I definitely couldn't participate in that type of a job. If I could sleep and get paid for it like in Inception, I'd be the happiest person alive. :)
Fantastic post!

Nicole Rivera said...

Ahhh!! There are so many blogs to read during this A to Z Challenge. I look forward to coming back to your blog and filtering through each of these posts when the month is through. Every single one of them brings up so many good points. I'm pretty sure I said this before in a previous comment, but in case I didn't: Thank you for picking such an AWESOME theme!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those are good!
If there's one where I'd be required to teleport, I'd sign up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cynthia, I am so sorry!! I just went to find you in my reader so I could move you to a folder where I'd see your posts sooner. And I couldn't find your blog. That's when I realized I wasn't even following you. Crap! Epic Ninja fail. Forgive me?

Lynda R Young said...

lol, I had a giggle at the way you worded some of these job descriptions.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts and experiences, everyone.

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