How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying is not only the snazzy title of a famous Broadway musical -- it's the holy grail of idle underachievers everywhere. I'm raising my hand here, because I'd sure as heck rather be having fun than working hard; and of course, I want to make a lot of money, too! It's the American way.
Silly as it may seem, our tax dollars are being spent to prove something everyone already knows: Lazy employees are more motivated to work by the dangling carrot of "fun" than are their more earnest counterparts. It's true, according to University of Illinois psychology professor Dolores Albarracín, who conducted the research with William Hart, of the University of Florida.
People Enjoy Fun Jobs More. Who Knew?
ScientificBlogging.com recently posted an article on the study, stating: "Hard workers who are motivated to achieve generally excel on specific tasks when they are reminded of the benefits of their hard work. But when a task is presented as fun, researchers report in a new Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study, the same hard-working individuals are often outperformed by those less motivated to achieve."
That's all well and good, but what happens when you actually go out looking for a "fun" job? This prompted a little bit of research on my own (sans your tax dollars) and here is what I found:
I want to have my cake and eat it too, so why don't I become a food stylist? Yep, I can do that! A food stylist works with photographers and advertising agencies to make food look delicious on camera. There isn't any special training required, but connections are helpful. Do you know any photographers or ad agency employees? Somebody who commissions ads? There are several backdoor ways in, and you can make anywhere from $150 to $500 a day.
Speaking of backdoors, if you don't mind showing your backside, what could be easier than standing around naked and letting art students draw you? Some people who've actually done it (and gotten paid!) say the best ways to look for work in the field is to go to local colleges (or not local, if you don't want anyone to know) arts centers and check in with the teachers. It's not just colleges that are, ahem, looking: It's also independent art schools. Pay scales vary.
Greeting Card Writer
If you can write a little, maybe you can start thinking about 500 different ways to say "I Love You." Freelancers make about $50 per card, while those gainfully employed full time by the likes of Hallmark or American Greetings can rake in up to $150 per card on salary.
Think you've got what it takes to make people laugh? How about clowning around for some seriously funny money? Clowns who work kids' birthdays, fun fairs, hospital play days and bachelor parties can make $50-$150 per event. Knowing a few magic tricks and having your own supplies won't hurt, but maybe getting gored by a bull will hurt ... When I did a job search for "Clowns Wanted" all I came up with was rodeo clowns. Definitely NOT a fun job!
Amusement Park Character
If you like dressing up and you love kids, an alternative to working as a party clown might be taking a job at an amusement park as one of the characters strolling around in a costume. Disneyland and Six Flags are the biggies, and I found a couple of positions available right now just by doing a simple search online. Sure enough, there were three positions available, paying from $9-$15 per hour. Other amusement-park jobs include accountants, food servers, games and arcade workers, ride operators, and even working with the animals in the petting zoos.
If dogs and cats are more your speed than horses and elephants, why not trying looking for work as a bather or groomer with your local veterinarian or doggie daycare spa? These jobs don't pay a whole lot, but for people who don't like the competitive hustle-bustle of the cutthroat corporate world, working with animals is the perfect way to enjoy oneself and make a few bucks in the process. Enterprising animal lovers have gone on to start their own businesses -- mobile groomers are in demand for house-calls to kitties who refuse to get into the carrier. And you could even specialize ... know how to make a rat's coat shine? You just might have a niche! Pet groomers make an average of $15,000-$20,000 annually.
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