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10 Unconventional Jobs to Inspire Your Career Pivot in 2024

10 Unconventional (But Cool!) Jobs to Inspire Your Career Pivot

Do you have the feeling that there are other jobs out there that would bring you more joy?

Well, there are!

The post-pandemic era has led to a surge of career pivots and twists due to job loss, economic uncertainty, and the remote work explosion. Many of us also took advantage of the time for self-reflection, exploring new industries, and pursuing long-held passions amidst industry fluxes and adaptations.

What’s awesome is that for the most part, these transitions don’t necessitate returning to university or starting from scratch. Instead, by building upon your existing skill set, experience, and interests, you can explore a wide range of intriguing opportunities.

From former engineers becoming artisanal cheesemakers to corporate executives turning yoga instructors, these career shifts are redefining the notion of what it means to pursue one’s dreams in the workforce.

In this blog post, we sneak a peek at 10 career pivot jobs that not only allow individuals to follow their hearts, but also capitalize on their years of knowledge acquired in their previous professions.

Whether it’s leveraging a love for technology to dive into sustainable farming or harnessing your business acumen to venture into event planning, these unconventional career paths showcase the power of embracing change - and daring to pursue a fulfilling life and career on your own terms.

Drone Operator

Are you a drone enthusiast? Did you know that you can actually turn that interest into a part-time job - or even a fresh career? With the widening applications of this technology, drone operator pilots are being hired for tasks such as photography, surveying, and inspection in a huge variety of sectors.

Aside from drone operation proficiency, essential skills include knowledge of airspace regulations and the ability to quickly troubleshoot technical issues or real-time flight challenges. Experience in areas such as photography, videography, agriculture, construction, infrastructure inspection (e.g. bridges, pipelines, buildings), real estate, environmental monitoring, search and rescue, disaster management, filmmaking, or aerial mapping and surveying are also a plus, alongside strong communication skills.

Depending on the job, drone operators can pursue specialized training in areas such as aerial photography or mapping. Required qualifications vary, but in many places, certification or licensing is necessary for commercial operation. For instance, in the US, a Remote Pilot Certificate is essential.

Virtual Reality Therapist

A virtual reality therapist? Yes! Welcome to the future. A VR therapist utilizes immersive virtual reality technology to deliver therapeutic interventions for mental health issues such as anxiety, eating disorders, grief and loss, phobias, addiction, PTSD, and stress. They guide their clients through simulated scenarios designed to address specific therapeutic goals, while providing support and feedback throughout the process.

Virtual reality therapists must possess strong interpersonal skills, empathy, and a deep understanding of psychological principles to effectively leverage this therapeutic modality for the benefit of their clients’ mental well-being.

As well as specialized training in virtual reality therapy techniques, this career path is especially suited to those with a psychology or counselling degree. Depending on the jurisdiction, a license or certification as a mental health professional may also be required.

Ethical Hacker

Can hackers be principled and moral? Absolutely! An ethical hacker, also known as a white hat hacker or penetration tester, is a cybersecurity pro who (legally and ethically!) exploits vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and software to identify and fix security weaknesses. Their primary goal is to assess the security of an organization and prevent their non-ethical counterparts from exploiting these weaknesses.

Successful ethical hackers must have excellent collaboration, interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills, alongside empathy and adaptability.

As well as a background in cybersecurity, ethical hackers should have knowledge of programming languages, and ideally certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP). Additionally, ethical hackers must adhere to strict ethical guidelines and legal boundaries, ensuring that their actions are conducted with permission and do not cause harm to the systems or data they’re testing.

Disaster Recovery Specialist

Do you want to be the hero that develops and implements strategies to ensure an organization’s critical systems and data can be quickly restored in the event of a disaster or disruption? As a Disaster Recovery Specialist, you’ll create and maintain disaster recovery plans, conduct risk assessments, and establish backup and recovery procedures. During a crisis, you’ll coordinate response efforts, oversee data recovery operations, and assess the impact of the disaster on business operations. Sound intriguing?

It’s important to note that strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work under intense pressure are essential for this role, as disaster recovery specialists play a critical role in ensuring business continuity and minimizing downtime during emergencies.

This may be a great career pivot if you have a degree in information technology, computer science, or a related field, and are willing to pursue certifications such as Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) or Disaster Recovery Certified Specialist (DRCS) to solidify your expertise.

Medical Illustrator

A medical illustrator creates visual representations of complex medical and scientific concepts for educational, research, and communication purposes. They produce detailed illustrations, diagrams, and animations that accurately depict anatomical structures, surgical procedures, medical devices, and disease processes. These visuals are used in medical textbooks, journals, patient education materials, presentations, and multimedia projects. A modern day Leonardo da Vinci, if you will.

Strong artistic skills, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of medical science are a must. On top of that, proficiency in digital illustration software and the ability to collaborate effectively with healthcare professionals are important qualities for success as a medical illustrator.

Medical illustrators typically have a degree major in art and a minor in the biological sciences, or a major in science with a minor in art, often supplemented by specialized training in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology.

Cryptocurrency Analyst

According to a recent study by security.org, at least 40% of Americans own crypto. Which means big business and an explosion in crypto career opportunities. One of these is a cryptocurrency analyst, who analyzes trends, market data, and news related to cryptocurrencies to provide insights and recommendations for investors, traders, and financial institutions. They study price movements, trading volumes, and market sentiment to forecast future price movements and assess the potential risks and opportunities of different cryptocurrencies.

Proficiency in data analysis tools and a deep understanding of blockchain technology are valuable skills for cryptocurrency analysts. Does this sound like you? Then read on.

While qualifications for Crypto Analysts vary, a strong background in finance, economics, mathematics, or computer science is usually preferred. Certifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) are a huge plus for potential employers.

Virtual Event Planner

A virtual event planner develops and steers online events, for example conferences, trade shows, webinars, and virtual meetings. They conceptualize experience themes, coordinate speakers and presenters, handle event logistics, and oversee technical aspects such as live streaming and virtual platforms.

If you have strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and creativity, then keep reading! Proficiency in virtual event platforms and online marketing strategies, and the ability to adapt to new technologies, are valuable assets in this line of work.

And how about qualifications? None are strictly needed for Virtual Event Planners, but a degree in event management, hospitality, marketing, or similar fields (plus relevant experience in event planning and coordination of course!) will go a long way.

Adventure Therapist Here’s a job that sounds like a blast! How does adventure therapy work? Well, these types of therapists leverage outdoor and adventure-based activities as therapeutic interventions to promote personal growth, development, and healing. These are typically aimed at groups and families, as well as individual clients, and can be adapted for all levels of expertise. Activities include hiking, rock climbing, wilderness expeditions, and challenge courses, integrating these experiences with traditional therapy techniques to address mental health challenges, behavioral issues, and substance abuse. The aim is to facilitate reflection, goal-setting, and problem-solving in natural settings, harnessing the benefits of outdoor experiences for emotional and psychological well-being.

Aside from being physically fit and a proficient outdoors person, adventure therapists must be driven by a passion for helping others.

If you have a degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field, this might be a career direction for you. You would also need to complete specialized training in adventure therapy techniques and outdoor leadership. Some jurisdictions require you to be a licensed therapist or counsellor, too.

Animal Behaviourist

Are you the next César Millán or Steve Irwin? As the title implies, an animal behaviorist studies the behavior of animals to understand their natural instincts, social interactions, and responses to stimuli. They analyze factors such as genetics, environment, and past experiences to assess and modify problematic behaviors in pets, livestock, zoo animals, or wildlife. Animal behaviorists often work closely with pet owners, trainers, veterinarians, or wildlife conservationists to develop behavior modification plans and provide recommendations for improving animal welfare.

In addition to an abundance of patience and empathy, animal behaviorists need fantastic interpersonal, communication, risk assessment, and motivational skills. Much of this work is dealing with humans as well as animals, with a strong educational and influence element.

Ideal degrees for this type of work include animal behavior, psychology, biology, veterinary science, or related fields, with courses in ethology, learning theory, and behavioral research methods. However, there are animal behaviorists who practice with no degree or with qualifications in different fields. In such cases, extensive practical experience working with animals, such as qualified dog trainers, is a good starting point (given the nature of the role, seeking specialized training on top of this, alongside membership of industry organizations, are wise next steps).

Renovation Consultant

A renovation consultant advises clients on remodeling and renovating their properties to improve functionality, aesthetics, and resale value. They assess the client’s needs, budget, and goals, then develop renovation plans, including design concepts, material selections, and project timelines. Renovation consultants can also liaise with architects, contractors, and other building professionals to ensure that the project meets quality standards and regulatory requirements.

Practical experience in renovation projects, excellent communication skills, a keen eye for detail, being unafraid to challenge clients’ wishes if necessary, and detailed knowledge of building codes and regulations are essential for success as a renovation consultant.

While formal qualifications are not required, a background in interior design, architecture, construction management, or similar is highly beneficial.


These ten unconventional jobs are just drops in the ocean of limitless possibilities for career pivots that draw on passion, talent, and existing expertise. And in many cases, it’s entirely doable to pursue new paths without restarting your career or qualifications from scratch.

Whether it’s leveraging existing skills in fresh ways, or venturing into entirely novel territories, the potential for meaningful career pivots is limited only by your imagination and determination!

Key takeaways

  • The surge in career pivots during the post-pandemic era reflects a trend of people reassessing their career goals and priorities, exploring new industries, and pursuing long-held passions amidst industry changes and adaptations
  • Discover 10 unconventional career paths that showcase the intriguing possibilities for career pivots, leveraging a blend of passion, talent, and existing expertise
  • These off-the-beaten track career paths encompass a diverse range of fields, from adventure therapy to virtual event planning, highlighting truly unique opportunities to carve out meaningful and rewarding careers beyond traditional trajectories
  • By harnessing existing skills in innovative ways and daring to venture into new territories, you can unlock the potential for fulfilling and rewarding career pivots limited only by your imagination and determination!

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