It is hammered into every Indian child’s head that only certain careers can help them live a comfortable life. Although engineering, medicine, law and accountancy are all fine, but there are also many creative, off-beat paths that actually have a nice pot of gold at the end of it. Why stick to the expected and safe, when you can spend your life doing what you love, using your unique talents and enjoying that spacious condo and luxury sedan you always wanted?
Read on to find out about 4 such exciting, lucrative careers that you might just be the right fit for:
1. Food Stylist
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The culinary industry has, in the last two decades, become a behemoth. Anyone with a passion for food will find a number of different avenues to explore but arguably the most interesting one is food styling. Also called the make-up artists of food, these are the people responsible for creating the mouth-watering food visuals which have frustrated many of us while watching TV or browsing through a food magazine. They have a keen understanding of both food and photography and are expected to also bring in their own creativity and expertise.
This is one of those professions where you have to have patience and put up with lower rates as you create a name for yourself. As this is still an emerging industry in India, only a handful of really well-known food stylists exist. However, these stalwarts charge anything between 50,000 to 1 lakh per photo shoot.
2. Language Specialist/Translator
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While linguistics is an old and quite respectable profession, it has never really been associated with a very high income. However, this all has changed with the advent of the corporate age. Shrinking global geography and ever-expanding international economy have together ensured that there is a tremendous demand for trained translators and language specialists. It is no longer all about translating dusty old books cooped up in a publishers’ office: translators now travel the world as communication experts and international liaison executives. Their job is to not just to translate the words but also the nuances of the language and culture.
Language specialists can get anything in the range of 30,000-60,000 per month as their starting salary, depending on their level of expertise and knowledge of the language. There is good scope for growth in this industry. Besides attractive corporate packages, translators also get medical benefits and all the security of a cushy office job.
3. Makeup Artists
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This career is the right one for you if you always had a yearning to work in the beauty industry, but also nurture a strong creative, artistic side. Though it is unfairly looked down upon as a low-skilled job, the make-up artists are laughing all the way to the bank. This is not a job just anyone can do – good, well-paid make-up artists make a name for themselves because of their deep understanding of the aesthetics of make-up and their finesse in applying it. Bollywood actresses have famously refused to participate in a shoot because their make-up lady is absent; producers pay a pretty price to engage the services of the in-demand artists before anybody else nabs them. Plus, with the archaic ban on female make-up artists in Maharashtra finally being lifted, it’s the right time to explore this lucrative industry!
Make-up artists in general may not start off making a whole lot of money but as you build your reputation the big bucks start rolling in. A make-up artist can earn anywhere between 5000 to 50,000 INR in a day, working in Bollywood. Assignments for weddings, parties and special events are less lucrative but ensure a steady income.
4. Ethical Hacker
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If you’re a closet tech genius, then ethical hacking is your chance to become the badass cowboy, detective or gunslinger you always wanted to be – albeit the internet version. Ethical hacking is a form of internet security in which specialists test the defenses of any given software or system to identify the weak spots. Though they are most often employed by corporate organizations and private companies to help them protect their digital assets and sensitive information, there is also a demand for them in the world of forensics. With cyber crime rising, ethical hackers can help cops track criminals through their digital footprints.
Those with the appropriate knowledge of coding and hacking can get a job as an ethical hacker with a decent starting salary of 2-3 lakhs P.A. However, there is tremendous opportunity to grow in this field. Seasoned and experienced hackers can get anything between 10 to 20 lakhs per annum, depending on their level of expertise.
Ultimately, whatever career you choose, it can help you rake in the big bucks if you give it your best shot. Besides the paths listed above, there are many off-beat careers out there for those who want to break out of the monotony of the expected: marine biology, food chemistry, perfumery, art decoration for films sets and corporate motivational speaking, to name just a few. With the job market being so unpredictable right now, even taking a safe career is no guarantee of financial success. So branch out, explore, take some risks and find your true calling!