Worst job ever? I respectfully beg to differ

A recent American list of the best and worst jobs rated my job (well, newspaper reporter) at the very bottom. Careercast.com says it’s the worst job of the past quarter century.

I wish they hadn’t told me that. I rather like this job.

Of course, that’s the view in the United States, where many papers have folded and others have gone entirely digital, says Careercast. Still, it’s probably similar in Canada. And it’s not just job availability that has affected reporters, the company says: it’s also long hours, high stress and dwindling budgets.

Tough work, if you can get it.

Farmers weren’t too far behind. After the reporter, lumberjack, soldier, actor and oil rig worker came dairy farmer.

Careercast said dairy farming (there was no mention of other kinds of farming) was “especially challenging,” with larger farms forcing smaller ones out of business. Furthermore, those remaining in the field “are tasked with caring for dozens, hundreds, even thousands of animals. All those cows can make for a physically unpleasant and possibly dangerous work environment.”

But one farmer, who decided to remain anonymous, commented on the careercast.com website that the analysis was ridiculous.

“Farming is more than a job, it’s a way of life. I’m a dairy farmer and couldn’t ask for a better way to live. Unpredictable hours, dangerous, make little money, work in all types of weather conditions? Of course. But maybe I like a challenge.”

I rather thought he pinned the mix of freedom, lifestyle and entrepreneurial gusto that describes most, if not all, farmers. If you don’t like a challenge, farming is probably not for you.

Let’s compare journalism and farming with the so-called best jobs, then.

The best job was actuary, described as low-stress with high pay and with plenty of opportunities. Next was biomedical engineer! How many people are going to do that?

These were followed by audiologist (probably since we’re all getting older and will need hearing aids), financial planner, occupational therapist, optometrist, physical therapist and computer systems analyst.

Looking at that list, it makes me wonder why there’s such a push to get kids out of university and stream them into trades.

I wouldn’t give this up for any of those best jobs, attractive as they are. I bet you wouldn’t, either.

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