Desk Job Alternatives I Would Consider

I’m pretty comfortable at my desk job.  I’ve always been more of an office guy.  I’m definitely not what you’d consider rough and tough. While I enjoy working on things and getting things done,I’ve never thought about life outside of the office.  But, maybe it’s time to think about what-if.  If nothing else, it’s just for fun.  What desk job alternatives would I consider?

Desk Job Alternatives

I guess the qualifications for this would be pretty straightforward:

  1. I’d have to enjoy it.
  2. I’d have to be good at it.

I know you have to consider salary as well.  After all, I do have to make a living and provide for the family.  But, for this exercise, I set that aside.

There are a couple of things that I could see myself doing:

Cleaning Carpets

Last week, I had the house to myself for around 24 hours.  I decided that I wanted to get some carpet cleaning done.  I had purchased a small steam cleaner a few months ago.  This is more to fill in times between getting them professionally cleaned.  Since it’s been a while, I wanted to get a few rooms done.

mb-2015-01-carpetI set about doing some of the highly used rooms in our house.  With the limited time I had, I didn’t move furniture. It was just a basic clean hitting the main traffic and open areas.

I had figured each room might take an hour.  I was way off.  Given the amount of dirty water I was dumping out, I just kept going until the water was relatively clean.  It took about 2-3 hours per room.  And, the thing was, the extra time didn’t bother me!

Cutting Lawns

I have my dad to thank for getting me into the practice of cutting grass, as I would help him cut the lawn at my parents house while growing up.  He taught me a lot of the various nuances and tricks to make sure that you’re not just cutting the grass, but doing so in a way to keep it looking good, and I’ve enjoyed taking that knowledge with me as I now have my own home.

Of course, it’s the dead of winter so I haven’t cut the grass in a few months, but when the season rolls around, it’s something that again, I don’t mind doing at all.  In fact, if anybody gets annoyed, it’s my wife, because sometimes I’ll set out to do it just a couple of days after having done it last time.  While I’m not escaping, as she half-jokingly suggests, it is nice to be able to throw on my headphones, listen to some music, get a little fresh air, and a little exercise, all while keeping the yard looking good.

Things I Would Instantly Disqualify Myself For

Here are two tasks I definitely would not consider if it ever came down to it:

  • Painting – I’m pretty good at painting but generally only in short stretches.  After a couple of hours, I start to get sloppy and I’ll end up yelling at the paintbrush as I go over drips or wipe wall paint off of the ceiling.
  • Shoveling Snow – I do our snow with either the shovel or snow blower, and will help out with others, but I had two hernia surgeries years back, and for some reason the snow aggravates the areas where I’ve had them.  While I’ve been assured that there’s little risk of giving myself another hernia, that it’s probably just pulling on tight scar tissue, the feeling is bothersome enough that I would not want to do it regularly.

Readers, have you ever considered, without truly considering, what types of things you would do if you decided to completely change your career approach?  Have you or anybody you know ever traded in your desk job for something else (or vice-versa)?

12 thoughts on “Desk Job Alternatives I Would Consider”

  1. I’d also see myself cutting grass and making our small garden cleaner and putting our lawn to bed for winter. What other job do I consider? Hmm.. I also want to do babysitting. I loovveee babies!

  2. I had to laugh, as you and I are very similar – I’m also an office guy, but I love to mow lawns, and I hate shoveling snow. I could become a smoker fabricator, that would be fun and a bit more labor intensive.

  3. I’m a translator and am partway through a chemistry degree. Not quite sure yet what I’m going to do with the degree when I get it, but it will definitely be a change of direction!

  4. I love my job, teaching. It’s definitely not a desk job, but if I had to pick something other than what I do now I’d have trouble deciding. Maybe work at a museum? Probably something related to education.

  5. That’s great! And yes, I surely have considered all the other things I could do to put food on the table, especially when I was unusually miserable at the Great Desert University.

    In fact, I met a man who made a VERY good living with a carpet-cleaning business. This guy focused his business on banks and restaurants — He & his crew would go in after closing time, so they worked mostly at night. When he reached retirement age (rather younger, I’d say, than 65!), he built a gorgeous big house out in the woods, transferred the business to his son, and moved away from the Big City.

    Another friend who lays tile did similarly well. Both of these guys had a good head for business and also made special efforts to keep up to date on the latest products and information related to their businesses. The second guy used the proceeds of the business to invest in rental properties, in the US and abroad.

    Landscaping, which involves a lot more than just mowing lawns, can pay very nicely, especially if you go to the trouble to take some courses on landscape design. Probably you’d have to live in the sunbelt, though, where business would go year-round.

    I used to think about quitting the noxious job and cleaning houses. Some people do pretty well in the house-cleaning game. They don’t do all the work themselves: they hire out minimum-wage workers to McMansion owners who will pay a lot more than minimum wage for the job. I figure if you learn a trade, work at it a few years until you get pretty good at it, and then start hiring others to do the work, eventually you could earn a decent living — and be the boss.

    • Yes, I don’t think I would fare well in the landscaping business. I tend to get too messy when I get anywhere near dirt. I used to have this guy that did a lot of work. He always wore khaki pants. He once put sod in my entire backyard and I swear his pants had barely a speck of dirt on them when he was done. Amazing!

    • The biggest problem I have with painting my own house is that it seems there’s always someone right behind me ready to mark up my newly painted, perfect looking wall! LOL

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