Nifty, Neato, Noticed Jobs

N is for… Neurosurgeon!

The next time someone tells you “it’s not brain surgery,” you can reply that it is – because you’re a Neurosurgeon.

Dr. Siba Kumar Padhi (photo credit: Sadasiv Swain)

Neurosurgeons are responsible for diagnosing and operating on the brain, which is your body’s most important organ. Ironically, one of the best-known neurosurgeons in the U.S. is Ben Carson, a guy not typically associated with saying very smart things, and who was known as a poor student in school. He ultimately became famous as a younger man due to his experimental surgery on Siamese twins who were joined at the head. (Unfortunately, his very first patients have never lived “neurologically normal” lives, despite the surgery, though he apparently perfected his technique over time.)

Neurosurgery, despite my opening joke, is actually quite a demanding profession. Not only do you need the kind of skills involved in other types of surgery, such as steady hands, mechanical abilities, 3D thinking, understanding of human anatomy and physiology, but you’ll also need to be a specialist on how the human brain functions, as well as an expert on blood vessels, nerves and the spinal cord and the spatial relationships between these various parts and systems. This requires many years of training in school as well as apprenticeships in the medical field, known as residencies.

Further Reading

Related Films

Other Nifty Jobs That Start With N

  • Narrator
  • Nematologist
  • Neurologist
  • Newscaster
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Nurse

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.

Melodic, Multitalented and Magnificent Jobs

M is for… Musician!

Musicians are the people that entertain you in song. But how exactly does one become a musician?

Špilliga (photo credit: Tom Mrazek)

There are many different ways to become a successful musician these days. While most people envision the rock stars that travel the world, there are also many other kinds of musicians that aren’t necessarily touring musicians. Indeed, even the musicians that tour aren’t necessarily rock stars. They may be local performers, backup musicians, or indie performers going on self-scheduled tours.

In addition to traveling musicians, there are also studio musicians who only perform on recordings, as well as symphony musicians who perform with symphonic bands or orchestras.

Musicians may perform as buskers in parks or subways, in festivals (local or national), or in bars, nightclubs or cafés.

Violin in the park (photo credit: Tom Driggers)

Musicians are everywhere!

Musicians may also be music teachers. You might find them in schools, or teaching private lessons in their homes.

Musicians may also be composers, who create their own music to perform. Some may perform other people’s music, as in cover bands.

There are many ways that musicians can make a living these days. Indie artists may become successful simply by selling CDs straight to their fans.

An Interview with a Musician

Here’s an interview with musician and music teacher Amanda Fillio, to give you some idea about the day-to-day life of the non-rock star musician.

Why did you become a musician?

Playing is fun and challenging. I like that whenever I’m working, I’m bettering myself and meeting new people or creating cool things with my students or friends.

How long have you been a professional musician, and how did you get started?

I’ve been a professional for about 16 years. My teachers in high school began recommending me for various gigs or events, and that’s how I became a professional.

Could you describe a typical work day?

Monday through Friday I teach in a public school. I teach small group lessons for flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion. I also do concert band rehearsals for various grades. After school I have a weekly rehearsal that lasts about two hours once a week, and we perform all over western Massachusetts throughout the year. This time of year is particularly busy, as I also play for several musical productions. That means rehearsing about four hours a night, and then anywhere from two to five performances over a weekend.

In the summer I play at various churches and in musical productions, which means my days don’t have to start until noon (if there’s a matinee) or 5 PM for evening performances. I love teaching, but could definitely get by on just that type of performing if I had to.

What do you like most about your job?

Every day is a little different. I’m never bored!

What do you like least about your job?

Sometimes I miss out on things with my family or friends because I have a performance. They understand, but I wish I had time for everything without conflicts.

What personal qualities are most valuable for this kind of work?

Time management. You have to break up your day for practice and motivate yourself.

Any advice for students looking to become musicians?

There are so many options! Try to learn all aspects of it so you can be versatile. Know how the sound equipment works, figure out how to put together simple recordings, speak up if it doesn’t feel right. Above all, manners matter. Nobody wants to work with a jerk.

Further Reading

Related Films

Other Mellifluous Jobs That Start With M

  • Magician
  • Magistrate
  • Mail Carrier
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Manicurist
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Media Specialist
  • Merchandiser
  • Microbiologist
  • Mime
  • Model
  • Motorcycle Racer
  • Museum Attendant
  • Mycologist

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.

Long-lasting, Luscious, Loquacious Jobs

L is for… Librarian!

Librarians are the people who are in charge of the library, and they are awesome. They check your books in and out (unless you have a fancy self-serve system, like many libraries nowadays do), order new books and other materials for their patrons to check out (including CDs and DVDs, and sometimes even laptops, e-readers and power tools, too!), help folks find material in the library and use library equipment like computers and printers (even 3D printers!), schedule events, and otherwise keep the library humming along.

Some people wonder whether librarians and libraries are still relevant in a world where everyone can look up information, instantly, on their cell phones. But the answer is: OF COURSE! You see, librarians are not just people who fetch books, they’re also individual sources of information. Librarians are trained in Library Science, which means they are well-versed in a surprising number of skills involved in searching and sorting data – which becomes ever more important as much of our data goes digital. They’re also tech savvy, which means they can help you with many common computer questions (although they may still have to point you in the direction of some paid experts if your problem is a broken hard drive or cell phone).

Librarians help patrons find the materials they’re looking for, whether it’s in their own library or not. They can teach you the value of Inter-Library Loans (ILL), as well as how to reserve material on your own.

Librarians are also the people that help organize lots of useful, educational and interesting community events. Some of these events may include musical performances, readings, presentations, and workshops. These events are usually free or very low-cost, which means that people of all income levels are welcome to attend. That’s another important part of the job: Libraries Are For Everyone.

Libraries Are For Everyone (image credit: Hafuboti by Rebecca McCorkindale)

Are librarians still relevant? Absolutely! Without librarians and libraries I don’t know where I would be today. After all, libraries are a sanctuary for the nerdy and bookish. Where else do you think we all hang out?

Further Reading

Related Films

Other Lovely Jobs That Start With L

  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Landscaper
  • Lawyer
  • Librettist
  • Lifeguard
  • Limbo Dancer
  • Livestock Rancher
  • Lobbyist
  • Locksmith
  • Lyricist

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.