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There Are Only 5 Real Jobs

Aug 4

For those who didn’t see this last week the former NBA great and round mound of rebound Sir Charles Barkley made this comment:

“We got great lives. Why would we be miserable? Like, I’ll tell you, there’s five real jobs in the world: teacher, fireman, policeman, doctor, and somebody who’s in the armed services. Those are five real jobs.” 

For those who don’t know Charles he makes outlandish statements all the time, that’s why he gets paid more now to be a commentator on TV than he probably ever got paid to play basketball. But his statement got me to thinking, how many ‘real’ jobs are there really!?

First, you have to define ‘real’ job.  Charles believes talking about basketball on TV is probably not a ‘real’ job.  It doesn’t really add value to peoples lives further than to those who enjoy watching basketball and listening to other people talk about it.  So, it would seem that for a job to be real, it must have some value further than entertainment purposes.

Doctor’s add value beyond entertainment, but so do nurses and dentist and physical therapists.  So, are not those other health professionals ‘real’ jobs?  If we had no nurses, could doctors, theoretically, do what nurses do? Yes. Okay, so a we add another element to determine ‘real’ job. It’s a job no one else can do, but that profession could do the other jobs if they had to.

Teacher. You don’t have doctors without educators. Someone has to teach the kids to be doctors.  So, teachers are for sure a real job.  Could a teacher be a doctor?  Now, we are starting to run in circles.  Not all teachers could be doctors, some just wouldn’t be smart enough.  So, beyond, doctors and teachers, it would seem like there needs to be someone who just is simply brilliantly smart.  We don’t really have a job title for just smart guy or smart girl.

I will say fireman, policeman and armed services all seem to have a very similar skill set.  I would lump them into all one job – people savers.  That gives us really 4 jobs: Teacher, Doctor, Really Super Smart Person and People Savers.

Is there any others?

I’ve got one I think most people won’t even consider.  Sales Person.  Think of all those ‘jobs’ we have that are really just sales: Politicians, Clergy, most business professionals, educators, etc.  Our reality is that we need to people to sell us on stuff.  If no one sells, we all just sit around and wait for stuff to happen. Politicians sell us on the importance of change. Our religious leaders sell us the need to be good and get better.  Educators sell us on the importance of learning.  We are constantly being sold something.

So, for my money, there are 5 Real Jobs in the world:

1. Teacher

2. Doctor

3. Really Super Smart Person

4. People Savers

5. Sales People.

What would you consider a ‘real’ job? Hit me in the comments.

3 Comment to “There Are Only 5 Real Jobs”

  1. I do not see any jobs related to the production and distribution of food, clothing & shelter on the list.

    Modern day’s job specialization cannot occur until these items are covered

    SalesComp
    Aug 5, 2014
  2. The five so mentioned are jobs that provide services to others, service above the self.

    I would clump firefighter and policeman into one broader category of public safety & security services.

    Doctors should be included into a broader context of medical professional. This now includes doctors, nurses & anesthesiologist. Degreed and perhaps board certified.

    The armed services are in an exultant class with no peers.

    So, I now have two vacant jobs.

    #4. Information technologist. Whether they designed this iPad or engineer a complex network. The world will stop when they stay home.

    #5. Capitalist – people who create authentic wealth for others. Bernie Madoff willfully excluded.

  3. Organizers. I know you hate this. The industrial revolution created a whole bunch of wealth/well being when we went from slowly starving on $3/day to living on $30-$100/day. Half of the change was created by Engineers and Scientists – who I’ll lump into your Really Super Smart Person job. Half of it was created by business managers who figured out how to organize production, finance and sales stuff better. Happens all the time on every civic project, charity, business, sports team, etc.

    Aug 4, 2014

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