So, it’s fall, and that means for some of you it’s time to decide which college you’re going to and what your major is going to be and all this other stuff about what you’re going to do with your life for the rest of eternity. Personally, when I was that age, I wanted to be a rock star, or a time-space witch. Here’s a roundup of our favorite (more or less fictional) career choices from literature, television and film; we’ll break it down for you why each job is fantastic, and why you probably would want to avoid it anyway. Read on for our picks!
1. Hunter (Supernatural)
The pluses: Hunters are free spirits, driving around and slaying evil wherever they come. They don’t have to live by the laws because in the eye of the government, they’re outlaws. Fake names everywhere you go, fast cars, living like a legend… They live hard, they live fast, and they do a great deal of good in this world. As the saying goes, “demons run when a good man goes to war” and if you become a hunter, you can be that good man. Or woman. Or genderless being. Or something. We don’t know, end that sentence with the gender of your choice, Loki does not discriminate.
The minuses: Sure, they live hard and fast, but they die hard and fast too. The life of a hunter is like the edge of the knife they’re most fond of – cold, sharp, quick and bitter. Sure, you most likely ain’t got taxes to pay, but the majority of hunters haven’t got a home or a bank account, either. Death comes quickly and death comes often; it’s common to hear about the loss of a father, a mother, a daughter, a son, a sister, a brother, a child… sometimes a whole family gets wiped out with a touch from Death – and in the Supernatural universe, it could even be the Horseman himself. Those lucky ones that out-live their families and their friends haven’t got much to look forward to, except liver disease from all the drinking and heart attacks from all the diner food they ate all their lives while on the road. Heaven isn’t guaranteed for hunters, either – maybe they end up selling their soul, or they just weren’t very good people, or perhaps a demon took a liking to them and dragged them under when it was time. There’s no comfort except the knowledge that you might be saving someone, anyone; there is no certainty except the knowledge that death is around the corner.
2. The Doctor (Doctor Who)
The pluses: Name? Doctor. Occupation? The Doctor. Business? Fun. Oh, it’s grand – you can gallivant around the known (and occasionally unknown) universe. You’re the king of all space and time, and can go haring off to any damn place and time period you please with just a push of a button, a pull of a lever and a quirky catchphrase. Geronimo! Oh, and you don’t die, not really.
The minuses: There’s something they don’t tell you when you decide to go rogue and gallivant around the universe with an ever-revolving collection of human companions in tow, and that’s the fact that being a godlike being with whimsical godlike powers and immortality is a lonely thing to be. When you surround yourself with fragile, delicate, not anywhere near superpowered humans, whose lifetimes are as short to you as the lifetimes of fireflies are to them, and then throw them continuously into mortal danger, heartbreak is sure to follow. Sure, you can do anything and get anything and you have thirteen lives (that’s better than the average housecat, they only get nine – although, the average Winchester brother gets approximately thirty-seven phoenix downs so that’s a more resilient life form right there) but doesn’t it get a little lonely? As the Doctor, the renegade time lord, your existence will be spent dancing your way across the universe and leaving a swath of bodies and destruction in your wake. Rule one, the Doctor lies.
3. Consulting Detective (BBC Sherlock)
The pluses: The coat, the right to waltz onto a crime scene and do as you please, the mysterious government connections that make everything absolutely acceptable, doors open, yellow crime scene tape is merely a suggestion, the fame and fortune and homicidal fans and severed heads in the fridge… oh, but it’s just so great to be a consulting detective!
The minuses: You’re constantly being shot at. Pesky DIs insist on surprise drug busts at inopportune moments. Your blogger keeps pestering you to eat something, or to clean out the teakettle when you’re using it for an important scientific experiment involving polonium, human blood and a melted-down copy of “Mambo Number Five”. Your brother and his umbrella collection won’t leave you alone. Your homicidal fans are homicidal, and they occasionally go on insane, mind-boggling crime sprees to show their adoration of you – Justin Bieber has it easier with psycho fans by comparison. You constantly have to track your blogger down and rescue him from the clutches of kidnappers… or his date du jour. Those two are kind of the same thing, really. Oh, and your entire life is split between exciting cases and mind-numbing boredom.
4. Consulting Detective’s Blogger (BBC Sherlock)
The pluses: Everyone dreams of having that one friend who’s so cool, that if you say “I’m with him,” all doors open and all velvet ropes part. Well, you’re kind of halfway there – except the doors lead to morgues and the ropes are yellow crime scene tape. Hey, at least they’re parting, right?
The minuses: Violin at all hours of the bloody night. Kitchen is a mess, and by mess you mean serious possibly radioactive health hazard because some idiot decided to boil a tea kettle full of polonium at three in the bloody morning in the name of bloody science. Though the kitchen is nearly always lacking milk and jam, finding a head in the fridge is a normal Friday night occurrence. You’d go out on those Friday nights, except the blasted bugger that is your consulting detective keeps ruining your outings by showing up and announcing that he requires your assistance immediately regardless of where you might be – on a date, at a pub, visiting your alcoholic sister in rehab – and the things he needs assistance with generally should not be mentioned in polite company. Or, you know, any company, really. Which means he mentions it… loudly. You’re constantly being kidnapped. It’s kind of become a monthly ritual, kind of like a woman’s period except less predictable and you usually don’t need tampons for it. There’s a 10% chance on any given day that your roommate is going to fake his death for whatever unknown reason, a 30% chance he will be inexcusably rude to a client to the point where the client resolves to become a consulting criminal and gain vengeance, and a 78% chance that you’re going to come home from work to find him shooting at the wall with your gun because he was bored. Oh, and of course you’ll be needing two bedrooms. And you’re not his date!
5. Superhero (Avengers? Justice League? X-Men? Teen Titans? Literally any superhero ever?)
The pluses: Well, you’re a superhero now, aren’t you? You’ve got the cape, the tights, the underoos and the adoring masses in need of rescuing and, more importantly, your autograph. The police are installing a device that will project your calling card into the sky, so you can quickly learn you are needed (because you can’t just give them your phone number so they can text you or tweet you or something, don’t you know superheroes don’t have cell phones?) and the city hails you as its saviour. Oh, and you’ve probably got some sweet equipment to boot. What’s not to like?
The minuses: Let’s start with the tragic backstory you’re pretty much required to have. How many superheroes do you know that have both their parents? Or hell, even one parent? It’s like one giant masked orphanage! To be a superhero, you basically have to have life shit on you until you resemble that car that parked beneath a tree full of really angry birds. Even if you’re rich and famous like Tony Stark, you’re bound to have a host of other problems. The public is a fickle beast, in love with you one minute and in hate with you the next. Should anything go wrong anywhere, it’s your fault. Thanks, Batman. Then, of course, there are the endless wardrobe problems. Capes can be treacherous; getting dressed is really hard in the morning because you have to plan ahead for unforeseen emergencies and then you end up with so many layers, you’re basically a Winchester. This can be really inconvenient in the summer. All the supervillains you have to face are batshit crazy. You constantly have to hide your identity from the masses (unless you’re in the Avengers, in which case you do what you want). Also, the girl or boy you’re dating or interested in dating IRL will inevitably find your alter ego to be cooler, more clever, more mysterious, more edgy and more erotic than your real self, so you’re kind of going to be stuck in a love triangle with yourself for all of eternity.
6. Intern (Assorted)
The pluses: Interns, especially unpaid interns, don’t actually have to do anything too exhausting because as far as the law goes, the employers can’t make the unpaid interns do something that directly contributes to the business’s day to day operations and capital gains. Also, here at 3 Chic Geeks, the interns are named Shadow and Raven, and their jobs consist of perching upon busts of Plato, or else floating behind us at press occasions while clad in chain mail and taking notes in a sinister and menacing manner. Pretty cool gig, right?
The minuses: Interns tend to kind of be the red shirts of every establishment. One such example are the interns at Night Vale Community Radio. They are killed in a variety of creative ways, and their remains are buried in the break room. Here at 3 Chic Geeks, our interns are eternally immortal, and may or may not be harbingers of doom and despair. We also may or may not occasionally send them out to kill hapless townspeople.
7. Time-Space Witch (xxxHolic, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle)
The pluses: Living in a really cool traditional house
hidden behind what is probably a modified Fidelius, you deal in wishes and dreams in exchange for stuff and things. You’re a merchant and a genie – every wish has an equal price, every choice has a consequence. Time and space and the very fabric of reality are yours to command. You have a cool wardrobe and spend your free time drinking with a pork-bun shaped magical being. If you believe that everything is decided, then everything is decided. If you believe that nothing is decided, then nothing is decided.
The minuses: It’s tough being an infinite, ancient, all-powerful being that grants everyone else’s wishes… mainly because there is no one, absolutely no one, who can grant your wishes. Also, your
intern apprentice keeps taking your liquor away and insisting that he’s not gay for that guy he hangs out with despite the fact that he is totally gay for him. Annoying.
8. Supervillain (Marvel? DC Comics? Other? Literally any bad guy in any story? Loki? We like Loki.)
The pluses: You’re a bad guy, and that means you don’t have to follow any rules you don’t like. Or any rules at all, for that matter. Freedom is yours; you don’t have to be kind or polite or caring or help that mum on the escalator with her baby carriage. You are not constrained by social mores, federal laws or basic human decency. You take what you want, when you want it and how you want it. You’re clever and your outfits are nearly always cooler than the superhero’s. Also, for some reason, you have legions of fangirls who think you’re cool just because you’re bad to the bone. B-b-b-b-b-aaaaaad.
The minuses: The superhero’s tragic backstory is trumped only by the supervillain’s tragic backstory. This stuff tends to get tragic and dramatic and painful. Adoption? Naw, man, why don’t you try interdimensional interspecies surprise kidnapping after being abandoned by your parents during a battle for being a too weak newborn, and then having to play second fiddle to your not-real brother who is the golden boy of all the kingdom, only to find out that you were never to preside over the throne of said kingdom and you were just a war artifact, to be locked away until needed and oh by the way you’re the monster that every parent in your kingdom warns their children about at night. Garishly dressed superpowered buffoons who see things in shades of black and white and have no appreciation for subtlety or elegance constantly foil all your plans. You’re aware that you’re the bad guy and according to the rules of the universe in which you dwell, you must constantly lose – but can’t you get a break sometime? It’s getting a bit tedious when even going down to Starbucks to grab your first pumpkin spice latte of the season is deemed “evil business that must be prevented at all costs.” Like, come on, guys! Villains get crapped on all their lives, are you going to deny them pumpkin spice lattes too? What is wrong with you people?
9. Cursebreaker (Harry Potter)
The pluses: We don’t actually know much about the job of an average Gringotts cursebreaker, which is why we think it would be so exciting. We of course imagine that this job involves a lot of sneaking around in dark hallways, a bit of digging through sands and valleys, some bits of inventing new magic on the spot, and a lot of Indiana Jonesing your way around ancient tombs filled with arcane and mysterious magics not seen by eyes of man for thousands of years. Bill Weasley was a hottie, too, with long hair and a dragon fang earring, so we’re assuming the dress code is Professional BAMF or something. And you get to visit exotic locales and stuff, and basically yeah you’re a wizarding world version of Indiana Jones and isn’t that so exciting? (Side note: I totally want at least some part of the Newt Scamander movie to involve being cool and doing Indiana Jones things. Or at the very least, Nick Cage in National Treasure things.)
The minuses: Well, you know, those ancient tombs untouched by mankind for thousands of years are probably pretty dangerous, don’t you think? Like, traps that might kill you, or worse
expel you from Hogwarts turn you inside out and transform your inner organs into mashed potatoes with purple gravy. Poison darts? Probably in the walls, ready to shoot into your neck as you unwittingly step on a trap you probably should have disarmed. Goblins are probably tricky beings to deal with, too. Oh, and by the way? You’re a banker. Just thought you ought to know.