Happy Woman
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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

Jobs for Happy Women

In the 1985 movie Desperately Seeking Susan, Roberta (Rosanna Arquette) is sitting in a hair salon with her sister-in-law, Leslie (Laurie Metcalf), reading the personals.

Leslie: "I thought you were reading the want ads."

Susan: "I know. I was. I just can't seem to find anything. . . ."

Leslie: "Well, just don't settle for anything under $50,000."

Maybe you, too, are looking to change careers or enter or return to the workforce. You want money. Lots of it. Or at least enough to get those darn wolves away from the door (no, not those wolves; the other ones). But it seems like all the good jobs call for education or experience you don't have.

That is because you have not discovered the hidden job market. The jobs that don't appear in the classified ads (actually, they do, but in a secret code only space aliens can understand, which explains the behavior of a lot of high-profile people in government). The cutting-edge jobs you can walk into with no background and instantly earn megabucks and career success.

What are these hot jobs for happy women?

Home body piercing. Once there were home body perms. Now there is home body piercing. All you need is a few needles from your sewing kit and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Gives new meaning to the expression "pin money."

Entrepreneur. Did you know that small businesses account for 80 percent of all businesses and that, 85 percent of the time, they succeed? Did you know that 75 percent of small businesses are started by women? If you didn't, it's no wonder, since I just made those numbers up. But believing them can't do you any harm.

Entrepreneurs make fortunes selling us items we cannot live without, like Silly Putty or Velcro or Liquid Paper. A friend and I spend our morning walks thinking up opportunities like these. For instance, a book of expressions we've found personally significant, such as:

"You can't fix stupid."
"If it feels like a lie, it is."

Weather wench. Looking for a high-powered career where you can be wrong 100 percent of the time and still command respect and a substantial salary? It has probably not escaped your notice that today's weatherpersons are incapable of predicting their way out of a paper bag. The reason is supposedly climate change, which has rendered standard computer models for predicting weather useless. This opens up great opportunities for happy women.

Are you well endowed? Do you have (like Leslie in Desperately Seeking Susan) "great teeth"? Can you point in a Vanna-like way at a weather map? Then you are well on your way to getting hired as a weather wench. You should also be prepared to get pregnant. Have you noticed how many Weather Channel forecasters are with child?

Customer support specialist. This is not a new job, nor does it pay well, but it does have the advantage of involving almost no actual work. Imagine yourself in a roomful of silent, blinking telephones, all representing people whose significant appliances have broken down, listening to music interrupted, from time to time, with this message:

"Your call is important to us. Please stand by. All our operators are busy taking other calls. Your call will be answered in the order it was received."

As a customer support specialist, your job is to help these people-but only two or three per day, for a total of not more than 40 minutes. The rest of the time, you can surf the Net, read the latest John Grisham novel, knit, or go shopping.

Forehead advertiser. I am not making this up. In London, a marketing agency is planning to rent advertising space on people's foreheads to display semi-permanent tattoos of logos. It's only a matter of time until the marketers catch up here. Donna Karan! Pierrot! Oscar de la Renta! Unless you have a really big forehead, you might want to do that last one with a friend.

Feng shui consultant. Everyone's heard of it. Everyone wants it. But no one knows what it is or even how to pronounce it ("fung shway"). All the better for you.

Imagine yourself jetting around the world, advising celebrities and major corporations on how to arrange their homes, work spaces, and lives so as to harness the chi energy around them, which will allow them to amass even more wealth and feel pretty good about themselves while doing it. All you need is a compass, a basic sense of design, and a lot of nerve.

So sit yourself down and set some career goals, o happy reader. But while you are plotting your way to fame, wealth, and that fabulous wardrobe you've always dreamed of, do not forget to include happiness in the equation. As Alan Alda puts it:

"It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich."

© 2003 Elaine Langlois