I’m so fascinated by the prior careers of the SEOs that I know. My own background is in anthropology and English lit, with a brief stint in social work that led me to then go into programming for assistive technology. The programming is what eventually led me into SEO, with some boring details in between. In any case, this all got me thinking about careers we could all have AFTER we leave/get fired from SEO. Thus I bring you the top 10 future career paths for prior SEOs…
1. Used car salesperson: we’re used to convincing people that really, nothing is wrong with our SEO efforts, so this can be easily translated into talking someone into thinking that the Ford Escort he or she is looking at is not actually held together with duct tape. Not completely, at least. As we justify everything from dreadful rankings to nonexistent traffic, so can we justify hubcaps that don’t match and an engine that doesn’t actually, LEGALLY, belong to the car in which it resides. I’ve also been to enough conferences to know that some of us won’t even have to change our wardrobes.
2. Prank phone caller: we’re used to thinking fast, with the unknown being verbally thrown at us in meetings with bosses and clients who never, ever seem to be happy with what we’ve done so far. You know how you immediately drum up something like “we’ll take a wait and see approach” when asked “what’s your plan to get us some damned traffic?” Sure you do. You just take that and work it on the phone when you call your neighbor from a pay phone and ask her if she is aware that her husband’s Volvo has been parked outside the local strip club for a good 3 hours and does he need you to call a tow truck for him? This is particularly funny when done on the local radio station.
3. Talk show host: just as we politely deal with clients we detest and bosses we really wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire, we can easily converse naturally with the wrestling polygamist midget who’s just gotten his sister into a “family way” and see things from his point of view. Some of us are also really good at speaking into a microphone in front of other people (CIARAN!), particularly when Matt Cutts is taking questions from the audience.
4. Fireman: I’m sure you’ve always thought of yourself as having an enormous hose anyway, so this one isn’t that much of a stretch. Plus they get to grow those really cool mustaches and shop as a group. With Rand’s recent facial hair experimentation, I foresee other young and impressionable SEOs following the trend. Fireman is then a natural progression, which will then lead to Western movie star but that’s another post. We’re all certainly used to running around putting out fires anyway. YES, some of them were arson.
5. Las Vegas tour guide: ever been to WebMasterWorld there? I rest my case you pub-crawling monkeys. You all stay away from me this year because I am a good and decent cupcake. Just ask anyone who’s never met me.
6. Stockbroker: good at getting other people to give them money for dubious tasks like viral marketing projects are you? Kick it up a notch and really wreck someone’s future. We’re always predicting the next big thing when our clients ask about what we think will happen with Google after they’ve heard the engine mentioned on the news in something completely unrelated. And I don’t think I’m the only one who’s done her fair share of yelling at work.
7. Pop lyricist: if you’ve ever written creative copy such as “Dancing Cats: The Name Says It All!” then you can write pop lyrics such as those popularized by Robbie Williams and Jewel. Repetition your strong point? If you’ve ever written something like “Dancing cats will change your dancing if you like cats because dancing with cats is fun and exciting especially for the cats who are dancing with other cats!” then it is, just trust me on it.
8. Preschool teacher: we’re all used to coralling and directing a group of untidy people, whether it’s our coworkers, our clients, or our SEO friends who are all trying to squeeze into a taxi. We also tend to dress appropriately for potential big spills. After a few nights in Seattle, I actively hunted for a handbag that was beerproof. You know how you talk down to SEOs that you think are not nearly as smart as you are? This is the same voice you can use with the preschool set.
9. Unemployed actor: ever seen “Withnail and I”? Let me assure you that it’s not too long of a road between how some of us behave at the conferences and how Richard E. Grant drinks lighter fluid.
10. High school yearbook advisor: if you’re really into social media marketing, this career is for you. Sure you’ll probably have to actually try and TEACH someone something but still, you’ll be involved in a really cool popularity contest as kids struggle to remove all photographic instances of their rivals from group photos. You’ll still be subject to being made fun of just like you were at the office too.
In closing, after I wrote this post but before I published it (see how I refuse to admit that I copied him?) I noticed that Graywolf has a really amusing post about Britney…quite worth checking it out. What, you have something better to do???