Does your career feel like it's 6 feet under?

I came across a recent article about Career Day at Concord High School in Staten Island. Their visitors included a firefighter, postal workers, an engineer, as well as Matthew Scamardella – a third generation funeral director. Mr. Scamardella is very dapper man with a brochure titled “Searching for a career that’s 6 feet above the rest?”. It would seem that the funeral trade is dying out (pun intended) as a result of a few recent trends:

1. There are a lot of baby boomers

2. A whole bunch of Funeral Directors are retiring

3. There are not a lot of people lining up to be a Funeral Director

4. There are more people dying (see #1)

What do you envision when I mention the words "funeral director"? As Matthew said; “For most people, it is standing with our hands folded, waiting for someone to die.” I guess it proves to most of us that we don’t always have a good picture of what is involved in most careers. However, that perception is making it more difficult to attract new people into the industry. The average salary for a Funeral Director is about $50,000 a year and, I have to say, it is a recession proof career move. Not to mention how difficult it is for clients to outsource or ship off to a cheaper “cost center”. All things considered, it’s a pretty good gig.

I was encouraged by a Minister friend of mine from Montreal to watch the HBO series “Six Feet Under”. Once I saw an episode, I understood my friend’s interest – funerals are a big part of his professional life. It is interesting how TV series impact industries. It was said that the amount of people who applied for law school when Law and Order came on the scene was up 20%. Unfortunately, “Six Feet Under” did not have the same impact for the funeral industry. Some careers lie dormant.

A lot of what we understand about careers and our culture is shaped by the media and other strong influencers. Concord High School guidance counsellor Kimberly Russell said; ” I don’t know if I ever would have thought of it.” So here is our July draw – take 5 minutes and write down all the careers you could think up (no google searches!). Send the list to me at alan@CareerJoy.com. We will enter your name in a draw – the person with the most diverse career options will win a copy of our Canadian (or USA) Job Search Kit.

You may be feeling that lack of knowledge or lack of perspective is holding you back from finding true career joy. Connect with Eunice at Eunice@CareerJoy.com. We promise you will come out more alive!

On the road with you,

Alan Kearns