Oops, did I mess up big time?! And you think you might want to be a writer too? Well, our chosen profession and vocation just happen to come out low and rock bottom in terms of career choices. At least according to CareerCast.com, via the Wall Street Journal. Their poll of the Best and Worst Jobs of 2013, listing the top – and bottom – 200 professions, ranked “Author” as No. 156 and “Newspaper Reporter” as No. 200. Bummer, eh? If I’d turned right instead of left along that critical career path, I could have aspired to the heights of No. 1: “Actuary.”
According to the introductory blurb, the poll “ranked 200 jobs from best to worst based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies.” Obviously the stress of battling writer’s block, the physical demands of bashing that keyboard, and the grim depressing environment of your own study must tell on the poor suffering writer. And as for the poor reporter … no wonder they always turn to drink [hic.]. Oh, and magazine work wouldn’t have saved me: “Magazine Editor” ranks No. 168. Meantime, actuaries actuate. Or actuarialize. Or do whatever it is that actuaries do.
The lesson is clear. Parents, keep books away from your children at all costs. Except actuarial textbooks. Allow no Word in your house. Discourage all access to literature or fine writing whatsoever. You never know what bad habits they might pick up.
And adults, any time you feel that deadly, seductive temptation to write words creeping over you, don’t hesitate: Call CareerCast.com. The heights of actuarydom await you.
(The Society of Actuaries has confirmed that no actual actuaries were upset in the course of writing this article.)