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So... What Do You Do?

Friday's New York Times article about the coffee graders who work for the New York Board of Trade was interesting for a couple of reasons. One, commodity speculation raises some fascinating questions about how prices are determined. And two, it reminded me of how much business is fueled by caffeine.

That said, it also made me think about cool jobs in general. In the past Fast Company has showcased jobs we want to have — as well as undersung workplace heroes. Here are some of the better "A Day in the Life of Work" pieces:

What do you think are the most fascinating and interesting jobs?

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  • Raul

    Somehow, quite unexpectedly, I have become a copy editor in a business newspaper. And I really like it. It is all just quiet tinkering - playing with the words, rephrasing sentences, or checking the large stock tables. Sure, it doesn't sound exciting - after all, the copy editor is doing a good job if no reader notices his existence - but it's a pleasant and comfy job.

    Before that, I was a freelancing book editor, working for several publishing houses at once. Not much of a living, but still fun. I have loved books since I ever learned to read. The most annoying thing was, though, if you did all the work and then people decided not to publish the book after all.

    I guess there is just one more job I would really like trying one day. It is the dream of millions - tabletop RPG playtester.

  • Joel

    Oh this question is hard. I am 27 and still trying to find out what I want to do and what would be the "best" job. I've though abuout getting in import/export or doing the corporate thing and even trying to make a go as a musician. I think I am still young and need to try on a few more hats, but if I could make a living without having to crouch over a desk using a tiny notebook computer, that would be nice.
    For the record, as a kid I first wanted to be a Priest (I was raised Catholic. It's a phase).Then I ended up studying Japanese in college so am I still bumming around Japan, but the U.S. Foriegn Service still fascinates me.

  • Vicki

    When I was a kid I wanted to be a model maker for a museum - one of the people who molds the giant beetles for the "pre-Cambrian" room and that sort of thing.

    These days I'd add the model makers who work for Steven Spielberg and other film-makers, building dinosaurs, space ships, and al those other, wonderful props.

  • Max Leibman

    Comic Book Colorist.

    The people who, essentially, color for a living. In the olden days, it way more analagous to a coloring book--you'd get blank line art, and fill in all the spaces with flat colors or dots for tones and shading. Now, it's mostly done on computers and very slick--gradients, layers, lighting effect. But the idea is the same.

    Basically, it's a high tech, and very design-savvy process, one part film lighting director, one part coloring book. Not as taxing as drawing the art in the first place (I don't think it would be for me, anyhow), but just as creative and fun.