December is a time to reflect. Decompress. Reconsider.
And ask yourself, “Is what I’m currently doing what I really want to be doing for the rest of my life?”
Probably not. You probably wanted to be an astronaut. Well guess what? The (space)ship hasn’t sailed. NASA announced via press release last week that they’re “on an ambitious journey to Mars and … looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to help get us there.”
You can even apply online (assuming a few small caveats like an advanced science degree and 1,000 hours of jet-aircraft piloting experience).
Got us thinking: surely there are other insanely covetable jobs to be had out there if a man knows where to look. What follows here is a brief guide to those jobs, from spaceships and pyrotechnics to large format cameras, grand cru wine, fast cars and, well, more fast cars.
We could speculate about why Mars is suddenly the planet to be on — it’s got our rover, signs of water, you’ll be best friends with Matt Damon — or, you could find out for yourself. That is, if you’ve got what Tom Wolfe indelibly coined the right stuff.
Photographer, Department of the Interior National Park Service
No one goes into photography for the money. But historic records remain the purview of large format film, and the National Park Service is offering $100,000 a year for those willing to strap on a backpack, hoist an 8x10’ camera over their shoulder and take to the woods. A steady hand gets you into the Library of Congress’ permanent collection, and Ansel Adams’ old job.
Editor's note: As of time of publication, this position has been filled and closed, but the fact remains that large format photography is still a possible career path for those who wish to pursue it.
Head of Projection, Cirque du Soleil
Because it’s never too late to run away and join the circus. Montreal’s globally renowned, high-flying and death-defying entertainment troupe knows how to put on a show — and they’re seeking a good man (or woman) to beam laser lights through fog and conduct shit-your-pants-cool special effects and optical illusions for their live performances.
Sommelier, Hotel Bel-Air
If you can finish a clean pour with a smart twist of the wrist and tell terroir from terrible, flash your “Master Sommelier Level 2 or similar” and descend into the cellar of this boutique hotel that every who’s who in Hollywood has passed through at some point. For a leafier East Coast vibe, pack your corkscrew and head for Greenwich, Connecticut’s The National, a new outpost from Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
Call us old-fashioned, but paddle-shifting a six-speed street-legal supercar till sundown? That’s a good day’s work. Natural-born road hogs need apply. If Lambo “road tests” don’t get all your cylinders firing, try Ferrari in Maranello.
— Dorian Rolston