When did this become a great job?


While thumbing through the latest edition of Good Housekeeping I came upon an article entitled “Is it time to switch careers?”  Since I ask myself that question daily and the usual reply is “YES IT IS!!” I decided to read the article.  Mostly it focused on business career women who had found themselves jobless in the recession. A guide to find out what you really want to do and what your dream job is.  Then I flipped the page.  I should’ve known better.  In a sidebar to the article it listed “Recession Proof Jobs.”  There it was #2 on the list – EMERGENCY DISPATCHER.  Since I was reading the magazine at work I announced it to the others in the room that the second best job in the nation to have right now is ours and I was bombarded by boo’s hisses and the general response of “Are you kidding?”

This gem of a job was listed by Laurence Shatkin, PhD who is a career-information expert and author of 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs.  Emergency Dispatcher ranked #2 in the Recession Proof jobs based on its ease of obtaining the job and ease of keeping the job.  Obviously Mr. Shatkin did very little research in an actual Emergency Dispatch Center.  Currently most departments are on a hiring freeze based on the economy so it is not easy to obtain a dispatch job.  Although there are some areas who will basically hire anyone with a pulse to answer 911, the truly “good” dispatch centers or locations you would want to work aren’t hiring.  And yes, technically it is an easy job to keep – if you truly want to keep it. 

Yes this could be a dream job if you like working odd hours, holidays and weekends.  It could also be a dream job if you enjoy trying to sort through conversations that include “my husbands sisters cousins next door neighbors brother ….”  See the problem with this job is the EMERGENCY part of the title.  It implies that you will only be handling emergencies like car accidents and people having heart attacks.  Statistics show that basically 1 in every 300 calls handled in a dispatch center are an actual emergency – technically a “life threatening” emergency.  It’s the 299 calls in between emergencies that try your patience. 

My true concern is that there are un-employed financial analysts and real estate agents out there who are reading the article and think it would be exciting to be an Emergency Dispatcher.  Trust me, wait for the market to rebound before jumping into emergency services because it is truly not all it’s cracked up to be.  It takes a truly unique personality and not everyone is suited for it.  Although the sidebar was a problem for me, the actually article provided some interesting information.  I actually went to the website they suggested, humanmetrics.com, and took the Jung Typology Test and Jung Career Indicator.  I found out I am an “INTJ” which means I’m a “rational” or “mastermind.”  Scary isn’t it?  My most suitable careers are Natural Science, Engineering, Management, Law and Entrepreneurship.  I can see myself in those types of jobs, with the exception of Engineering – I could not build squat with lincoln logs and tinker tots when I was little (although I was handy with Lego’s).  Oh yeah – other famous “INTJ’s” are Dwight D Eisenhower, Gen. Ulysses S Grant, Sir Isaac Newton and Hillary Clinton. 

There is hope.  The #1 job on the list was Dental Assistant.  I could go to dental assistant school.  They work dentist’s hours which is usually only 4 days a week.  And they get to wear cute and comfy scrubs and crocs.  Yeah, I can’t see me flossing someone’s teeth…..YECHHH!

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