Your life of crime is about to pay off.
That may be exaggerating a bit, but some of your more dubious skills, whether illegal or just frowned upon by your parents, can translate to a career you love. You’re about to find out why your talent for cyber hacking or your online “snooping” skills can land you the job you are built for.
The odds are that your strengths are also the things you love to do. When you can find a job that utilizes the skills you already possess and enjoy doing, you won’t have to spend 40 hours (or more) a week at a job you can’t stand.
1. Use Your Judgement and High-level Awareness in a Key Position
Your skills: hitman or a mafia boss
The potential job: military analyst
National security and defense are more critical than ever — and as someone who’s skirted the law in the past, you know what’s coming around the next bend and the one after that. Intelligence is a necessary and predominant part of military strategy and operations, as is being able to predict what people will do, plus how and when they’ll do it.
Military analysts are needed to use the latest technology to gather and process critical military information. Analysts do a lot more than look at facts and figures all day, though. They have to take the data that’s collected, go over it in detail, decide what the information means about the organization’s goals, and then form a plan of action.
You may provide support for commanders by evaluating their strategy and determining if they’ll be successful. This might include analyzing global forces so that the military can be ready should they come into contact with them.
You could even work for the CIA to consult about policy formation. Drawing accurate conclusions makes any military analyst a highly prized part of the team.
2. Observe the Hacking Community to Keep Businesses and Individuals Safe
Your skills: cybertheft or black-hat hacking
The potential job: the ethical hacker
Cyber attacks can severely impact businesses and society overall. Black-hat hackers steal information, goods, or money, and they may also change vital business records. This can directly affect a company when there’s a security breach of their data, or it can indirectly impact a company if the hacker poses as a representative and targets customers.
Ethical hacking, also known as penetration testing or white-hat hacking, is evolving into a critical field within the security sphere. To test how secure a system is, hacking is done on purpose and with the company’s knowledge to uncover any gaps or flaws. Ethical hackers stay on top of hacking trends, study new techniques, and may even infiltrate the hacking community to perform their job better.
Since ethical hackers are so involved in black-hat practices, there’s a question of how trustworthy they are. There are moral guidelines, industry standards, and councils that strive to keep ethical hackers above board. Additionally, there also has to be a certain amount of moral obligation from the hacker and trust from the client who hires him.
3. Turn Your Past into a Hopeful Future for Someone Else
Your skills: ex-addict or ex-con
The potential job: social worker
A tough background can lead to becoming an insightful, empathetic social worker. Having been through many of the same issues your clients face, you may be able to tune into subtle cues and body language that another person could miss. This can help you recognize when the client is hiding something and relate to them as they start to reveal themselves.
As a social worker, you can work in a variety of niches, including child protection, adult mental health, and social policy. You could spend your days as a substance abuse counselor or family therapist.
You can work with teens who are struggling with eating disorders. You could also become a grant writer or the executive director of a nonprofit organization. Whichever path you choose, you’ll know that you’re helping individuals and society as a whole.
4. Stay Calm and Think Clearly When a Life Is at Stake
Your skills: getaway driver or high-stakes thief
The potential job: ambulance driver or helicopter pilot
As someone who has been involved in risky, thrilling situations, you may already possess many of the traits it takes to be an ambulance driver or helicopter pilot. You’re highly alert and notice right away when something is about to go wrong. You can focus on the task at hand without being distracted. You can juggle a lot of information in your brain without becoming confused or slowing down.
As an ambulance driver or helicopter pilot, your job is to use your specialized skills to swiftly and safely transport people when they need life-saving medical treatment. Since many medical centers and hospitals only have limited space, they don’t always have the specific equipment required for the treatment. Scenarios like burns and organ transplants require fast transportation to the closest treatment center.
5. Uncover Information to Tell the Public What They Deserve to Know
Your skills: investigation
The potential job: journalist
Are you known to be nosey, often asking questions that cross the line? Do you pride yourself on finding out every little detail about a person or situation, even if that means digging where you don’t belong? Journalists carefully balance a love of information and a need to know with ethical expectations — often, though, that means searching to uncover information that people have a right to know, even if others don’t necessarily want it out there.
As a journalist, you’ll meet, speak to and learn from a broad range of people, from passersby on the street to big names with lofty positions.
You’ll have the thrill of discovering buried information during your search, then revealing that information to the public. You’ll also hone your writing and marketing skills to deliver the news in the most compelling way possible.
6. Keep Businesses Accountable for Their Finances
Your skills: financial fraud
The potential job: forensic accountant
Have you dallied in creative accounting in the past? Cooking the books involves committing fraudulent acts to make financial data look different than it truly is. This can require great attention to detail and innovative thinking to make it seem as though the company earned more money than what they in actuality did.
Forensic accountants are on the other side of the law, but they have to know how financial criminals think and the tactics they use.
You’re already adept at math, and you have a sharp eye for detail — two skills that you need to stop criminals in their tracks. A forensic accountant will look in-depth at a business’ finances to prevent or uncover illegal activities, whether they’re purposeful or accidental.
7. Persuade People to Buy Products or Services They’ll Love
Your skills: con artist
The potential job: sales
Con artists don’t look dangerous — that’s why the average Joe and Jane trust them. Hustlers can undoubtedly ruin lives, but they also have a lot to teach about the art of persuasion. When a person with a knack for getting their way uses their power for good, they can increase sales for business while improving the lives of customers.
Con artists have an advanced understanding of why people make decisions. They know how to figure out a person’s pain points and appeal to those specific emotions. Once they’ve done their homework, they convince the individual to make some investment, like handing their email address over or making a small, first-time purchase.
Con artists are also phenomenal at reputation management, which makes sales pitches even more trustworthy and successful.
Imagine turning a questionable past into a promising future. You don’t have to say “goodbye” to the activities and interests you love most; instead, you can start earning a living from them and build your career on your most impressive talents.