TV show characters always seem to have the best jobs. Doctors, lawyers, writers, scientists, paper salesmen (well, maybe not). And while we understand we’re watching very idealized versions of these jobs (it’d be pretty boring if all The Big Bang Theory showed was Leonard and pals doing experiments for 30 minutes), sometimes people are inspired by TV role models to go into the same occupation. Such was the case for Becky Whitman, who was inspired by The Mod Squad to pursue a career in law enforcement, and Carrie Valosen, who became a nurse because of medical drama ER.
If you’re looking for career inspiration from your favorite shows, here are a few to consider.
Ryan King (Go On)—Sports Talk Radio Host
If you have a great voice and love sharing your opinions with others, radio could be the place for you. You’ll need a degree in journalism or broadcasting, though you could also start by volunteering at your local station and building a showreel that way. You can’t expect to make Ryan King money right out of college—he’s an experienced sports broadcaster with a book of contacts an inch thick, but according to Salary.com the average salary for a radio show host is $38,967.
Radio isn’t all wacky sounds and celebrity interviews. Ryan seems to only work a few hours a day, but radio broadcasting on either side of the desk is time consuming and takes a lot of planning, from having to set up deals with agents and managers to get interviews, to doing research and preparing questions.
Phil Dunphy (Modern Family)—Realtor
If you’d like a flexible schedule and an excuse to plaster giant pictures of yourself on billboards and benches, you might want to become a real estate estate agent like Phil. There are a few courses and a licensing exam you’ll need to pass, but the real work comes after that. Though it can be a flexible job, if you really want to make a name for yourself, you’ll need to be on call most of the time, and there’s definitely weekend work for open houses. It takes more than just giant billboards to get your name out there.
Dr. Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project)—Ob-gyn
Are you passionate about helping people? Are you especially interested in women’s health issues? If 12 years of higher education does not intimidate you, then you might have what it takes to live like Dr. Mindy Lahiri. When she isn’t living out her own romantic comedy, she is caring for her patients as a trained and skilled ob-gyn. Unlike Mindy, you probably won’t get to too many parties. Babies don’t operate on a nine to five schedule, so you can expect some late-night shifts. PayScale.com reports that the current average salary for an ob-gyn is $198,898, so maybe late nights are worth it.
Burton “Gus” Guster II (Psych)—Pharmaceutical Salesman
You never hear anyone say they want to sell pharmaceuticals when they grow up, but it may be the career for you if you are interested in sales and an average salary of $71,000. A bachelor’s degree is usually required, and you’ll get plenty of on-the-job training in order to understand the products you sell. The industry is highly competitive and stressful, so you won’t have time for activities like crime solving. How Gus finds the time to help Shawn while still keeping his day job is the real mystery.
Do any of these careers sound like a match for you? Add some zany friends and family, write yourself a catchy theme song, and get started on that new career.
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