Careers

The best jobs ever

You will not believe what these women get paid to do…

HANG AT THE BEACH

Clare Plueckhahn, 30, carved a career out of her two favourite hobbies: surfing and photography...

From big surf and sunburn to cyclones, my job is not always glamorous. But I love every second of it. About four years ago I started photographing surfers for fun, and after showing Rip Curl my folio, they invited me to Indonesia to shoot the girls’ team for a catalogue. I’ve been working with them and other surf brands ever since, and have been to amazing beaches in Fiji, Hawaii, New Caledonia and the Maldives for shoots.

A typical day involves rising at sunrise and getting in the water. I’ll swim around for hours, finding the ideal spot to get the best angle of the girls surfing. I’ll shoot the fashion component on the beach, and at the end of the day I’ll spend hours on the computer editing photos. It’s busy, but there’s always time for me to squeeze in a surf or a relaxing swim.

You have to be incredibly self-motivated to do a job like this. When I’m at home I have to keep swim-fit so I’m ready to go on a shoot at the drop of a hat. I also do photography exhibitions to challenge myself and push the creative boundaries. This job takes over your life, but it’s extremely rewarding.

Fancy it? Become a photographer’s assistant. You’ll learn what makes a great shot – plus how to communicate with the people you’re shooting."

TRAVEL THE WORLD

As the content and production manager for Creative Holidays, Tara Sena-Becker, 26, gets to test out travel experiences and write about them...

My job is to produce online travel videos and brochures, and to keep social media updated with travel news, ideas and inspiration. In order to get enough content for all that, I have to travel overseas about four times a year.

No two days are the same in this job. One day I’ll be waking to a 4am alarm to hike a volcano and shoot a video, the next I’m in my Sydney office slaving over new brochures or destination guides.

Last year I travelled to Bali, Hawaii, Thailand and the UK. The trips were all amazing, but they were exhausting. You run on about five hours of sleep a night, and you always have to be on the lookout for interesting photo angles or local secrets to write about.

Fancy it? Do lots of internships. I did, and made contacts who helped me get jobs that led to this.”

INSTAGRAM

As the social-media guru at her content marketing agency Scout Writes, Zoe Collins, 30, ’grams, tweets and Facebooks for brands...

In 2010, I was a magazine beauty editor, and social media was just warming up for brands. I was obsessed with blogging, and saw an opportunity to use my skills to help beauty and fashion brands connect with their customers.

I quit my job in Sydney, returned to my home town of Melbourne, and became a social-media consultant. Since then I’ve worked for start-ups and multinationals, and launched a ‘word shop’ called Scout Writes to facilitate the increasing demand.

My career highlights include Facebooking, Instagramming and tweeting right from the front row at different fashion weeks, and live blogging from the set of Australia’s Next Top Model. I approach my job like a journalist, looking for stories and images readers want to share.

The main downside to this job is that you often work around the clock. Social media never sleeps, so you need to be monitoring accounts into the wee hours. But for someone who lives and breathes all things social, it’s the ultimate gig!

Fancy it? Offer to do social media for businesses free of charge. Then you can prove to future clients that you have experience.”

DRINK WINE

As the brand ambassador for Brown Brothers, 32-year-old Katherine Brown gets to sip moscato for a living...

My three favourite hobbies are talking, eating and drinking, so it made sense for me to join the family business as a brand ambassador.

By day, I organise events to spread the word about our wines, and at night, I host tastings and dinners with the media and VIPs.

It’s a 24/7 job. Even if I’m out at a bar with friends, I still introduce myself to the staff and try to make sure that our brand is being seen in the best possible light.

The job involves a lot of travel. I go to Europe and Asia every year to research their wine industries, and I spent the summer travelling across Australia hosting events. I’ve become very good at sneaking waters in between wines to make sure I maintain my composure!

You can’t just fluff your way through the wine industry. I’ve done a masters in viticulture and wine-making. There’s nothing as satisfying as being able to hold your own in a conversation with a really experienced winemaker.

Fancy it? Learn as much as you can. Courses at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (wsetglobal.com) are a great way to start.”

GO TO FESTIVALS

Working as the MTV digital media editor gets Leni Andronicos, 22, free tickets to all the hottest gigs...

When I found myself sleeping in a beachside mansion in Byron Bay and reporting backstage from the Splendour in the Grass festival last year, I had to pinch myself.

Most of my days are spent in front of a computer at MTV HQ, and ducking out to interview bands who are touring. I’ll go to gigs at night and festivals on the weekend, and write about them for the site.

Sometimes you hit it off with the people you’re interviewing and you end up hanging out with them. I’ve been out with Rüfüs and Disclosure, and whenever the Geordie Shore guys are in town I’ll go clubbing with them. You need to have a lot of stamina to do this job, but it’s so much fun.

Fancy it? Start a website and contact music labels to ask for interviews with new artists. The more examples of work you have, the better.”