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Three unusual career paths you didn’t know you could take

Nigeria’s diverse economy means that there’s a wide variety of different jobs on offer, from traditional roles like nursing, to 21st-century careers like computer programmers. Each job has its own benefits and drawbacks. Some pay well, while others are more rewarding. There are countless guides available online that tell you the most well paid and sought after jobs in Nigeria today. 

This list typically includes project managers, business development and sales roles, investment bankers, petroleum engineers, computer engineers, doctors and accountants. For many people, these types of jobs are their dream, a steady 9-5 that pays well and is respected by the wider community. 

For some though, the prospect of working in a job like this is not appealing. If you fall into this category, here’s a selection of unusual careers you could consider instead. 

Professional Gamer

Until recently, if you’d spoken of the prospect of being paid to play video games, you’d have been laughed at by the majority of people. Today, however, things are very different. Some professional video gamers earn hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking part in esports events. 

There have already been several esports events in Nigeria, including the massive FIFA competition back in 2017. So far, these national competitions are not on the same scale as international series held elsewhere. 

In 2019, players that took part in The International 2019 Dota 2 Championship received a share of $34 million, while those competing in the Fornite tournaments organized by Epic Games got to share $30 million

Individual players can rack up millions of dollars for themselves by doing this. Saahil Arora is one of the most successful professional gamers from the United States, having raked in more than $3 million in recent years. 

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Professional gamers have more revenue streams than this too. Like other sports stars and celebrities, professional gamers sign sponsorship and endorsement deals with major brands. This is sometimes done on an individual basis and sometimes at the team level. For example, Team Liquid, a large collective of gamers that was founded in 2000, has been sponsored by several brands, including HTC and Monster. 

Some will also make money by taking part in live streams on sites like YouTube and Twitch, where they may receive money from the platform itself, from sponsors, and donations from fans. 

Professional Poker Player

Similar to video game players, professional poker players make money by taking part in tournaments and playing in cash games. Many start online, before transitioning into live events. 

Professional players often get sponsorship or ambassadorial roles from online casinos and poker rooms. Some will also appear on poker-related TV shows and publish books on strategy and technique.

A string of success stories of professional poker players in the early and mid-2000s created a boom in the online poker and casino industry. Many sites began offering large sign up bonuses to attract new customers, a practice that’s still commonplace today. 

Ostrich Babysitter

Ostrich farming isn’t as widespread in Nigeria as it is in other parts of Africa, although it is a growing industry thanks to the higher return on investment from the bird. The birds themselves can be sold for between $3,000 and $5,000, depending on the quality of its feathers and whether it can be used for breeding. Their eggs are also worth a lot, and are now being sold all around the world. For example, a UK supermarket is now selling ostrich eggs for £20 per egg.

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Most farming of ostriches takes place in central and northern regions of Nigeria, where the birds can feed on leaves, grain, fruit, cassava, and even small rodents. If you’ve ever seen an ostrich in real life, you’d have likely seen how aggressive they can be, so you may be surprised that they need babysitting.

Ostrich chicks need to be taken care of though, as they can be just as aggressive as their elders, leading them to get into very cute but potentially dangerous fights with other chicks. They’re also prone to running away if left to their own devices. 

That’s where ostrich babysitters come in. As an ostrich babysitter, your job will be to watch over the chicks, breaking up any baby bird brawls and catching them if they try to run away.