Employment Guide: Bateman-Emerging industries located just outside the box

By Oliver Bateman

In a crummy economy like this one, the best place to look for a job is outside the box. With… In a crummy economy like this one, the best place to look for a job is outside the box. With that in mind, we’ve decided to give you the straight dope on a number of emerging industries. Although it’s unlikely that every single one of these will fit your special needs, they’re all a darn sight better than flipping hamburger patties or mowing your parents’ yard.

Unemployment: Unemployment is the fastest-growing field in the economy. Most of you have probably been conditioned to fear taking a job like unemployment, but consider this possibility: When you’re unemployed, you can sleep 24 hours a day! Try to think of any other career where that’s possible. Come on, keep trying. Bed tester? Please. Even then, you’ve got to stay awake for at least a few hours to tell them what you think of that mattress. Unemployment might not pay very much, but you can’t beat the benefits.

Lottery: We’ve promoted the lottery before, so why stop now? No matter how you look at it, there’s no denying that it’s the best and easiest way to turn $1 into megabucks. Doubters might tell you that there’s a better chance of putting a man on the moon than winning the lottery, but hey, we might have already done that. Look it up on Wikipedia if you don’t believe us. Anyway, there are all kinds of lotteries out there and, unlike more challenging games like “Go Fish” and “Angry Birds,” you don’t need to waste time learning complicated strategies. Just remember: You can’t win if you don’t play!

Starbury apparel: It’s always good to get in on the ground floor of a hot new fashion trend. We did this when we worked for Abercrombie & Fitch back before that big discrimination lawsuit, and now we’re willing to stake our sacred honor on support of the belief that Starbury-brand apparel is going to be the next big thing. If you’re looking for a job with a growing company, look no further than this one. It’s fronted by legendary NBA slam dunker Stephon “Starbury” Marbury, who loves these affordable garments so much that he’s willing to model nearly all of them for his adoring fans. We might be way off base in thinking this, but what serious streetballer wouldn’t go crazy for a pair of $15 high-top kicks? Gamble a stamp and send them your resumés, people.

Professional wrestler: Most of you might think that this stuff went out of style back in the ’90s, when The Rock, “Diamond” Dallas Page, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, William Regal and others were competing to join Vince McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass Club.” Well, think again — pro wrestling is still on television! These days, many of the top wrestlers look nothing like the juiced-up hardbodies who dominated the “sport” a decade ago. What this means, then, is that there’s now plenty of room in wrestling for you noodle-armed weenies and pencil-necked geeks. If you’re in search of an occupation that combines the highbrow appeal of NASCAR with the scripted unreality of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” look no further.

NCAA basketball pool: These pools, which correspond to the annual NCAA men’s basketball Tournament, are a great way to earn big bucks from your friends. Try to organize as many pools as you can, inviting only friends who are blithely ignorant of the college basketball landscape. Collect their sawbucks and watch as their picks — made on the basis of arbitrary criteria such as preference for a particular school’s colors or mascot — fall by the wayside. Since this event happens but once a year, you can’t make a career out of it — but the sizeable stake you earn here can be reinvested in more profitable ventures, like the lottery.

Madden tournaments: Other than sleeping, which is essential for success in the field of unemployment, few skills will become as finely honed during six years of college as one’s ability to play the various iterations of EA Sports’ “Madden” series. There are tournaments with cash prizes for nearly every installment of the game, so au courant types can flash their skills on “Madden 2011” while purists rock the “Madden 2003” version of Brett Favre (overall rating: 91). You’ve already invested the time in learning how to explode a spread offense with a well-timed monster blitz, so why not get paid for it?

No matter which of these careers you choose to pursue, you’re bound to discover the kind of satisfaction you just couldn’t find inside the box. In fact, the only thing you’re likely to discover if you keep on puttering around inside the box is a receipt for your student loans — and even a decade’s worth of triumphs on the “Madden 2008” tournament circuit won’t make those disappear. Neither will death, but that’s a column for another day.

Oliver Bateman is the head of human resources at the Moustache Club of America. The Club has been serving up short stories made out of dreams and stardust for the past seven years. You can check out their job listings and submit your CV at moustacheclubofamerica.com.