Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or are already working in the field. Whatever the situation, as with any defining aspect for your character, you’ll need to do the proper research to be able to write that career knowledgeably.
Enter the Occupation Thesaurus. Here, you’ll find important background information on a variety of career options for your character. In addition to the basics, we’ll also be covering related info that relates to character arc and story planning, such as sources of conflict (internal and external) and how the job might impact basic human needs, thereby affecting the character’s goals. It’s our hope that this thesaurus will share some of your research burden while also giving you ideas about your character’s occupation that you might not have considered before.
Overview: A business tycoon is someone who is extremely successful in their industry. Tycoons tend to be entrepreneurial, coming up with innovative ideas or solutions that help them rise to the top in their fields. Some (Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, etc.) are so famous as to become household names to the general public, while others are simply well-known by those in their fields. A person can become a mogul in any industry—automobiles, banking, social media, finance, media, real estate, etc. Because of their success, these leaders tend to be very wealthy.
Necessary Training: This will depend on the industry. Many successful business people have degrees—sometimes, multiple degrees—from institutions of higher education. Others are entirely self-taught. But most of these individuals share a drive to learn, grow, and improve through whatever means will enable them to keep moving toward success.
Useful Skills, Talents, or Abilities: A knack for making money, exceptional memory, haggling, multitasking, promotion, strategic thinking
POSITIVE: Adaptable, adventurous, ambitious, analytical, bold, confident, decisive, diplomatic, disciplined, efficient, industrious, intelligent, meticulous, passionate, patient, persistent, persuasive, talented, wise
NEGATIVE: Confrontational, devious, disloyal, greedy, materialistic, perfectionist
Sources of Friction: The competition threatening one’s position at the top of the chain, bad PR, rushing to sale with a product or service that isn’t ready, losing a great deal of money in a bad investment, being sued, being blackmailed, long work hours creating conflict with family members, being unable to solve a particular problem, gold diggers and opportunists making one doubt the motives of others, being hounded by paparazzi, one’s personal life becoming the topic of tabloids and national headlines, changing regulations that create problems for one’s production methods, a whistleblower exposing the company’s dark side, unethical practices from the past coming to light and threatening one’s reputation
People They Might Interact With: Other business people, investors, board members, employees, news reporters, personal secretaries or assistants, celebrities
How This Occupation Might Impact One’s Basic Needs:
- Self-Actualization: A business person finding themselves doing things they never intended (acting unethically, becoming a workaholic, engaging in unhealthy relationships due to their wealth or prestige) may find their sense of self-actualization is at risk.
- Esteem and Recognition: A tycoon who started their business out of a need to prove themselves (to themselves or others) may find that, despite success, that need is still lacking. This revelation may drive them to find the true root of their esteem problems.
- Love and Belonging: This need can be impacted if the business person has difficulty connecting with others due to lack of trust, time constraints, or some other underlying reason.
- Safety and Security: A wealthy business mogul’s safety could be impacted if he becomes the target for a stalker, rival, disgruntled employee or client, or some other dissatisfied or unhinged individual.
Common Work-Related Settings: Airplane, art gallery, ballroom, bank, big city street, black-tie event, boarding school, boardroom, limousine, mansion, penthouse suite, ski resort, sporting event stands, upscale hotel lobby, yacht
Twisting the Fictional Stereotype: Business tycoons are typically portrayed as greedy, unethical, heartless, and willing to do whatever it takes to further their bottom line. Twist this stereotype by creating a different kind of mogul—maybe one who is humble or who stumbled into success rather than fighting for it all of her life.
This occupation can also be freshened up by thinking outside the typical billionaire box. Instead of your tycoon being successful in banking or real estate, how else might she achieve greatness? Growing exotic trees and plant hybrids? Revitalizing the public education system? Inventing a food source that burns calories?
Lastly, consider your business person’s appearance. People with a lot of money tend to be more attractive than most, due to the money they’re able to spend on their appearance. Consider giving your rich business mogul something that others would consider to be a physical shortcoming—one they choose not to correct once the have the money to do so.
Visit the other Occupations in our collection HERE.