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.
Below is a sample version of this entry to help you see how an occupation can reveal your character’s beliefs, history, goals, and more.
To view the full entry, visit One Stop for Writers where it resides within the largest fiction-based descriptive database ever created. (Free Trial available.)
Overview: Geologists study how the earth has formed over time, including how landscapes evolve (mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, plate shifts, oceans, and other phenomena). Businesses and other agencies hire geologists to better understand the environmental impacts of …
Necessary Training: Geologists need a bachelor’s degree in Science, and a master’s degree if they wish to specialize.
Useful Skills, Talents, or Abilities: A knack for languages, basic first aid, exceptional memory, knowledge of explosives, mechanically inclined…
POSITIVE: Adaptable, ambitious, analytical, centered, cooperative, curious, efficient, focused, independent, industrious, intelligent, nature-focused…
NEGATIVE: compulsive, fussy, perfectionist, workaholic
Sources of Friction: working with people on a project hoping for specific geological findings who may try to steer or manipulate the study parameters or put a spin on results, poor weather conditions that make tests more difficult or the landscape unstable and dangerous (an early thaw creating higher floodwaters, an unexpected snowfall, active volcanoes or earthquakes, mudslides, etc. ), frequent travel…
People They Might Interact With: other geologists, students, safety officers, laborers and engineers, company heads, project managers…
How This Occupation Might Impact One’s Basic Needs
Esteem and Recognition: Geologists who uncover data that is important (say, changes in ocean currents, or climate-related changes) may be limited by a non-disclosure agreement with employers in the private sector and…
Safety and Security: Geologists who need to travel to areas that are unstable could encounter conditions that could be dangerous…
Common Work-Related Settings: abandoned mine, airplane, airport, ancient ruins, arctic tundra, badlands, beach, boardroom, bridge, campsite, canyon, cave, desert, grotto, hiking trail, hot springs, lake, landfill, marina, marsh, meadow, mountains, ocean, office cubicle, old pick-up truck, pasture, quarry, rainforest, river, swamp, teacher’s lounge, university lecture hall, university quad, waterfall
Visit the other Occupations in our collection HERE.
How will your character’s occupation help reveal their innermost layers?
Much of your character’s life will revolve around their work, and whether they love it or hate it, their job is a great way to show, not tell, their personality traits, skills, work ethic, worldview and beliefs, and more, so we should choose it with care.
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Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.