The New York Times created an online app that uses data from the Labor Department to determine what the polar opposite of a given job is.
For example, here are some polar opposites:
- kindergarten teacher and physicist
- news editor and model
- chief executive and agricultural grader
- writer/author and mobile home installer
The Labor Department keeps detailed records on the skills and tasks required for each job. Some of those skills are physical: trunk strength, speed of limb movement, the ability to stay upright. Other skills are more knowledge-based: economics and accounting, physics, programming. Together, they capture the essence of what makes a job distinctive.
It is this set of skills that helps determine job opposites.
Of course, I had to try it for myself. I did not see accounting teacher as a choice, so I first chose accountant/auditor and the opposite was agricultrual grader, just like the CEO above. I then tried college teacher, but I did not find that either, so I chose Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School, and the opposite was once again agricultural grader. So that makes it pretty easy to guess what would happen if I combine accountant and teacher; the opposite would be agricultural grader.
So I was curious what skills an agricultural grader requires, since apparenelty I don’t have them. The app gives a list of such skills:
- Trunk strength
- Handling and moving objects
- Manual dexterity
- Foreign language
- Public safety and security
- Static strength
- Arm-hand steadiness
- Controlling machines and processes
- Finger dexterity
- Production and processing
So apparently I am weak, uncoordinated, can’t handle machinery, and I don’t speak a foreign language.
This app is eerily accurate…
Here’s the link if you want to try it; not sure if it requires a subscription, but it seemed to work without my being logged in.