In these times jobs remain elusive, and many people are thrust into unemployment. Things are difficult now for working people, and they will be difficult again in the future. We want to find a job now, but we also want to find a job that will be in demand during the next economic crunch. We propose that most of us aren’t thinking far enough ahead. Why train for jobs that will survive the next recession, when we should train for jobs that will survive the coming apocalyptic destruction of society?

The jobs on that list are not those you might expect. For example, Environmentalist is a poor choice. That will become evident when they discover that bears don’t like people and that in order to stay warm you must be willing to burn something you find in nature. Similarly, Survivalists will not experience the joyride they may expect, once a thousand looters beat them to death with rocks and steal all their canned ham and 7.62mm ammunition.

Therefore, to assist in your long-term career planning we present the 10 jobs most likely to survive the coming apocalypse.

Psychic Reader: By surviving the apocalypse, a psychic reader will have demonstrable proof of their abilities. They will find a valuable place in any post-apocalyptic community by providing advice on love, family, money, and zombie blood rituals.

Zookeeper: Since most technology will be trashed, a zookeeper will find expanded opportunities. These will include handling 2-headed mutant draft horses, and husbandry planning for the giant goat-yak cross-breeds raised for food and their silky fur.

Technical Writer: Our entire technical civilization has been documented by technical writers in manuals that no other human has ever read. If we’re to access any of that technology in the post-apocalyptic world, tech writers will be needed to decode those writings.

Weatherman: In today’s world a weatherman exists to provide people the illusion that they can know at least one thing about what will happen tomorrow, so that they aren’t driven insane by existential trauma. The same will be true after the apocalypse. We expect that the accuracy of forecasts will not appreciably diminish.

Emergency Medical Technician: Those who survive the apocalypse are expected to be a hardy lot, but they will be prey to accidents, bio-engineered plague, and mutant chainsaw attacks. EMTs will be highly prized citizens after the apocalypse because they will go where the zombie attack is happening, and they will treat someone without first ordering two x-rays, an MRI, a blood draw, and psychiatric counseling.

Chemistry Professor: After the apocalypse we will need experts like chemistry professors to harness the elements around us in ways most of us have forgotten. We will need fuels, soap, solvents, and antiseptics. But mainly we’ll want these individuals because none of us will remember how to make beer, wine, or sour mash whiskey.

Retired Mechanic: After the apocalypse our access to machinery, fuel, and machine tools may be limited. Mechanics are likely to be of little use in our communities. However, there will always be a place for a retired mechanic who can yank 500 pounds of computers and plastic garbage out of a Silverado and replace them with a Chevy 350 V-8.

Golf Pro: Prior to the apocalypse a golf pro coached a golf enthusiast on swinging a 9-iron to connect with a golf ball. Post-apocalypse he will coach a desperate, under-nourished survivor on swinging a 9-iron to connect with the head of the zombie who just ate his brother. This is a completely transferrable skill set.

Romance Novelist: Post-apocalyptic communities will face a challenge in repopulating the human species. Not only will it be difficult to find some snuggle time between giant irradiated bug attacks, but everyone will suffer from radiation burns, open sores, and malformations of all imaginable kinds. If this isn’t the time for a story about a bare-chested pirate rescuing a naked girl from headhunters and a volcano, I don’t know when that time would be.

Administrative Assistant: In the immediate aftermath of the apocalypse humanity will lynch all the supervisors and managers, and quite rightly too. Into this leadership vacuum will step administrative assistants. They have long employed their powers of influence and coercion to get people to do all manner of stupid things, and they did it without a shred of actual authority. They will be the bedrock upon which the future post-apocalyptic civilization shall stand.

I’d say they could use a romance novel or two around there.

I will infiltrate the DFW Writers Conference this weekend. I hope to make important contacts, find people who tell me how great my work is, learn writing and publishing secrets, and meet a an agent who thinks my novel is so marketable they’ll run over orphans while rushing to get it into print. That’s what I hope. I expect to meet writers who are struggling as much as I am, find people who drop into a coma after the first sentence of my pitch, learn what stupid mistakes I’ve been making, and take a vicious pounding from agents about how much my idea, my writing, and my haircut sucks.

It’ll be fun.

In addition to taking in all the classes such as “The Wild West of Publishing” and “How to Write for Boys,” I will pitch my humorous adult fantasy novel Six White Horses. I think I’m ready. I’ve practiced my one minute pitch. I’ve practiced my elevator pitch, which is short enough for a ride from the exhibit floor to the floor with the buffet. I have business cards with my name, photo, contact info, and my tag line: “Fantasy so sarcastic it bleeds laughter.” And my pitch is printed on the back of the card.

I’ve prepared a number of flash drives containing important documents, just in case anyone sees the brilliance beneath the blotchy skin of my first novel. They contain a one page query, an overview, a synopsis, a full proposal, and the first three chapters of the book. The conference organizers warned me in authoritarian terms to bring no paper copies of anything, and to bring no full manuscripts whether on paper, flash drives, or burned into the skin of a buffalo. Electronic media it is.

The conference encourages agents and writers to mingle at a reception Saturday evening, on the patio, weather permitting. Barring a tornado or a barrage of hailstones, I hope to chat in a casual yet professional fashion with everyone in sight, if I can do it without looking like a mule’s scabby hind-parts. I may hold a drink, which I think would make me look worldly and literary, especially if it’s not a bottle of Bud Light. I’ll be able to identify the agents by the writers swarming around them like German fighters around an American B-17 bomber. I don’t think I can push my way through them without looking desperate, though. Maybe if I offer them free drinks they’ll go away—at least that’s the way it would work in a bad novel.

Like I said, it’ll be fun. And if it’s not fun, then I bet it’ll be educational.

I couldn’t find any open license photos for the conference, so here’s a photo of Tolstoy and the rest of his Ukranian Oompah band in 1856. If only they could attend this weekend.