Since you’re reading this on the Internet, I’m assuming you know that people love to argue. Just take a look at the comments of pretty much any YouTube video out there. Of course, most of those are either trolls trying to get a rise out of everyone else, or idiots who feel safe anonymously spouting their uninformed opinions from behind a computer screen. The truth is, it takes a whole lot of practice and skill to argue well enough to make a career out of it. If you’re one of the people out there who always has to get their way, and you always know how to do it, you might want to think of going into one of the following fields:
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Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first, shall we? When I was growing up, my parents always told me I’d make a good lawyer. It took me till I was much older to realize that that was their way of saying I was incredibly argumentative. It’s a lawyer’s job to persuade judges and juries to see from their perspective in order to win cases on behalf of their clients. Many times the challenge is advocating for a person they know is guilty, or for a cause they disagree with on a personal level. But a job’s a job, right?
Lawyers need to possess a doctoral degree in law, and must pass individual Bar exams in order to practice in the state of their choice. The median pay for lawyers is around the $110K mark, but you shouldn’t expect to make this much until you’ve fully established yourself. If you’re extremely successful, however, you can expect to make much more than that. You might even be the reason an entire family takes over America’s social circle.
2. Police Officer
Working as a policeman also requires you to have superb argumentative skills. However, unlike lawyers, who are given time to carefully construct their arguments, officers of the law must be able to do so on the fly in the interest of public safety. Policemen often deal with people on the brink of sanity in dangerous situations, and many times must use the power of persuasion to deescalate a person’s illogical and possibly violent behavior.
To become a police officer, you need a minimum of a high school diploma, and you also must complete rigorous academy training sessions. While you won’t start off making anything close to what can be considered adequate pay for what you do, good police officers can quickly move up the ranks and begin earning a median salary of $55K. And they get to retire after 20 years, so there’s always that!
CEOs, or C-level executives, get to where they are because they are incredibly persuasive and persistent. They’re constantly proposing new ideas and business ventures, and trying to get everyone else on their team on board to push for certain initiatives. On the one hand, executives must be fact-driven, think-with-your-head-not-your-heart type workers, but they also need the people skills necessary to persuade others to their way of thinking. Executives usually have some type of business degree, but the only true prerequisite is they are business-savvy and know how to read people and social trends.
C-level employees usually earn a salary of at least $100K, but unless you’ve been living under a rock and have never heard of the 1%, you certainly can earn much, much more than that if you work for a larger company. Of course, getting to that upper-echelon is incredibly difficult, and will most likely require you to put everything else in your life on the backburner, at least while you climb the ladder.
4. Insurance Salesman
Really, any type of sales position requires you to be incredibly persuasive. But insurance salesmen specifically need to be able to convince customers to purchase a service that they might not think they really need. Everyone hates paying their car insurance, but they certainly thank their lucky stars for it when they get into an unfortunate accident. Like I said, though, for most people, insurance is an afterthought, so representatives of a company have their work cut out for them when trying to get people to buy into it.
Insurance salesmen don’t need any formal training besides basic educational requirements, but they will undergo on-the-job training, and will also need to become licensed in their state. They make around $46K a year, but also work on commission, so the potential for higher earnings is certainly there. Best of all, the industry is expected to continue growing in the near future, so demand for highly-skilled, persuasive salesmen will keep getting higher as well.
5. Politician or Aide
What? Politicians argue? Who knew?
Seriously though, any position in politics is going to require you to be opinionated, persuasive, and able to stand your ground after you take a stance on a specific topic. You’ll be advocating for the passage of laws, critiquing opposing viewpoints, and responding to rebuttals of your own opinion, so as a politician you must be unwavering in your opinions and remain strong regardless of the opposition you face.
To get into the field of politics, you’ll almost certainly need a background in poly-sci or a similar degree. While it’s obviously not easy to become an elected official, there are a plethora of aide positions available for recent graduates. In Washington, DC, the median salary for an aide is around $60K. Of course, if you prove yourself to be hard-working, trustworthy, and successful, you’ll move up the ranks throughout your career easily. (Side note: Can we forget that I just said you need to be trustworthy to become a successful politician?)
6. Philosophy Professor
Most of the other positions discussed in this article are fairly stressful jobs that deal with public safety or a whole lot of cash. If you don’t want to constantly worry that your mistake is going to end in a company’s bankruptcy or an actual tragedy, but still want to use your superb argumentative skills in your career, you might consider becoming a professor of philosophy. (Note: I’m not saying it’s not a stressful job, but no one is going to lose their life if you do something wrong.) Philosophy professors are incredibly well-read on subjects that have been debated since the dawn of human history, and questions which may never be answered. The philosophy teacher’s job isn’t to try to find these answers; it’s to guide their students while they craft informed, passionate arguments regarding topics such as religion, morality, and the meaning of life.
Philosophy professors usually have earned a PhD, and make a salary of around $65K. They also must have superb research skills, be knowledgeable about a variety of topics, and be able to transfer their wisdom and abilities into actionable lessons that impressionable young adults can understand. It also helps if they are immune to hemlock poisoning.
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There are a lot of careers out there that need people who are passionately opinionated about certain topics, so if you’re naturally argumentative, I implore you to put it to good use. Save the long-winded Facebook comments to the kids; you’re not going to convince the faceless Internet user that he’s wrong. Believe me, I’ve tried.